April 28, 2016

Charity Tribunal throws out appeal

Hospice Aid UK had previously urged the Charity Commission to step in following the decision of Help the Hospices to rebrand itself Hospice UK.

Hospice UK said that the change, agreed in 2014, was part of a general rebrand with a new name chosen to “better reflect” its work.

However, the decision had worried Hospice Aid UK, an organisation which delivers grants to hospice services around the country. Bosses feared that members of the public may struggle to tell the charities apart and there had even been claims of donations being mistakenly sent to the wrong charity.

The regulator had declined to intervene in this case, which prompted Hospice Aid UK to take the matter to the Charity Tribunal.

Judge Alison McKenna has now ruled that the Tribunal cannot force the Charity Commission to change its stance, partly because the appeal was lodged too late, but also because the Tribunal does not have the power to rule in relation to decisions by the watchdog not to take action.

A Charity Commission spokesman said: “We are pleased that the Tribunal has agreed with us on this and struck out the appeal, noting that our guidance clearly flags the time limits. We have no plans to review this decision again.”

Royds has a wealth of experience advising charity clients on the laws and regulations affecting the sector. For further advice on matters referred to the Charity Tribunal contact Tony Millson or Deanna Hurst.

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