BLP hires Janet Turner QC as charity head

Janet Turner QC, one of the UK’s top charity lawyers, joins the Charities group within Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP (BLP) within its growing Private Client practice in London in May.

Janet, a lawyer with more than 25 years’ experience, has been recruited as the firm’s Head of Charities from Taylor Vinters, where she was head of the Not-for-Profit group following her appointment in 2007. Prior to this Janet spent eight years as in-house counsel for national charity, WRVS, and also had a successful career at the Bar where she took Silk in 1996.

With her extensive experience of advising charities, public bodies and not-for-profit clients across a range of sectors, including education, social and health care, science & technology, and faith-based organisations, Janet’s appointment will build on the existing capabilities of BLP’s Charities group. She has a reputation for advising on complex governance matters and corporate structures, as well as charitable vehicles, restructuring, risk, trustees/director duties, fundraising issues and regulatory matters involving the Charity Commission. In addition, through her work at the Bar and position as non-executive director at UK building society N&P, Janet has experience of the financial services aspects of charities’ legal work.

BLP’s Private Client lawyers were amongst the earliest practitioners to establish a dedicated work group specialising in charities. This team provides charities, public bodies, corporates and individuals with commercial advice on a full range of legal issues, including cross-border giving, charity incorporations and mergers, the powers and duties of trustees and Charity Commission matters. The team, which has a strong reputation in the UK market, also draws on the expertise of its lawyers from other practices across the firm, internationally.

Janet’s appointment underscores BLP’s long standing commitment to the charity sector and represents further investment in the Private Client practice. Her arrival follows the recent London hire of Rupert Ticehurst, former head of private wealth and charities at Herbert Smith; and Simon Michaels, who joined BLP’s Singapore office in December 2010 to launch the South East Asian Private Client practice.

Commenting on Janet’s appointment BLP charities partner, Martin Paisner, said: “We have a unique Third Sector practice within the UK due to the breadth of our dedicated team, coupled with our ability to draw on the legal expertise of lawyers across the firm. Given our ambition to further develop our reputation as the ‘firm of choice’ in this area we are keen to build on our existing capabilities and attracting someone of Janet’s calibre is a key factor in that regard.  She will be an important addition, taking account of her deep understanding of the charity sector and expertise in the areas that are important to our clients.”

Janet said: “BLP’s longstanding leading practice within the charities sector is also demonstrated by its excellent, loyal client base. The sector faces significant challenges at present but this is therefore also a moment of great opportunity. I am excited by the prospect of working with the team to exploit those opportunities for the benefit of the firm’s charities’ clients and also to support a wider range of such clients in relation to complex work, particularly in the areas of structures, governance, and risk, by winning new mandates.”

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