A cohort of benevolent funds will appear before the Upper Tribunal this week to argue that they provide services to a sufficiently wide range of people to pass the public benefit test.
The case has come about because the Charity Commission asked the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve (pictured), to make a reference to the Tribunal in order to clarify the law on the matter.
The charities involved exist to provide benefits to a certain group of people, such as former employees of a company or members of a certain family or organisation. The hearing will explore whether their limited pool of beneficiaries are a big enough class of people to enable the benevolent funds to satisfy the public benefit requirements.
The Charity Commission is represented alongside ten benevolent charities who will give evidence at the hearing, and a further 18 are submitting written evidence. The case begins today with a day of reading, and oral evidence will begin tomorrow. The hearing is expected to conclude by Friday.
According to the Charity Commission, 1,368 registered charities are likely to be affected by the Tribunal’s judgment, and 1,204 of these are Masonic groups.
The charities due to give evidence at the hearing are:
- Trustees of the Professional Footballers Association Benevolent Fund
- Chartered Accountants Benevolent Association
- British Airways Welfare and Benevolent Fund
- RBS Care Homes Foundation
- Royal Bank of Scotland Group Benevolent Fund
- Trustees of the Stock Exchange Benevolent Fund
- Incorporated Trustee of the Henry Smith Charity
- Trustees of the BT Benevolent Fund
- Chartered Institute of Public Relations Benevolent Fund
- Trustees of the Grant Stewards Lodge 250th Anniversary Benevolent Fund