Charity & Philanthropy


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Charity & Philanthropy


Michele combines a passion for helping charities and all forms of not-for-profits succeed, with an enthusiasm for advising philanthropists and social investors on how best to support the causes close to their hearts. Above all, she cares about what you care about. She will get to the bottom of your issues and help you thrive. Her clients value her because she is a trusted adviser who delivers solutions with wisdom, care and a real appreciation for the not-for-profit landscape.

With a 30-year career spanning contentious and non-contentious areas of the Law, Michele has developed a niche where she combines her practical and legal skills to great effect in the fast-developing and increasingly vital areas within the Third Sector and Civil Society.  She aims to equip organisations to best face the challenges and demands upon their services and governance while ensuring that those who wish to support charities or bring about social impact do so in the most effective and tax-efficient way.

Michele understands the sector from the inside out, having worked in-house with a major national military charity and at senior executive level for a start-up heritage charity.  She is able to bring wisdom, insight, and pragmatism to every situation, and is particularly well sought after by charities facing reputational and operational problems.  On the Philanthropy side, social investors and families wishing to create charitable foundations value her knowledge of what truly brings about change and the access she has to a wide range of relevant networks.

Michele champions small charities and is a founding member of the Small Charity Friendly Collective.  She works with accounting, fundraising, management, and marketing professionals to provide all-round support to your organisation. Michele is well regarded for her written articles, broadcasts, training presentations, webinars, and conference contributions to Charity and Philanthropy.  Michele currently sits on the board of The Choral Foundation, Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal.

Download Michele’s brochure here.

Michele Advises

  • Charities
    • Charitable Incorporated Associations (CIOs)
    • Charitable Companies (CLGs)
    • Trusts
    • Unincorporated Associations
    • Schemes
    • Royal Charters
    • Grant making Foundations
    • Faith-based organisations
    • Military associations
    • Livery Companies
  • Not for profit organisations
    • Community Interest Companies (CICs)
    • Companies Limited by Guarantee (CLGs)
    • Social Enterprises
    • Societies
    • Foundations
    • Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs)
  • Philanthropists
  • Social Investors
  • Executors and Trustees
  • Family foundations
  • Corporates and commercial start ups
  • Investment companies and advisers

Experience Highlights

  • Registered a charity responding to the humanitarian need in Ukraine within a week
  • Advised an investment to start up on how to incorporate a charity into its corporate structure to realise an ambition to “give back”
  • Assisted an international philanthropist with a UK-based foundation
  • Successfully registered a faith-based charity in time for Ramadan to enable it to maximise fundraising opportunities, which involved an expedited and difficult application raising issues of funds going overseas
  • Advised the charitable arm of a City Livery Company on incorporating as a CIO to reduce individual liability and to update the charitable purposes and beneficial outreach. Succeeded in registering one of the first CIOs for a Livery Company and now advising others
  • Overhauled and redesigned charity governance, to give training on responsibilities and fiduciary duties to a board and draft internal documents for an overseas aid charity facing Charity Commission intervention for poor governance
  • Represented faith-based organisations and overseas aid charities in relation to historical sexual abuse allegations, including civil claims and criminal prosecutions arising out of IICSA and high-profile investigations
  • Represented a Trustee accused of defrauding a charity of substantial charitable funds
  • Settled a contested probate relating to a large charitable legacy where the original charity legatee no longer existed
  • Advised an international philanthropist on vehicles available for the UK and International social investment. Led a profile-raising project for a campaign that gained international recognition
  • Advising on topical campaigns such as #endchildfood poverty, medicinal cannabis to relieve epilepsy, a national menopause campaign, and an end homelessness charity

Career History

Previous Law Firms

  • Partner, Pothecary Witham Weld, Church & Charities (2018–21)
  • Solicitor, Morrisons LLP, Private Client and Charities (2017–18)
  • Director of Development, The Choral Foundation, Hampton Court Palace (2012–16)
  • In-House Solicitor, The Royal British Legion (2010–12)
  • Consultant and Legal Expert, Large Scale Investigations (2000–10)
  • Associate and Partner, Peters & Peters, White Collar Crime (1990–98)
  • Trainee Solicitor, JP Malnick & Co (1988–90)


  • Freeman of the City of London Solicitors Livery Company
  • Charity Law Association
  • Private Client Section of the Law Society
  • STEP Charity Specialist interest Group
  • Philanthropy Impact
  • STEP Affiliate


  • College of Law, 1986–88
  • University of Sussex, BA (Hons) History, 1983–86