FH Europe is registered as a charity in England and Wales. The registration number is 1170731.
In order to ensure FH Europe as a legal entity, it was decided to register it as a charity with the Charities Commission for England and Wales. The Charities Commission is a “non-ministerial government department” that regulates charities in England and Wales and maintains a register of charities. As a non-ministerial government department it reports directly to Parliament rather than to government ministers.
Details of FH Europe appear on the Charities Commission website: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission
FH Europe was established as a ‘Charitable Incorporated Organisation’ on 13 December 2016. A Charitable Incorporated Organisation, or CIO, is a relatively new legal structure created in 2013 to provide a more cost-effective solution for charities or charitable groups that wish to be incorporated, rather than create a charity and a limited company. As a separate legal entity, a CIO can enter contracts, hold property and employ staff in its own name.
FH Europe is a ‘Foundation CIO’
This means that Trustees benefit from limited liability. Liabilities that may arise fall on the organisation – as is the case for companies limited by guarantee.The structure of a CIO means that accounting is less complex. CIOs are required to report and file accounts, an annual return and other documents with the Charities Commission. CIOs whose gross income is less than £250,000 in any financial year may use a simpler receipts and payments basis to prepare its accounts.
The Responsibilities of Trustees
These are set out in a Governance Code developed by a steering group with the help of over 200 charities, individuals and related organisations. As at 2017, this Governance Code is now in its 12th year and has been updated to create a third edition. Trustees of charities are expected to understand their legal duties. The code develops seven principles: leadership; integrity; decision-making; risk and control; board effectiveness; diversity; openness and accountability. Details of the updated Code appear here: https://www.charitygovernancecode.org/en
FH Europe decided to create different lengths of service for its original Trustees, to ensure that the entire Trustee Board does not have to be replaced at the same time.
Trustee Board of FH Europe
Ms Jules Payne (HEART UK, UK) – Chair
Mr Gunnar Karlsson (FH Sverige, Sweden) – Hon. Treasurer
Gabriele Hanauer-Mader (FHchol Austria)
Inese Maurina ( ParSirdi, Latvia)
Theodora Varkonyi-Weisz (Swiss FH)
FH Europe Constitution
When drafting the Constitution of FH Europe, the “objects” of the organisation were set out in line with the model Constitution document provided for CIOs. The “objects clause” of a legal document has two main purposes. It guides future Trustee Boards regarding the range of activities the organisation should pursue and it identifies for potential member organisations – and potential funders – what the organisation is set up to do.
The objects of FH Europe appear on the Charities Commission website and reflect legal terminology. The term “particularly but not exclusively by”, means that these are the main aims and purposes of this activity, but there is a little flexibility to expand these in the future.
For FH Europe the objects of the CIO are the advancement of health and the prevention of early cardiovascular disease, particularly but not exclusively by:
3.1 The provision and sharing of information about dyslipidaemia, including familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) and related conditions; and
3.2 The promotion of research into the causes, diagnosis and treatment of FH and the dissemination of the useful results of such research.”
FH Europe is classified as an organisation whose purpose is “the advancement of health or saving of lives” for “the general public/mankind”. This is done by providing “advocacy/advice/information” and the possibility of eventually sponsoring or undertaking research.
FH Europe is supported by an educational grant from Amgen Limited, Sanofi, Regeneron, Akcea Therapeutics Inc. and Amryt