We specialise in advising charities and we have one of the best regarded and largest dedicated Commercial Property teams within any firm outside London, numbering over 100 specialists with extensive experience of acting for both charity retailers and commercial retailers.

Our specialist and multi-disciplinary Charities and Social Enterprise Team offers advice to our charity clients on a wide range of matters affecting charity shops. Our team is large enough to handle large-scale projects but we also strive to offer excellent customer service tailored to each client, however large or small the matter.

We appreciate that securing the right property on the right terms is key to the success of a charity shop. Our commercial property team has long held an excellent reputation. As well as acting for many charity retail clients we act for some household name retailers. Our property lawyers draw on the skills of our specialist planning, construction and property litigation teams where required to offer all the advice our clients might need.

Our team also includes an expert in Gift Aid for charity shops, who was involved in the consultation process with HMRC when the new scheme was launched and has delivered a number of practical training sessions for Charity Retail Association (CRA) members on the new scheme, drafted the CRA’s policy guidance notes on “charities and trading”, and advised on the CRA template documents for the new scheme.

We offer comprehensive legal advice to our charity retail clients on:

  • All areas of property advice for charity shops, including new leases and lease renewals, buying and selling property, planning permission, landlord and tenant issues, and temporary shop arrangements.
  • Charity trading advice, including structuring start-ups, setting up trading subsidiaries, intra-group transfers, and advising on start-up funding and shared resources.
  • Tax advice for charity shops, including on exemptions, VAT , business rates relief and stamp duty land tax advice.
  • Advising on Gift Aid for charity shops, including structuring requirements to satisfy HMRC conditions for Method B.
  • Commercial advice, including advice for charity shops on health & safety, warehousing and food regulations, and advising on terms and conditions for online shops including compliance with distance selling requirements.
  • Intellectual property and brand protection advice, including trademark registration and defence, and advising on data protection compliance requirements.
  • Employment issues, including terms and conditions for staff, disability and equality requirements specific to charity shops, and dealing with volunteers.

Birketts is excellent. The lawyers are personable, very helpful and know what they're doing. They are very thorough during a transaction and keep the client in close communication throughout.

Chambers UK 2016