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Book reviews

11 December 17

Review of A Practical Guide to Charity Law in Scotland (ed McNeill); Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 (Cross and Ford)

by David Welsh (review editor David J Dickson)

A Practical Guide to Charity Law in Scotland

James McNeill QC (ed)

PUBLISHER: W GREEN
ISBN: 978-0414061996
PRICE: £69

Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005

2nd edition

Cross and Ford

PUBLISHER: W GREEN
ISBN: 978-0414055452
PRICE: £40

These two specialist texts, both published by W Green, offer a welcome and useful guide to those practitioners working with and advising on modern charity law in Scotland.

A Practical Guide to Charity Law in Scotland is a collection of chapters, written by Scotland’s most experienced and respected charity law and accountancy advisers. The book begins with a general chapter on why charities matter, but then the chapters become more specialised and practical. There is thorough and thoughtful advice for those seeking to establish a charity, seeking advice on the duties imposed on charity trustees, looking for guidance on fundraising and investment powers and dealing with the dissolution and winding up of a charity. The book really does offer very good and detailed commentary relating to the whole of a charity’s life.

Under the general editorship of undoubtedly Scotland’s top senior advocate on such matters, the book successfully draws a balance between a legal textbook, for use in private client departments in law firms across Scotland, and a reference book for those involved in the management and administration of charities as trustees. I have no doubt that this book will quickly become the first port of call for anyone dealing with a query about charity law in Scotland. Its well-referenced and concise nature makes it deserving of such a position.

Another recent and relevant publication of interest to private client and charity lawyers is the second edition of the Greens annotated version of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005. Coming more than a decade since the first edition, the preface of this publication makes it clear that it is designed as a companion to A Practical Guide to Charity Law in Scotland.

Published in the standard Greens Annotated Acts format with which we have become familiar, this publication provides a portable reference guide for those advising on the 2005 Act. The annotations in the second edition understandably benefit from 12 years having passed since the enacting of the 2005 Act. Of particular interest are the detailed and up-to-date annotations relating to the charity test, as well as the annotations relating to the duties of charity trustees.

These two texts really come into their own when combined. The necessarily legalistic annotations to the legislation come alive when read alongside the practical advice within the practical guide. With such thoughtful and detailed commentary having been distilled into two relatively short publications, private client departments and charity specialists will significantly reduce research time by having both of them available.

Specialist texts on charity law in Scotland are to be welcomed, particularly when written by such highly-respected authors. Both texts are highly recommended for practitioners and, although the annotated statute is likely to stir little interest outside those providing legal advice, the practical guide is penetrable and user-friendly, making it useful for those involved in charity administration without a legal or tax background as well as for those providing legal advice.

David Welsh, Axiom Advocates

 

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