Charity merger: Children’s Liver Disease Foundation

08 May 2024

Higgs LLP’s charity and not for profit team have successfully advised charity Children’s Liver Disease Foundation on its merger with British Liver Trust.

Together the charities wished to combine their resources and expertise to provide greater benefit to their beneficiaries and all those affected by liver disease and liver cancer. Higgs was delighted to assist.

Working to a challenging timeframe, and requiring certain preparatory steps in addition to the merger documentation itself, the merger ensured the continued use of the CLDF’s funds for its purposes focused on paediatric liver diseases and disorder, while enabling CLDF’s expertise to be used and activities to be continued and developed by the merged charity.

Kirsty McEwen and Tora Pickup in the charity and not for profit team led the advice, with valuable input from members of the corporate law, commercial, employment law and corporate tax teams.

Tora said “we know that both parties had been planning this merger long before we became involved, and we were really pleased to be able to ensure those plans were realised in line with the timetable set. The charities do wonderful work, and the merger means the merged charity will be able to provide greater benefit more efficiently.”

Mairi Everard, Chair of the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation said “throughout the merger process between the two charities, Children’s Liver Disease Foundation and British Liver Trust, Kirsty McEwen and Tora Pickup, with the input of other specialist teams within Higgs LLP, gave the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation trustees the professional, and thorough advice that we required.

The process proved to be more complex than had been anticipated and they dealt with the challenges presented, while working within a very demanding timescale. There was meticulous attention to detail, and robust negotiations, with balanced and practical advice.

A good client/adviser relationship was developed early, which facilitated the ongoing process. Kirsty and Tora ensured that they understood the motivation and goals of the trustees in planning the merger, for the future of the charity, and this informed their work and approach, and secured the successful outcome.”

Mergers are just one way in which charities can work collaboratively to achieve common aims, and although more formal than some of the other methods, they can bring significant advantages. The team at Higgs is happy to advise on the benefits and whether it might be the right thing for your charity.

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