Do your trustees

  • Understand the nature and extent of their role within your charity?
  • Have a good understanding of their legal duties and responsibilities as charity trustees?
  • Know the extent of their potential liabilities and how to effectively protect the charity from risk?
  • Understand how charity law and regulation affects the charity’s operations and financial success?
  • Know and understand their responsibilities in relation to staff and volunteers?


This course provides charity trustees with essential legal training to enable them to comply with law and best practice in fulfilling their duties and furthering the success of the charity.

It is vital that all charity trustees and senior managers within charities know and understand the role, duties and responsibilities of trustees. The Charity Commission expects all charities to include in their Annual Report the steps that have been taken to ensure that all trustees have received appropriate training. This course provides a cost effective way to achieve this, as it is aimed at providing trustees with the essential training required to effectively carry out their roles.

The course is run as a virtual training seminar via Zoom four times per year to allow you to plan ahead and ensure that all incoming trustees (and any other trustees wanting a refresher) are trained, so that your charity may comply with best practice and fulfil its annual reporting obligations.

Learning outcomes

The objective of this workshop is to ensure that delegates:

  • understand the key elements and make-up of their charity’s governing document and why it is important
  • appreciate the extent of their legal duties and how to comply with them in accordance with best practice
  • understand personal liability and how best to manage risk
  • are aware of the main reporting obligations and regulations with which the charity must comply
  • have a basic understanding of financial reporting and how the law affects matters such as investment and reserves
  • understand the extent of the role of a charity trustee in relation to staff, including in respect of recruitment, management and dismissals
  • are able to distinguish between employees, workers and volunteers and understand the key pitfalls to avoid when dealing with volunteers.

Introducing the trainers

Liz Brownsell is Head of Charities at Birketts, and has over ten years of experience as a charity law specialist, following five years as a corporate lawyer in the City. She is an experienced public speaker and has delivered trustee training for many years. Her expertise and experience in advising on all nature of governance issues, coupled with her involvement and interest in sector development and her experience as a charity trustee, means that she has a high level of specialist knowledge and can ensure that delegates leave our training feeling informed and prepared for their role.

Sonya O’Reilly is a Legal Director in our employment team. She provides specialist employment advice to employers and senior executives in all aspects of employment law. As part of the firm-wide charities and social enterprise group, Sonya advises our charity clients on the full range of employment issues. Sonya also provides both in-house and public training on many employment-related topics through Birketts’ Shaping Excellence programme. She has an excellent reputation as a public speaker and can make difficult concepts sound easy.

Upcoming charity training and events

In addition to our regular programme of Charity Trustee Induction and Refresher Training, we hold a number of other training sessions for charity trustees and events for those working in the charity sector throughout the year.

The next available dates are:

We also offer various in-house training modules for charities. Please visit our Shaping Excellence web pages for further information.

Key contacts

Liz Brownsell

Partner, Head of Charities

+44 (0)1473 406383

+44 (0)7525 735802

Meet the full team


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