Charity Commission faces judicial review into Kids Company inquiry following High Court Ruling

The Charity Commission faces a landmark judicial review after the High Court ruled that Camila Batmanghelidjh, the former chief executive Kids Company, has a valid legal challenge against the inquiry into the closure of her charity.

Ms Batmanghelidjh argues that the inquiry into Kids Company, which alleged that her mismanagement was to blame for the charity’s closure, was tainted by predetermination and therefore unlawful. The High Court’s decision means that her legal claim will now move to a full hearing, including a judicial review of how the Charity Commission carried out its inquiry.

Published in February 2022, the inquiry claimed that Ms Batmanghelidjh and seven former trustees failed to properly manage the charity in the final months of its existence. This conclusion was made despite a High Court ruling by Mrs Justice Falk in 2021 that dismissed claims of mismanagement when they were brought forward by the official receiver.

Mrs Justice Falk said that while the charity, which went into insolvency in August 2015, had experienced cashflow difficulties, its board had put a plan in place to manage the challenges, and that the charity was brought down by unfounded allegations of sexual abuse.

A police investigation into the allegations, made during a BBC Newsnight report, found no evidence of criminality or safeguarding failures at the charity.

Camila Batmanghelidjh said: “I am pleased that the case will be heard in full.  I urge the Charity Commission to be full and frank in its disclosure to the Court.”

David Foster, dispute resolution partner Moore Barlow, who represented Ms Batmanghelidjh, said: “It is crucial to the future health of the charity sector that the manner in which the Commission carried out its inquiry into Kids Company is properly investigated.”

Kids Company was founded by Ms Batmanghelidjh in 1996 to provide support to deprived inner-city children.