Paul Ridout joined IBB in 2016 with sixteen years’ experience of advising charities and similar organisations. His legal career began after nearly eight years spent working at the Charity Commission in a variety of roles including as Secretary to the Board of Commissioners. While still a trainee solicitor, Paul developed a specialism in advising faith-based organisations and clients for whom he has worked include large Catholic orders, other Christian churches, mosques and synagogues.
He has extensive experience of guiding charities through mergers and constitutional changes and of providing charities with effective new structures for trading activities. He is well placed to support charities in their commercial dealings and routinely advises on the technical and tax issues surrounding fundraising and sponsorship, and has advised on major grant programmes operated by lottery distributors, on the particular requirements for funding overseas NGOs and on general grantmaking issues.
Paul has acted as interim manager of two charities subject to formal investigation by the Charity Commission, and had advised other interim managers on legal issues; this experience, along with advice to clients on informal regulatory issues, means that he has a good understanding of the Commission’s regulatory stance and of the challenges that can arise when the regulator becomes actively involved in a charity’s affairs.
He is described by his peers as “knowledgeable and practical” (Legal 500) and enjoys deploying his detailed understanding of the voluntary sector and of the technical legal issues involved to help clients to achieve their aims.
As a member of the Charity Law Association, Paul has contributed to working parties looking into:
- the Charity Commission’s guidance on public benefit and the advancement of religion;
- the operation of the merger provisions in the Charities Act 2006,
- the independence of NHS charities and on the regulation of charity lotteries, and
- the scope for charitable funding of news media and the role of investigative journalism in achieving charitable aims.
He worked with the Law Commission in the development of its proposals for the reform of charity law in relation to social investment and other areas, and is on the executive committee of the Conference of Solicitors for Catholic Charities. His articles have appeared in Civil Society Governance, Trusts & Estates Law and Tax Journal and in Charity Finance, and he has spoken at:
- Trustee Exchange
- the annual conference of the Association of Provincial Bursars
- meetings of the Charities Property Association