Mark qualified as a solicitor at Womble Bond Dickinson and returned to the firm in September 2022 after a spell as the head of Charities and Education at a regional law firm.
Mark advises on the full spectrum of charitable matters including registration of charities, conversion of charities to CIO status, mergers, restructures and the establishment of subsidiary companies, advice on charitable trusts and dealing with the Charity Commission as a regulator. Mark advises charities from across the sector but has particular expertise in advising faith based and educational charities. Mark has also acted for a number of cathedrals on implementation of the Cathedrals Measure 2021.
As well as being an experienced charities lawyer, Mark is also a member of the education team advising schools and academies on academy conversions, Multi Academy Trust mergers, significant changes to academy trusts and a host of other governance and regulatory issues. Mark has specialist knowledge on working on projects involving Church of England schools and has a wealth of experience of acting for Diocesan Boards of Education, school site trustee and Multi Academy Trusts on faith school academy projects and issues affecting the use of school sites. Mark also has a number of independent school clients and advises independent schools on a broad range of charity law and governance matters.
Mark is ranked as "Next Generation Partner" by Legal 500. Mark regularly speaks at conferences and seminars and provides trustee training. Mark is a member of the Charity Law Association and Ecclesiastical Law Association.
Examples of experience include:
- Niche governance work, eg advising a number of cathedrals on their new constitution and statutes and implementation of the Cathedrals Measure 2021
- Incorporating the trustee board of an independent school and establishing a separate bursary and prize fund subsidiary charity as a CIO
- Complex merger of three animal welfare charities which involved amending the objects of two of the charities at the Charity Commission, merging two of the charities together and restructuring the merged entity as a wholly owned subsidiary of the third charity
- Extensive experience of registering new charities, social enterprises and subsidiary companies
- Advising on issues relating to trust law and restricted assets, eg advising an independent school on the charity law requirements on the sale of land subject to permanent endowment trust, including obtaining a scheme from the Charity Commission to allow the proceeds of sale to be used more widely than the original trusts allowed
- Involved in establishing over 30 new multi academy trusts including drafting the Articles of Associations of the trust and dealing with the initial conversion of schools to the trust company. Also extensive experience of advising on academy trust mergers
- Acting on over 250 individual projects to convert maintained schools to academy status, including Church of England, Catholic and community schools
- Advising Diocesan Boards of Education on a wide range of academy projects, school site issues and implementation of the Boards of Education Measure 2021
- Providing advice to Church of England School site trustees on a range of charity and trust issues including sale, lease and licencing of land, land swaps, use of the school site for out of hours activities, the School Sites Act 1841 and s.554 Education Act applications
- Incorporating a number of former grammar school educational foundations as CIOs.
Mark is ranked as a "Next Generation Partner" by Legal 500 for his charities and not-for-profit work in Yorkshire & Humber.