Our Charity Legacy Team

Our work with charities is at the heart of what we do. We act for many hundreds of charities across the sector from household names, including almost 200 of the largest charities in the UK, to local charities and community groups. We understand charities and particularly the issues you face when it comes to protecting your legacy income and maintaining the reputation of your charity.

Legacies may well represent a significant proportion of your charity’s income and our Charity Legacy Team is dedicated to helping you maximise your legacy income in a way that is sensitive both to the needs of your supporters and your duty to maximise your charity’s entitlement.

Our Charity Legacy Team is led by partner, Luke Watson and by uniting the forces of our five core sectors (Charity, Education, Personal, Business and Faith) and by being able to provide expertise in specialist areas, such as cross-border legacies, we are able to deliver a single source solution to legacy issues that would normally require the advice of several lawyers working in different areas of law.

The strong and dynamic team comprises UK and international specialists in contentious probate, charity law, education law, property law and trust and estates administration. By adopting the united, cross-sector approach described above, we have the experience and expertise to advise on any charity legacy issue with which you are faced. Our Charity Legacy Team has significant experience in dealing with smaller non-contentious issues through to the most complex contentious matters. We understand the importance of delivering advice that is practical, focused and cost-effective.

Particular expertise is available in the following areas:


Our Charity Legacy Protection Team has a strong track record in resolving a wide range of legacy issues. Some examples of our recent successes can be found below:

  • Foremost in Stone King’s arsenal is a penchant for addressing and defeating spurious Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependent’s) Act 1975 claims.
  • Legislation similar to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependent’s) Act 1975 exists across the globe, particularly in Commonwealth jurisdictions, where the pattern tends to follow the earlier 1938 Act of the same name. This combination of contentious and non-contentious legacy advice required in a cross-border context showcases the unusual combination of skills of Stone King’s Legacy Protection Team.
  • £14m Swiss tax windfall – When two UK charities were left a significant sum by a UK national living in Switzerland, cross-border complications brought the administrative process to a standstill. Stone King’s Charity Legacy Protection Team helped the UK executor solicitors negotiate these obstacles, and having done so, turned their attention to the Swiss taxation. They identified an unusual opportunity in the UK/Swiss double taxation convention, made a case that the deceased, who was resident in Switzerland for 55 years prior to death was actually common-Law domiciled in England & Wales and in the process saved the charities £14 million in Swiss tax.
  • Saving French, German and Italian tax – Stone King have an excellent record of recovering or saving foreign tax levied on UK charities. In one case the Stone King Charity Legacy Protection Team were instructed by two UK charities to advise on tax being levied by the French revenue on a gift of French property made by a UK national. The team advised the French notaire on the provisions of the EU Succession Regulation to establish the succession, as well as the correct application of the 1963 UK/French double taxation convention, before enforcing the provisions of an EU case, Hein Persche v Finanzamt Ludenscheid, to ensure the tax was not levied.

Stone King are corporate members of the Institute of Legacy Management which promotes professional standards in legacy administration.

What our clients say

"They take the time to really get to know the organisation; they offer proactive as well as reactive advice and support, they are incredibly knowledgeable and reliable, the quality of their work is exceptional and they always think things through from all angles."


What our clients say

"Many interviewees are quick to laud the insight the firm offers, with one praising the team's expertise and in-depth knowledge of the charity sector, as well as its solution-orientated and pragmatic approach."


What our clients say

"The team is lauded for its ‘well-presented advice’ and for the fact that there are ‘sufficient subject matter experts on hand to be able to tackle a wide range of questions’."

Legal 500

What our clients say

"They were incredibly impressive - they have very practical experience in terms of having done it before, and a good understanding of best practice."

Client feedback in Chambers 

What our clients say

“Stone King's overriding value is the care and the support of their clients. They are fully aware of our needs and ensure that they maintain excellent service.”

Client feedback in Chambers 

The law and practice referred to in this article or webinar has been paraphrased or summarised. It might not be up-to-date with changes in the law and we do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided at the time of reading. It should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice in relation to a specific set of circumstances.