Animals and wildlife are some of the best known and most popular (and therefore well-funded) charities in the UK. Whether they are for the welfare of pets, the breeding of endangered species or the preservation of habitats, the scale of the issues they tackle tend to be big and complex.
Charities which seek to raise awareness of threats to the environment: carbon emissions, climate change, deforestation, overpopulation etc, and to encourage research into ways of mitigating the impact, tend to deal with national governments and agencies, international organisations and commercial initiatives. These activities bring a wide variety of legal issues to be considered.
New business models and new technologies are driving change for environmental and animal protection organisations, but many of the challenges for the sector remain the same. These range from working with overseas partners to measuring impact, and there is still no substitute for well drafted agreements and pragmatic advice from those experienced in this type of work.
We have established a large variety of environmental and animal charities, and continue to be deeply involved in developing charity law in this area. We have particular expertise in establishing innovative not-for-profit models, for example to enable social enterprise investments related to cleantech businesses, or to achieve a client's particular environmental or campaigning goals within the current climate/carbon emission context. We acted for some of the first glass recycling companies to operate in the UK.
We regularly advise clients on the law governing campaigning by charities and work closely with our reputation management team to deliver a comprehensive service to clients who are in, or wish to be in, the media spotlight.
We are familiar with the particular challenges presented by working in other jurisdictions and supplement our experience with that of legal advisers worldwide who work in the ALFA international network of law firms.
Our services include advising on:
funding, fundraising and trading
constitutional and governance advice
mergers and acquisitions of charities
intellectual property protection and licensing
data protection and freedom of information
employment and pensions
We advised on the establishment of and act for the Global Canopy Foundation, a world leader in the battle against deforestation. GCF co-ordinates activities around the world to raise awareness, to improve research techniques, to promote governmental action and win local support in affected areas
We have advised RSPB on a variety of legal matters
We drafted the contracts for a major conservation project in Indonesia, covering reforestation, protection of wildlife, education of the public and sustainable development for local populations; the contracts facilitated innovative funding and impact reporting models
We advised the Worldwide Fund for Nature on laws surrounding campaigning
We have acted for the Jean Sainsbury Animal Welfare Trust on a range of grant-making issues