Can a charity be Deputy?
In this case, Allied Services Trust applied to be a property and affairs deputy for a person known as TWAH. The CEO of Allied Services Trust was already acting as interim deputy. The Court looked at whether Allied Services Trust could be a deputy and if it could, what the requirements would be.
Readers might remember the 2018 case here when the Court looked at the information it needed when a trust corporation was applying to be appointed as deputy. The Court needed to know:
(i) Whether a trust corporation can lawfully act as such;
(ii) Whether the internal management, supervision and controls of the trust corporation are appropriate;
(iii) What external regulation (other than supervision by the Public Guardian) applies;
(iv) The total amount of protected persons’ assets and funds held; in whose name and in what accounts such assets and funds are held; and the level of insurance cover which the trust corporation has.
It was concluded that (i) and (ii) can be dealt with by a statement of truth from an authorised officer of the trust corporation. The Court would consider (ii) to be dealt with if the declaration said that the trust corporation would comply with the Public Guardian’s standards for professional deputies. In this case that left external regulation and insurance cover. Allied Services Trust did in fact have insurance cover covering wrongful acts (negligent acts, negligent errors, negligent omissions or negligent breaches of duty) and dishonest or fraudulent acts and omissions. The Court examined the provisions and felt that the insurance was appropriate. Allied Services Trust provided a copy of the insurance policy and the CEO gave an undertaking to notify the Public Guardian immediately if there was any reduction in the terms or level of insurance cover. The Public Guardian was satisfied with the assurances that the insurance would apply to deputyship work and Deputy Bond Services confirmed that they are satisfied with the insurance. Much of the judgment deals with the external regulation Allied Services Trust were subject to. In this case that is regulation by the Charities Commission. The Court asked the SRA and the Charity Commission to answer a series of questions which appear in a helpful table to the judgement. The Court felt that the regulatory regime of the Charity Commission was “broadly comparable” to that of the SRA and agreed that Allied could be appointed as TWAH’s deputy.
Allied Services Trust is not linked to any legal practice.
The comparison of responses from the Charity Commission and SRA makes informative reading. In her statement about internal practices, the CEO confirmed that Allied Services Trust did not hold client money and required three signatories on a client’s accounts. Two signatories are required to sign any given transaction and the third is required to undertake a check on why the transaction was required. Allied Services Trust do not hold debit or credit cards for clients. Allied Services Trust will purchase funds using its own funds and then arrange to be reimbursed.
The Court also felt it important that Allied Services Trust had been appointed as deputy for a person before who had now died. There had been no issues with that deputyship. Allied Services Trust is also acting as attorney for thirteen people and there have been no concerns reported about any of those cases.
The Court recorded its appreciation of Allied Services Trust only charging the fixed fee for a deputyship application and the Public Guardian bearing his own costs.