The overriding fiduciary duty of charity trustees is to promote the purposes of the charity for the benefit of the public. Trustees also have a legal duty to protect the resources and reputation of the charity.

So before entering into a partnership, charities should undertake due diligence, which should aim to uncover any issues that could potentially damage the charity's reputation.

At a time where the public increasingly expects charities to live by their values, trustees will need to be able to justify to the Charity Commission why a partnership is in the best interests of the charity.

Russell-Cooke partner Pippa Garland reminds charities and trustees in Third Sector that where bad publicity and press attention go, regulatory action is often not far behind.

Pippa Garland: Charities should expect to get called out if the company they keep is inconsistent with their values is available to read on the Third Sector website.

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