New official guidance on legal action by charities

New guidance for charity trustees on taking or defending legal action has been issued by the Charity Commission (England and Wales). This includes a 16-point checklist with key actions for trustees to take before considering legal action – see Civil Society News coverage.

An article from NCVO’s policy team asks ‘Are trustees to be discouraged from doing anything?’ observing:

It is not clear why brand new guidance was necessary, since as far as I am aware the previous version hadn’t caused any problems. Furthermore, the legal principles underpinning charities and litigation remain unchanged.

As with other recent guidance updates, a much more restrictive tone has been struck, rather than a more balanced one.

Link to the official news release or go direct to ‘Charities and litigation: a guide for trustees‘ (CC38) in html (web format) – the checklist is in pdf.