Tora Pickup

Principal Associate - Charity & Not for Profit

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"I am a specialist charity lawyer with a particular interest in unusual registrations and ensuring effective ongoing governance. Having been a trustee and having worked in governance roles within large operational charities, I have first-hand experience of the challenges faced by charities.”

I joined Higgs in 2023, having qualified in 2010 in a large London law firm, and I specialise in Charity law. My practice involves transactional and advisory matters across all stages of a charity's operation, from the establishment and registration of new charities and providing advice on governance and trustee duties, to ongoing matters such as trading, commercial arrangements, communication with the Charity Commission, and structuring. As well as acting for charities of all types and donors, I advise commercial organisations on their charitable activities and initiatives, and advise on not-for-profit structures and governance.

I moved away from private practice at the end of 2014 to see the operation of a complex charity from within, and I worked on governance and strategy in the University sector. My work in large educational charities has given me particular experience of the day-to-day priorities and challenges within the wider charitable sector, and I’m pleased to be able to use this experience in my advice to clients.

I am a member of the Charity Law Association.

  • Acting for a university college in establishing an endowment charity to support the college.
  • Acting for a UK based grant-maker on the establishment of scholarships at universities in the United States.
  • Drafting and negotiating with the Official Solicitor a statutory will to benefit a charity established to receive the estate. The charity was established to benefit a particular class of beneficiaries defined by reference to two protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.
  • Incorporating community interest companies and advised on the advantages and disadvantages by comparison with charitable entities.
  • Undertaking incorporations of charitable trusts, including in particular, a large grant maker with an endowment of over £500 million, requiring a Scheme of the Charity Commission, and transfer of property, employees and an investment portfolio.
  • Acting for a charitable care home on a complex merger. This involved differing legal structures and numerous external consents.
  • Advising a large corporate on the potential restructuring of its corporate foundation, to include multiple sub-committees and delegations.
  • Advising on a client’s entry into commercial participation agreements and wider ‘charity of the year’ arrangements.
  • Obtaining from the Charity Commission consent for the employment of an existing trustee as the Chief Executive, having advised on the necessary steps to ensure all decisions were appropriately taken.
  • Advising on complex trading and development proposals, including the establishment of trading subsidiaries, connected party transactions and internal grant arrangements.
  • Drafting a detailed grant making policy and grant agreement to comply with legal best practice, and HMRC guidance on overseas donations.
  • Securing orders of the Charity Commission for connected party property and security arrangements.
  • Advising on Serious Incident Report requirements and drafting complex submissions.

More about me

Favourite food

Salt and vinegar crisps

Favourite place

University Parks, Oxford


Charity Law Association

Joined Higgs


"In addition to the outstanding legal knowledge and skills the team brings, they have a strong commitment to the charity sector, regularly organising events to help build skills and knowledge for charity leaders"

Legal 500

Meet the team