The Charity Commission has appointed lawyers to handle the affairs of a London legal charity after a 10-month inquiry into its affairs.
The charity regulator today appointed Paul Ridout and Con Alexander of national firm Veale Wasbrough Vizard as interim managers of Legal Action, which has no connection with national organisation Legal Action Group.
Legal Action, which traded under the name of Charles Henry & Co, was made subject to a statutory Charity Commission inquiry last August.
Regulators demanded to see legally compliant accounts, policies and procedures, and information about the charity's activities.
The commission said Legal Action has failed to comply with the order, forcing the commission to appoint temporary managers. In a statement, the commission said it will publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at and what the outcomes were.
In the meantime, the interim managers will take over control of the charity and its property, review ongoing activities and the charity’s finances and make recommendations for operating the charity in the future.
According to the transcript of a High Court (pictured) hearing last July, three solicitors were registered in respect of Charles Henry & Co, though each said they had no substantial role.
According to the commission’s records, accounts for Legal Action were due in March 2014 but have yet to be returned.
Income during the previous four years rose from around £37,000 in 2009/10 to £134,000 in 2012/13. The London-based charity was set up to represent people before a tribunal where they could not afford to pay for legal representation.
It also promoted welfare and debt assistance for poor clients.
Last August, the Charity Commission said it had been in touch with Legal Action on various issues since 2010, initially in response to concerns the charity was operating ‘outside its objects’.