How long have you worked in Edwards & Co?

I joined the firm as a partner in 2011. I qualified in 1990. Previously I was a partner in a large firm in Belfast for 13 years and worked there for 23 years.

Do you specialise in any particular area?

I have particular expertise in charity mergers and I have completed many significant mergers in Northern Ireland.
I am the top ranked solicitor for charity law in Northern Ireland according to Chambers UK.

Chambers UK Quotes

“Jennifer Ebbage is a renowned charities lawyer experienced in cross-border matters. Clients state she is "excellent" and that she provides "first-class advice and service with a very personable approach."

"Jennifer Ebbage of Edwards & Co advises shareholders and companies on mergers, business sales and MBOs, with particular experience working with charities. Sources view her as "very clear and supportive in her advice."

I specialise in charity law. I also advise on company law and commercial law. I am a member of the Executive Committee of the Charity Law Association. I am the Northern Ireland Editor for Jordan’s Charities Administration Service and the Northern Ireland author of legal content for the STEP ‘The Informed Trustee’ online course for charity trustees. I am a regular speaker at charity law information events and run a series of “In Focus” seminars for our own clients and contacts in the third sector.

Most of my clients are charities or voluntary and community organisations and other not for profits.

Many charities are companies limited by guarantee so my specialism in company law and legal aspects of corporate governance are valuable to them. I deal with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland regularly.

My work for the community and voluntary sector also involves advising on community interest companies (CIC), industrial and provident societies, community benefit societies, credit unions, co-operatives and other community benefit companies and for social enterprises. I deliver board training and seminars.

I love what I do. I really enjoy working with the charity and not for profit sectors. I like the journey through a transaction to completion and I aim to leave charity boards better informed about their legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities. I enjoy meeting our clients and the boards. I also enj

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oy working alongside other professional advisors whilst we work through a transaction and I have formed a number of strong friendships through connections.

What is the best case you have ever worked on?

The transaction that always comes to mind is the merger which formed Age NI. This was a merger of Age Concern Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland operations of Help the Aged. It was a multi-jurisdictional transaction across the United Kingdom and involved working with a number of other law firms and co-ordinating with a number of regulators. The people involved in the various charities were fantastic to work with and it ended up forming a case study for the guidance on mergers in the charity sector in Northern Ireland and is still used in this way almost 10 years later. I really enjoyed working on it especially finding ways around the hurdles which arose as we worked our way through the process over a number of months. It was both a professionally and personally enriching experience.

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