Robert is a charity lawyer with more than 30 years’ experience advising charities and not-for-profits, and schools. He is experienced in advising clients on applications for charity registrations, high-profile charity investigations, charity disputes and mergers.
Robert is an ex-Charity Commission lawyer who holds a PhD in Charity Law and is the author of The Law of Charitable Status: Maintenance and Removal (CUP, 2008) and Charity in the NHS: Policy and Practice (Jordans, 1998).
Robert holds an LLM in Canon Law (Distinction) and offers canon and charity law advice to religious charities. In particular, Catholic and Church of England Churches turn to Robert for his expertise in canon law, and he advises them on their ecclesial rights and obligations.
Robert also provides legal advice to independent schools and faith schools.
- Charity law
- Charity investigations
- Charity registrations
- Charity disputes
- Charity mergers
- Social enterprise
- Canon law
- Acted for an international Roman Catholic order that operates care facilities for older people on matters arising from €27m in secured borrowing from AIB that it used as financial support for its operations in Ireland. This involved obtaining consent from Rome
- Acted for Catholic charity seeking Pious Foundation status in canon law
- Acted for two charities involved in one of the largest ever Charity Commission and HMRC investigations
- Advised a national charity on its merger
- Successfully represented Cambridge Islamic College in a £5m tribunal appeal against the Charity Commission, which challenged the body’s power to direct a change of name
- Acted for an independent school being hived off from a diocese into a new charitable company
- Advised the Roman Catholic Diocese of East Anglia on the option of their schools becoming academy schools.
- Was the principal solicitor advising Ealing Abbey on the hive off of St Benedict’s School into a separate charitable company in compliance with The Carlisle Report.
- Advised on the creation of School Companies under the Education Act 2002 as umbrella charities to enable schools to share costs and resources.
- Advised a privately owned Roman Catholic school on its sale to a commercial education provider and in particular putting in place safeguards to satisfy canonical requirements to retain the status as a Roman Catholic school.
- Advised a university on the amalgamation of its restricted trust assets
- Advised on the creation and registration of New Schools Network, a charity supporting the establishment of free schools.
Please note: The experience list above may include examples of work completed prior to joining Keystone Law.
Recognised in Best Lawyers UK from 2009 – 2021 for Charities Law
Ranked in Chambers UK 2020 for Charities
“He is efficient and responds in a timely manner. Robert recognises and understands the needs of charity clients.” Chambers UK 2020
Recommended in The Legal 500 2019 for Charities and not-for-profit
Robert qualified as a solicitor in 1998. Prior to joining Keystone Law in 2020, he worked at the following firms:
- Stone King
- Simmons & Simmons
- Charles Russell Speechlys
- Hogan Lovells