One of the largest established and most informed legal practices in Australia focussed on the charities & not-for-profit sector. Since 1859 we have advised clients on all areas of their organisation.
Our Charities & Not for Profit team is well placed to deliver effective and appropriate legal support to Charities and Not for Profit clients – our service history in this area dates back to 1859.
As a firm, we are at the forefront of legal and related issues pertinent to Not for Profits, churches, educational institutions and other community groups. Our clients in the Not for Profit sector range from Government agencies to large national charities and from church institutions to local Not for Profit organisations run by individuals.
We have a number of partners, lawyers, paralegals and support staff that have a deep understanding of the needs of clients in the Charities and Not for Profit sector.
Products and Services
Our team provides expert and focused advice on broad ranging activities covering the charitable and Not for Profit sector. Set out below are just some of the legal services we provide in this area:
- taxes and duties (including exemptions and concessions);
- ACNC requirements
- Governance issues;
- establishment of charitable trusts;
- public and private ancillary funds;
- advice on constitutions;
- deductible gift recipient requirements;
- GST advice;
- fundraising requirements;
- FBT rebates and exemptions;
- income and CGT tax exemptions;
- rate exemptions;
- property matters;
- aged care facilities;
- disputed estates.
Examples of work
- An incorporated association dispute: an ethno-religious incorporated association is in dispute concerning procedures and the identity of office bearers which also touches on procedural and technical issues. We are advising one of the groups in this dispute.
- An industry association: we advised an industry association which is a company limited by guarantee registered as a State Registered Employer Association and operating also as a NSW Registered Training Organisation (RTO). We assisted the client in connection with its tax exempt status and restructuring to ensure that the association activities and the RTO activities were restructured to maximise ongoing funding and exemption from income tax.
- Incorporation of school sports organisation: we acted for a group of 11 educational providers who were looking to restructure current arrangements in relation to sporting activities such that they were conducted by a new entity. This involved advice on corporate structure, liability issues, entitlement to tax concession charity status, as well as proceeding to incorporate the entity.
- Unincorporated association: we provided advice to a representative group in the medical field about their operations as an unincorporated association including advice on associated risks. We advised that an incorporated association be established and have acted on the incorporation of that association thereby providing a vehicle to allow for receipt of funding and limitation of liability.
- Payroll tax exemption: we acted for a religious/educational institution which was denied payroll tax exemption. We acted on Supreme Court proceedings which were successfully concluded in our client’s favour saving significant payroll tax.
- FBT exempt status: we provided advice to our client in the social welfare sector concerning the application of exemptions from fringe benefits tax.
- Amendment to Constitution: we advised a charitable organisation in the welfare sector which is a company limited by guarantee on an amendment to its objects to ensure continuing entitlement to tax exemption including all steps necessary to amend the Constitution.
In addition to these recent examples, our work with the Not for Profit sector includes:
- several submissions in the last two years to the Department of Treasury on proposed Not for Profit reforms;
- annual research study into legal issues of the Not for Profit sector;
- establishing hundreds of charitable trusts;
- establishing numerous charitable foundations;
- establishing hundreds of school building funds and scholarship funds;
- acting for an international honour society associated with numerous universities in Australia and internationally in its restructure
- advising on Australian Charities & Not for Profits Commission
- legal support for several research institutes in relation to fundraising matters, constitutional issues and trust issues;
- acting for a university college on the merger of the administration and investment of its many small scholarship and bursary funds;
- acting on conversion of incorporated associations to companies limited by guarantee for charities;
- preparing Directors’ manuals for charitable companies and presenting seminars on Director’s duties;
- acting on the acquisition and sale of numerous properties for charitable bodies, including numerous successful applications for stamp duty exemption when applicable;
- ACNC breakfast seminars; and
- Restructuring organisations as a result of the new ACNC legislation.