Chris works with charities, social enterprises and other not-for-profit organisations, as a partner in the charity and social business team. His clients include several national 'household name' charities, as well as smaller voluntary bodies. Chris also advises individuals and families who wish to donate to charity, including on tax-efficient giving and setting up foundations.
Sources in Chambers UK (2019) say that "He gives practical, commercial advice which is always highly valued". The Legal 500 (2017) states that Chris “really wants to get to know and understand his clients and what they need”.
Chris specialises in providing complex legal and strategic advice to charities. He advises on diverse issues, including complex governance issues, commercial contracts and other agreements, constitutions (including for charities established by Royal Charter or statute), data protection (including the new GDPR) trading and fundraising, establishing and registering new charities, regulatory matters involving the Charity Commission, joint ventures and other collaborations and mergers. Chris has particular expertise in advising clients working internationally.
Chris gives careful attention to clients' particular needs, to enable him to provide advice that is clear, practical and pragmatic. He offers clients what is appropriate for them at a given moment, be it a brief phone call or a detailed piece of advice.
Chris is a trustee of the international development charity ACE Africa (UK) and chair of its finance and governance committee and also chair of a ‘Friends Group’ for a wild open space in London.
Chris regularly gives talks and runs training sessions for charity trustees and others.
Before joining Russell-Cooke, Chris worked for over six years at an international City firm in their charities and philanthropy team.
- Supporting a client with governance issues during a Charity Commission statutory inquiry
- Negotiating on behalf of a well-known prisoner rehabilitation charity multi-million pound contracts for the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation programme
- Governance reviews and updating constitutional documents for one of the top 15 charities in the country, a professional membership charity established by Royal Charter and an international consumer organisation
- Complex fundraising advice on arrangements with commercial supporters, including advising a medical research charity on an innovative lottery and the Gambling Act
- Advising an international organisation on identifying the best location to establish a charity in the EU
- Assisting a grant-making foundation with the sale of a valuable painting
- Working with student unions on campaigning and constitutional matters
- Helping a charity to renegotiate a payment-by-results contract with a local authority
- Applications to the Charity Commission for Schemes and Orders and other regulatory consents
- Advising a grant-making charity on taking a ‘total return’ approach to investment
- Preparing funding agreements for a national festival funded with a £1m Heritage Lottery Fund grant
- Sources say "he has been very good, a good listener and a thorough and competent lawyer and who has put our work as high priority", Chambers UK (2018)
- Described in The Legal 500 (2017) as "really wants to get to know and understand his clients and what they need"
- Described in The Legal 500 (2015) as "bright, thoughtful and commercial, and has good attention to detail"
- Member of Charity Law Association
- Trustee of the international development charity ACE Africa (UK) and chair of its finance and governance committee
- Vice chair of the ‘Friends Group’ for a wild open space in London