Paul Farthing, a former Marine, made the decision to stay behind as the Taliban took back control of Afghanistan so that he could supervise his charity's efforts to safeguard the wellbeing of its staff and animals - dubbed Operation Ark.

Nowzad, Farthing's charity, raised over £200,000 from supporters in days to fund Operation Ark as well as the evacuation of Farthing, his staff and the animals.

The Charity Commission is now investigating the charity's funding arrangements and governance to determine whether the use of these funds was in line with the charity's purpose. 

Russell-Cooke partner Pippa Garland comments in Charity Today that this is another illustration of the well-established precedent that the Commission goes where attention and publicity goes. She warns charities who court the media and attract controversy should be ready to answer any and all questions when the Commission eventually does come asking.

Pen Farthing is a hero, ‘where press and political attention goes, the Commission will follow’ is available to read on the Charity Today website. Her comments were also featured in The Evening Standard and other outlets.

Pippa is a partner in the charity and social business team.

Pippa advises charities, social enterprises and other not-for-profit organisations on all aspects of charity law. Pippa combines a strong general practice advising on governance, fundraising and trading, mergers and grant making (including overseas), with a particular expertise in philanthropy, where she advises both individuals and businesses on their giving.  She has helped establish a number of family and corporate foundations.