Hogan Lovells

Key Dates

Butler-Sloss and ors v Charity Commission for England & Wales and another [2021] EWHC 1104 (Ch).

Judgment given on 14 April 2021.


The High Court has granted permission to trustees of two charities to bring proceedings to obtain declaratory relief and directions in relation to investment of the charities’ assets.

The application was brought by trustees of two charities whose charitable purposes were environmental protection or improvement.  When investing the charity funds, the trustees wanted to exclude investments which did not align with the 2016 Paris Agreement on climate change.  The trustees needed the approval of the Charity Commission to bring “charity proceedings” – which was refused as the Commission intended to publish revised guidance on responsible investment, and had issued draft guidance in April 2021.  The trustees appealed to the High Court.

The High Court granted permission to bring proceedings.  It noted that complex legal issues were involved and that the outcome of the proceedings would benefit charities generally and would inform the Commission’s guidance.  The trustees’ application was therefore highly desirable. 

Date Accessed: 03/12/2021