As with any other organisation, charities and non-profit organisation sometimes find it necessary to take legal action, either against external third parties or in some cases, in internal disputes. In these cases, injunctions may be obtained with or without permission of the Charity Commission. When it comes to disputes with third parties, there are many reasons that you may seek to obtain an injunction. These include but are by no means limited to:
- employment issues
- issues over contracts with suppliers
- boundary disputes
- questions concerning the legal possession of properties
- personal injury
Charity Commission guidance exists for trustees contemplating third-party litigation and Murria Solicitors are experts in implementing and interpreting this guidance.
Sadly, even with the best will in the world, disputes and disagreements sometimes also arise within charitable organisations. These may include:
- the desired removal from office of one or more trustees
- a legal challenge to a trustee’s decision or professional conduct
- disputes concerning the organisation of your AGM
- disputes concerning the control or use of your organisation’s resources or property
- irregular election issues
Cases such as these can seriously threaten the continued functioning of any charity and need to be managed with extreme care and sensitivity. There are also special rules for charities that need to be taken into consideration. Within commercial entities, internal disputes can be litigated in court with the participants free to finance their own legal representation. Internal disputes within charities, however, are considered “Charity Proceedings” and these can only be brought once prior permission has been granted by the Charity Commission.
The reason for this lies in the principle that charity finances should not be wasted on proceedings concerning the organisation’s internal administration. This rule is also reflected in two of the six primary responsibilities of charity trustees, namely to make sure they are acting in the best interests of their charity, and that your charity’s finances are managed responsibly. Thus, the Charity Commission must decide if an internal dispute is absolutely necessary or not.
In any case, where injunctions are unavoidable, Murria Solicitors will work round the clock, providing expert advice on the best course of action to find the quickest possible solution.