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Sidley has a multidisciplinary practice whose members have extensive experience in advising non-profit institutions on a full range of legal issues, handling transactions for these entities and representing them in litigation. Our clients include trade and professional associations, private foundations, charitable organizations, healthcare facilities and hospitals, community trusts, accrediting and certifying bodies, universities, colleges and schools, cultural and performing arts organizations and churches and religious organizations.

Ranked in The Legal 500 in Not-for-profit. Commended by clients as “excellent” and “absolutely top notch” for “wisdom[...] response times” and “superior” service.


Examples of Our Experience:

  • Represent associations, accreditation and certification organizations and non-profit healthcare providers in a wide variety of litigation and government investigations, including antitrust, due process challenges and intellectual property disputes. We also handle third party subpoenas received by these clients;
  • Counsel our not-for-profit clients on governance issues, insurance coverage, regulatory matters, antitrust compliance, tax matters, employment and EEOC issues, compliance with campaign finance and lobbying laws at every level of government and a host of other matters that these clients confront;
  • Negotiate agreements with hotels and convention centers, contracts of every sort, license agreements and joint ventures for these clients;
  • Act as bond counsel to a variety of multi-hospital health systems and as counsel to underwriters on many other health system financings throughout the country;
  • We have extensive experience assisting private museums and art foundations in both their creation and in their ongoing contract negotiations in connection with art-related matters, and assisting not-for-profit institutions in their acquisition of tax-exempt financing;
  • Provide counseling to colleges and universities on real estate, intellectual property rights issues, the legal aspects of drafting policies and procedures, ADA compliance, FERPA compliance, the Higher Education Act, corporate governance, accreditation and other litigation issues;
  • Help religious and charitable organizations develop solutions to labor and employment, administrative, and zoning and land-use issues, that both prevent potential liability and provide maximum latitude to the institution to pursue its goals while preserving its distinctive religious or secular mission and standards;
  • Advised boards of trustees on issues associated with affiliations and mergers and sales, including structuring, corporate governance, bond indentures and related matters;
  • Advise directors, trustees and officers of nonprofit organizations on a wide range of governance issues including adoption of “best practices” designed to improve these organizations’ governance, administration and accountability;
  • Work with planned giving officers and other development professionals at public charities to advise them on structuring and accepting charitable gifts of different forms of property;
  • Advise private foundations on the broad range of tax issues that define the types of grants and program activities in which they can be involved; and
  • Represent private foundations and public charities in developing and negotiating contracts and other instruments such as limited partnership agreements with investment managers. We also counsel on the tax and liability aspects of entering into different forms of investments.