Shakespeare Martineau

Corporate Partner


Phone: 0330 024 0333

About Shakespeare Martineau

We’re proud to be trusted legal advisors to over 150 charities and not-for-profit organisations across the UK. Operating in the charity and not for profit sector has never been more challenging or more stimulating with social, economic and political upheavals, scarce resources and mounting needs and expectations. All these challenges call for practical, commercial and innovative advice to management teams and trustees which can help charities and social enterprises deliver on their outcomes.

Our team of charities and not for profit specialist lawyers and advisors have been brought together to provide you with the market leading advice and creative solutions to help you focus on what matters most: the delivery of your organisation’s goals.

Made up of lawyers, planning specialists and cyber security professionals with unbeatable experience in working with charities and not for profits, our specialist charities group can advise on a broad range of areas, including charity law, legacy management and disputes, through to employment, funding and corporate advice, property, legal and town planning, cyber security, data protection and intellectual property

Our legacies management specialists

We understand the importance of legacy income for our charity clients. We help charities maximise that vital income stream. Our specialist advice includes:

  • Dealing with legacy disputes, and resolving the same, whether by way of court proceedings or ADR
  • Advising on legacy fundraising activity
  • Advising donors on leaving a legacy to a charity
  • The administration of charitable estates
  • Legacy administration
  • Advising crowdfunding and other monetary streams
  • Advising on trust corporation status and related delegated authority schemes

Legacy disputes

Our team are well-versed in the handling of charity legacy disputes, from the beginning of claims through to the point of resolution. Our flexible, open-minded approach means the support you receive will be tailored to your unique situation, whether that’s concerning 1975 Act claims, will validity disputes, professional negligence or Court of Protection litigation.

Administration of estates

Our team can handle the administration of an estate from beginning to end, or we can simply provide legal advice on discrete aspects.

We often advise on difficult estate administrations, and offer pro-active and commercial advice to unlock those estates so that the charity receives its legacy as early as possible.

Legacy fundraising activity

Your organisation may require advice regarding both the internal and external perceptions of your fundraising policy. We recognise the importance of best practice in this area and will help you create an airtight policy that protects your brand.

Legacy administration services

Our dedicated legacy administration team are friendly, approachable and advise charities of all sizes. We’re here to offer administrative support to your legacy team, as well as expert legal advice on complex technical matters when you need it.

We pride ourselves on offering straight-forward, easy to understand advice. We can advise on all aspects of legacy administration, including:

  • Day to day legacy administration –  We can handle the administration of a gift from beginning to end. From initial notification of a gift and liaising with executors, through to thoroughly checking final estate accounts to ensure your charity complies with Charity Commission guidance.
  • Complex gifts We often advise on difficult estate matters, and offer pro-active advice to unlock those estates so that your charity receives its gift as swiftly and smoothly as possible.
  • Legacy forecasting & budgeting – We work with you to review your anticipated legacy pipeline and quantify the potential value of gifts due, helping you prepare your budgets and plan for the future.  We also offer financial year-end support, including the creation of year-end legacy income reports for trustees and audit purposes.
  • Team training We provide bespoke in-person and virtual training programmes that are accessible and relevant to the various teams in your charity, from your legacy and fundraising team to your senior management and trustees.

Our team is made up of STEP and SFE qualified solicitors – this means we can identify issues and resolve them quickly, explain the legal jargon written in wills and trusts, as well as answer complex tax and accounts queries.

We offer a range of cost-effective, flexible support packages designed to give you and your charity real value for money – from fully outsourced legacy management solutions to ad-hoc support for your existing in-house team, one-off project consultancy services and helpline solutions.