Francesca Quint, a member of both Gray’s Inn and Lincoln’s Inn, is a bencher of Lincoln’s. She was called in July 1970 and spent some years as a lawyer at the Charity Commission. She has a busy, mainly advisory practice (with notable exceptions) and writes and lectures on charity law.
Francesca is best known as a specialist in charity law, an area in which she has been working for the whole of her career to date. Her interest in charity law dates from the time when she was reading law as an undergraduate at King’s College, London.
Charity law naturally overlaps with distinct areas of law in which Francesca also practises which impinge on the activities of charities. These include education, housing, ecclesiastical law and aspects of public law. It also extends to those areas which affect people who wish to support charities, such as wills, trusts and tax, in which Francesca is often asked to advise regardless of any specific charity involvement.
A good deal of Francesca’s work is non-contentious but she often finds herself advising charities in trouble, whether financial, constitutional or regulatory, or acting for one side or another in disputes within, between or involving charities.
Where possible however, Francesca (herself a trained mediator) tries to assist her clients to find a creative solution which avoids litigation. Her advisory and drafting work has taken her into abstruse areas of many different kinds including toll bridges, fisheries, the exhumation of bodies, foreshore rights and private Acts of Parliament as well as mainstream topics such as the technicalities of company law, the law relating to unincorporated associations and local authority governance issues.
She is equally at home advising charities, clubs, commercial bodies and individuals, and has acted for several clients based in Northern Ireland as well as those in England and in Wales. She is also very flexible in accepting instructions informally as well as in more conventional ways, and apart from instructions from solicitors and other professionals on any of her practice areas is glad to receive direct instructions on charity law matters under the Bar’s Public Access Scheme.
Her reported cases cover such topics as the existence of a trust, trustee decision-making, property issues, the closure of voluntary and independent schools, charity membership, the appointment of governors for a voluntary school, the meaning of public benefit under the 2006 Charities Act and which of two competing constitutions was the charity’s governing document.
Less high profile disputes in which she has acted include claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act, claims for damages for child abuse in children’s homes, ex gratia payments by charities on moral grounds and numerous disagreements within religious charities.
Francesa is recommended by the directories as a leading barrister for Traditional Chancery and Education and as a Star Individual for Charity law. Editorial has included the following comments:
For many years Francesca has been involved, either alone or with others, in writing and editing charity law texts including Sweet & Maxwell’s ‘Charities: The Law and Practice’ and the Charities volumes of Butterworth’s Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents.
Francesca is regularly asked to deliver seminars and in-house courses on charity law.
Francesca is a long-standing member of the Charity Law Association on whose executive committee she served for a number of years and for whom she has drafted model governing documents, now in their 3rd edition.
Francesca is also a member of the Chancery Bar Association, Clarity, the Statute Law Society and the Ecclesiastical Law Society. She practices in Northern Ireland as well as England and Wales. She has served as a Governor of Dulwich College and as a trustee of Elizabeth Finn Care besides various other trusteeships, and regularly gives legal advice to the Almshouse Association.
VAT Registration Number: 524443169
Bar Membership Number: 24519
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