Bell Yard assisted an international children’s charity when it decided to take action in London against a former UK Trustee. The claim, which involved Summary Judgment proceedings in the High Court, was bought in order to recover sizeable unauthorised payments improperly received by the Trustee.
The payments were in contravention of UK charity law and the charity’s own articles of association.
Although the charity was ultimately successful in recovering the funds, the effect of a public court case meant that its governance, internal politics and financial affairs were in the spotlight and reportable. The reputation considerations were further complicated by the defendant former Trustee choosing to use colourful and emotive language designed to attract public attention, no matter the veracity. Bell Yard’s key task was to work with the Charity to create a style of rebuttal that informed but resisted the temptation to out-shout the defendant. The Charity’s position was vindicated by the legal outcome.
In the event the dispute stayed out of the national press but Third Sector magazine closely followed the case. News reports of the judgment were amplified by an in-depth feature piece, which gave a platform to the counter accusations and defence of the former Trustee. Bell Yard ensured the Charity’s rebuttal was robust and timely.