Finance: UK200Group issues law guide for Scottish charities

Helen Warrell

UK200Group's charities branch has produced a guide to help Scottish and cross-border charities understand recent changes to charity regulation.

The group of lawyers and solicitors firms worked in collaboration with Clydesdale Bank, which sponsored the project.

Solicitors and asset management company Turcan Connell wrote the legal sections of the report.

The guide works through the practical implications of the Scotland's Charities and Trustee Investment Act 2005 and the Charities Accounts Regulations 2006.

The Acts came in after two Scottish charities - Breast Cancer Research (Scotland) and Moonbeams - were rocked by allegations of fraudulent fundraising in 2003. Both supported cancer sufferers.

John Watkins, chairman of UK200Group, said that the impact of these Acts should not be underestimated. "This is the biggest change facing charities for 400 years, since the concept of charity was introduced in Elizabethan times," he said.

"There are changes to the legal structure, the accounting framework and the way that charities report their activities."

Watkins said the report's main aim was to be accessible to all. "We have tried to write it for the lay trustee," he said. "We wanted to avoid jargon so it could be read even by those who don't have any specialist knowledge."

- The report is available in Braille, hard copy and pdf. Email admin@uk200group.co.uk.

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