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JMW Solicitors lead the way with CIO changes


The Charitable Incorporated Organisation is a new legal framework which will impact both new and existing charities, and organisations have been able to register under the new legal form since January 2nd this year. The changes to the rules around charity registration are designed to help simplify the process in a number of ways, including making it easier for charities with a corporate structure to register. Charities with this make up would previously have had to register themselves as both a charity and a company.

Manchester-based JMW Solicitors have been at the forefront of the changes to charity registration structure and are now offering clients comprehensive and clued up legal advice on all aspects of the changes. New charities will need to adhere to the rule changes, and existing organisations may find that they have to overhaul the way in which they are structured.

JMW’s expert solicitors can offer advice to charities in all positions, and can ensure that organisations are set up using the structure that is right for them in terms of their day-to-day operations, tax obligations and other issues. Several of the previous options for registering a charity - including registering as a trust or club - will still be available, and the JMW team can advise on the best choice for the future of any charitable organisation.

Commenting on the changes, partner and head of charity law at JMW Keith Arrowsmith said: “JMW’s team of governance specialists provides legal services to national and local not for profit organisations, including trusts, charitable companies, voluntary organisations and community interest companies. The CIO structure may, if appropriate, unlock savings of hundreds of pounds. We are working with new organisations to explain the structure, and existing organisations can start planning to convert.”

In some cases a move to another charitable structure will make the best sense for the health of an organisation, but some charities may find that changes will be small – either way, JMW Solicitors can help. JMW’s experience is varied and the firm has worked with smaller local charities as well as larger national and multi-national set ups.

Under the new system the Charity Commission aims to respond to applications within 40 working days, but figures from Scotland, which has already been using the new structure since 2012, show that only 89 per cent of applications were replied to within double the time.

As well as potential delays, other possible pitfalls of the new rules could include problems in securing financial backing, as the registration of mortgages for a CIO’s land and property is not covered by the new framework.

Working with an experienced and knowledgeable solicitor is key in ensuring that the new framework is properly adhered to, and that any potential issues are identified and ironed out.

For more information about JMW Solicitors and its CIO services visit today.


 CIO structure

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