High Court case over Greenfinch Charitable Trust delayed for two months

The Charity Commission is trying to negotiate a settlement in relation to the transfer of the trust's operations to a non-charitable company

Royal Courts of Justice
Royal Courts of Justice

The High Court has ordered a two-month stay in legal proceedings brought by the Charity Commission so that the commission can negotiate a settlement to its dispute with a charity that transferred its operations to a non-charitable company.

The case relates to the children’s charity the Greenfinch Charitable Trust, which has been in liquidation since 2010 and is subject to a statutory inquiry by the commission.

The commission has asked the court to order two former employees of the charity – Tracey Cross and David Jennings – along with Maureen Ward, a co-founder and trustee, and her husband Albert, to supply information about the charity’s finances or pay compensation.

The commission is concerned about a transfer of staff and operations to a non-charitable company, of which Jennings and the Wards were at various times directors, according to a Particulars of Claim form filed with the court.

It is understood that the commission is negotiating a settlement with Mr and Mrs Ward and that if it is successful it will discontinue its claims against Jennings and Cross.

The commission’s claim was originally filed in August last year. On Tuesday, the High Court’s Chancery Division agreed to the further delay in proceedings until 4 November. Jennings says in his response to the claim that he has been urging the commission to take action over the matter since 2008.

  • This story was clarified on October 8 to make it clear that the stay is to allow further time for a settlement to be negotiated by the commission with Mr and Mrs Ward, which would result in claims against Jennings and Cross being dropped.

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