Higher Education

Addressing the needs of educational institutions is a core practice area for Hemenway & Barnes. Recent and ongoing matters include advice and counsel on a variety of areas, including:

  • Corporate governance
  • Endowment issues and planning
  • Planned giving
  • Gift documentation requirements and policies
  • Personnel and compensation matters
  • Litigation, cy près and deviation petitions
  • Mergers, affiliations, establishment of subsidiaries and other corporate transactions
  • Compliance with political activity and lobbying rules
  • Real estate
  • Tax planning and compliance
  • Affiliated entities and joint ventures

More specifically, private and public colleges and universities have recently sought our help in:

  • Negotiating, accepting and managing complex charitable gifts, including charitable remainder trusts, gift annuities, and gifts of interests in real estate and closely held businesses.
  • Advising on administration of endowment and restricted funds, including appropriations, terminations, and cy près or deviation actions.
  • Developing board policies and advising on board disputes and governance issues.
  • Reviewing, drafting and negotiating contracts and leases.
  • Developing and updating conflicts of interest, political activity, and other organizational policies.
  • Complying with federal grant requirements.
  • Providing tax analysis and assisting with navigating complex tax regulations and procedures, including unrelated business income tax (UBTI).
  • Serving as real estate counsel advising on all phases of the development process, including acquisition and disposition, land use, zoning, permitting, environmental analysis, financing, and construction.
  • Interpreting and implementing new federal statutes and regulations.
  • Advising on mergers, affiliations and dissolutions, including conducting legal due diligence, negotiating and drafting terms, assisting with federal and state regulatory approvals, and advising on related corporate governance issues.
  • Providing tax analysis and advising on partnerships with for-profit entities, establishment of commercialization funds and spin-off programs.
  • Educational programming regarding charitable giving for institutions, trustees and donors.

The leaders of this practice area, Brad Bedingfield and Eleanor Evans, are much in demand to present at bar and industry forums on relevant issues to the higher ed community. Members of the firm belong to the National Association of College and University Attorneys and also serve on boards of colleges and other educational institutions.

Team Spotlights

Stephen W. Kidder

Stephen W. Kidder concentrates his practice in the areas of taxation and professional fiduciary services.

News & Resources

Meaghan Borys to Speak at "Title IX: How to Prepare for the New Rules on Handling Sexual Misconduct" Webinar
Join Hemenway & Barnes attorney Meaghan B. Borys at this Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly webinar, "Title IX: How to Prepare for the New Rules on Handling Sexual Misconduct."
Brad Bedingfield and Nancy Dempze to Present Biden-Era Estate Planning & Philanthropy
Brad Bedingfield and Nancy Dempze will provide an overview of tax planning imperatives in a webinar presented by Northeastern University's Office of Gift Planning.
Attorney General Issues Guidance on Access to Endowment Funds
On March 27, 2020, we issued an alert on endowment funds in the time of coronavirus, describing options for struggling nonprofits seeking to access their endowment funds. On April 28, 2020, the Charities Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office issued new guidance regarding nonprofit endowments, which addresses many of the same options discussed in our alert.
How can we help your organization?
Contact a member of our Nonprofit Group today.
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