Press release

Charity investigation opened into Legal Action

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Legal Action (registered charity number 1100780).

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The charity’s objects include providing legal facilities to people who would otherwise not be able to afford such services.

The commission has been engaging with the charity on various issues since 2010, initially in response to concerns that the charity was operating outside its objects. In March 2014 the commission wrote to the charity, setting out its findings and conclusions and issuing the charity with an Action Plan setting out outstanding regulatory concerns, the action required to resolve them and the timescale in which the charity was to complete the action.

The commission monitored compliance and identified that the charity has failed to make a satisfactory response to its findings and conclusions and has not implemented or agreed to implement the Action Plan. As a consequence, the commission’s concerns escalated. The inquiry was opened on 28 August 2014.

The investigation will deal with:

  • the charity’s lack of co-operation and non-compliance in connection with the charity’s failure to implement the Action Plan

  • the trustees’ discharge of their duties as trustees

  • whether the charity is operating in accordance with its objects for the public benefit

The purpose of an inquiry is to examine issues in detail and investigate and establish the facts so that the commission can ascertain whether there has been, and the extent of any, misconduct and mismanagement; establish the extent of the risk to the charity’s property, beneficiaries or work; and decide what action needs to be taken to resolve the serious concerns, if necessary using its legal powers to do so.

It is the commission’s policy, after it has concluded an inquiry, to publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were. Reports of previous inquiries by the commission are availabe on GOV.UK.

The charity’s details can be viewed on the commission’s online charity search tool.

Ends

PR 82/14


Notes to editors

  1. The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales.
  2. Our mission is to be the independent registrar and regulator of charities in England and Wales, acting in the public’s interest, to ensure that:
    • charities know what they have to do
    • the public know what charities do
    • charities are held to account
  3. Section 46 of the Charities Act 2011 gives the Charity Commission the power to institute inquiries. The opening of an inquiry gives the commission access to a range of protective and remedial powers.
  4. The commission’s decision to announce the opening of a statutory inquiry is based on whether it is in the public interest to do so and with consideration of our objective to increase public trust and confidence in charities.

Press office

Published 2 October 2014