Charities & Not-for-Profits
Our charities and not-for-profit practice lawyers regularly advise on creation and governance, employment, litigation, trademark and contract issues, and tax and charitable status matters. Our clients include the major professional regulatory bodies, municipalities, co-operatives, universities, trade associations, agricultural groups, sports and recreation teams and groups, artistic groups, religious, faith-based and missionary groups, and community service organizations. Many of our lawyers are involved in not-for-profits on a personal basis, having chaired or served on leading organizations.
Corporate Governance and Canadian Revenue Agency
Our lawyers work closely with boards and community leaders to establish not-for-profit and charitable organizations. Our work includes applying for charitable status; creating bylaws; reviewing and negotiating major agreements, leases, fundraiser and donor agreements; and assisting with Canada Revenue Agency audits.
We advise on:
- Director and officer liability, advice on public accountability and legal compliance, board duties and governance issues
- Corporate restructuring and mergers
- Legal risk management
- Tax compliance, opinions and appeals
- Insurance issues
- Fundraising and gift planning, tax-efficient gifting structures
- Structuring intermediary agreements, for intermediaries both inside and outside of Canada
- Policy development on areas including gift acceptance and conflict of interest
- Maintaining charitable status and proactively meeting Canada Revenue Agency requirements
- Best practices in the evolving world of corporate governance and the heightened environment of corporate responsibility
We regularly draft bylaws, policies, resolutions and agreements, consult on board matters, effective governance and oversight, efficient process, proper due diligence, regulatory compliance, and reporting and disclosure requirements.
Our lawyers have extensive experience representing individual directors/trustees, boards of director/trustee, committees of directors, and executives on their legal obligations and practices.
Business and Litigation Matters
Our charitable and not-for-profit clients range from small social agencies to some of the most sophisticated groups in Western Canada. Clients include human service agencies, regulatory and industry trade and health care organizations, municipalities and educational institutions. Our lawyers regularly provide advice on the unique business environment in which they are legislated to operate, assisting them to achieve their organizational goals. We routinely assist our not-for-profit clients with litigation and administrative law issues, including disciplinary proceedings, tribunal matters, contractual disputes and other litigation. Lenders and associations retain us on lending and land matters and other business issues.
MLT Aikins helps clients respond quickly and effectively to workforce challenges, providing practical and innovative advice and assistance on all work place employment-related issues, including privacy, substance abuse, personal searches, discipline and terminations. We assist with wrongful and constructive dismissal, human rights, employment standards and OH&S complaints. We also advise employers on the duty to accommodate, including their right to information including medical information from employees claiming disability, and best practices to implement in the accommodation process. We draft employment and other contracts, and represent employers in post-employment disputes involving fiduciary and good faith duties, and the enforcement of non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality clauses in employment contracts.
- Represent large professional regulatory bodies, industry and trade associations, human and community service organizations, health care providers, colleges and associations, and community groups
- Provide tax work to obtain charitable status
- Conduct negotiations and legal action involving CRA in rectification of charitable status issues
- Advise regarding structure and set up for various types of charities and not for profits, including bylaws and modernizing business approaches to Carver and beyond
- Conduct seminars and advise on governance and effective board work for major organizations including foundations, education societies, housing bodies and national regulatory boards
- Creation of a National Association for professional regulatory bodies
- Assist in the transition on a major accounting body to a new regime under provincial legislation
- Provide employment law advising and trial work involving dismissals, constructive dismissal claims and human rights issues
- Advice and counsel work involving fatalities and other occupational health & safety (OH&S) matters
- Incorporate numerous charities and not for profits
- Act as Parliamentarian for various health care and association AGMs
- Assist in mediation between boards and executive directors
- Drafting, interpreting and advising on contractual and policy matters