skip to main content

Not-for-Profit & Charities

Printable Summary

Not-for-profit organizations can be as wide-ranging and complex as their commercial counterparts. However, they operate in a different legal framework because of their special tax status and compliance requirements. Their legal issues therefore require special expertise in the law of not-for-profit organizations.

At Torkin Manes, we have that special expertise. Our Not-for-Profit & Charities Group has many years of experience acting for not-for-profit clients and their directors, trustees, officers and members, on such matters as structuring and restructurings, corporate governance, by-law interpretation, directors' and officers' liability, compliance issues, cross-border and international relationships, gifting, endowment and fundraising issues.

But not-for-profits also require the full range of legal services—corporate/commercial law, real estate law, employment law, health law, estates and trusts law, tax law, and litigation. At Torkin Manes, we can apply our expertise in all of those areas to the special needs of the not-for-profit sector. We act as general counsel for charities and other not-for-profit organizations in such areas as health care, social services, religion, social justice, education, athletics, sports and recreation. We also act for professional associations, industry and trade associations, commercial and business associations, service clubs, sanctioning bodies and other special interest groups.

Lawyers from other firms frequently call upon Torkin Manes for our expertise in not-for-profit matters. We assist them with their not-for-profit clients or with the not-for-profit organizations on whose boards they sit. Our lawyers frequently chair and speak at national and provincial seminars on not-for-profit and charities law. We are also invited to take part in government think tanks on issues related to not-for-profits.

Torkin Manes’ lawyers are involved with the not-for-profit sector not only as professional advisors, but also as volunteers. This volunteer experience enhances and strengthens our ability to serve our clients.

We advise and represent charities and not-for-profits in such matters as: 

  • Incorporation and organization
  • Setting up charitable foundations and trusts
  • Charitable registration
  • Compliance with Canada Revenue requirements
  • Compliance with the requirements of the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee
  • Corporate procedures and compliance with the corporate legislation applicable to federal and provincial not-for-profit corporations
  • Corporate restructuring
  • Director and officer liability
  • Risk management
  • Fundraising issues
  • Cross-border and international relationships
  • Contracts and agreements
  • Compliance with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) and privacy laws
  • Employment issues
  • Purchase, sale and leasing of real estate
  • Tax planning and planned giving
  • Litigation

Publications & Presentations

Torkin Manes LegalPoint

Reflections on the 2019 Federal Budget from the Perspective of Charities and Non-Profits

Torkin Manes LegalPoint Much has been written about the Federal Budget (Budget) tabled by the Department of Finance (Canada) on March 19, 2019 and its impact on charities and...
Mar 29, 2019
Torkin Manes LegalPoint

Public Policy Advocacy Activities of Charities: New Developments in 2019

Torkin Manes LegalPoint Over the past few months there have been some exciting developments for Canadian registered charities in terms of their ability to engage in advocacy ...
Mar 18, 2019

Social Enterprise

Schulich School of Business, York University  
Mar 8, 2019

Navigating Board Disputes

Ontario Bar Association's Institute — Privacy, Land Development, and Other Key Updates in Charity and Not-for-Profit Law
Feb 5, 2019

News & Media

Firm News

Torkin Manes lawyers featured in The Best Lawyers in Canada© 2020

The Best Lawyers in Canada We are pleased to announce that 25 of our partners have recently been recognized as leaders in their respective fields in the latest edition of T...
Aug 21, 2019
Firm News

Torkin Manes shortlisted by Chambers Canada for the 2019 Regional Law Firm of the Year Award

Chambers Canada Torkin Manes is honoured to be shortlisted by Chambers & Partners in the category of Regional Law Firm of the Year for the 2019 Chambers Canada Aw...
Aug 13, 2019
Firm News

Congratulations to our lawyers recognized in The 2019 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory

The 2019 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory Torkin Manes is pleased to announce that several firm lawyers have been named as leaders in their fields in The 2019 Canadian Legal Lexpert Direc...
Apr 24, 2019
In the News

Torkin Manes recognized as the #1 ranked Ontario regional law firm by Canadian Lawyer

Canadian Lawyer We thank our clients, colleagues and peers for recognizing us with this distinguished honour.
Mar 4, 2019


Linda Godel to speak at the OBA Charity and Not-for-Profit Law Program September 17th

Deepen your knowledge regarding the fundamentals of lobbying and political activity in light of the new rules that have come into effect, and the upco...
Sep 17, 2019: 00:00

Linda Godel to speak to the OBA's Privacy, Land Development, and Other Key Updates in Charity and Not-for-Profit Law Program

Join Linda Godel, chair of our Not-for-Profit & Charities Group, for her panel discussion on Navigating Board Disputes at the Ontario Ba...
Feb 5, 2019