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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
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Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I am one of 15 trustees in a Charity and we have one trustee

Customer Question

I am one of 15 trustees in a Charity and we have one trustee who sends out emails to parties in relation to the charity, signed off using an alias name (ie not their stated name on the trust) and signed off only as the director of a limited company not connected with the charity with no mention of the charity details. Would this method of communication cause any legal issues for the charity or the trustee in question?
Submitted: 24 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 24 days ago.

Why is the person doing this and what is the relevance of documentation going out as the director of a limited company not connected with the charity and no mention of the charity.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
The trust has 15 trustees and correspondence is normally done through the General Secretary or Chairman who sign off as a charity trustee also stating the name of the charity and registered number. The individual in question is in dispute with the Chairman and Secretary and has begun sending out general correspondence to charity contacts out side of the charity framework. His correspondence does not use his real name, but rather an alias, the email are sent from his Limited Company and are signed off by him as the director of that company. The charity has no connection or contract to this company and the correspondence is unauthorised by the trustees. The concern is that his actions could cause issue for the charity and that his Limited Company has no locus to send correspondence on behalf of a charity and it may breach charity law. The correspondence in itself is to other charity's that we work with and in some he is demanding monies as a debt even though there is no monies owed.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 24 days ago.

This is probably a breach of the trustees duties as a trustee and is probably a conflict-of-interest between his interests, those of the General Secretary or Chairman and those of the trust.

I imagine you want to know how to stop this.

You should write to him (better still get a solicitor to write to him) telling him that he must cease and desist immediately from sending out these letters failing which, without further notice you will apply to court for an injunction to make him stop sending out this correspondence and you will ask the court to award the substantive costs of the application against him.

You should also perhaps consider taking steps to remove him as a trustee for breach of duty.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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Best wishes.

FES

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