Effective charities depend upon good governance and good governance is as essential to the success of the charity sector as it is to corporate UK.
Trustees are an essential part of the governance structure of every charity and every charity that is thriving owes a significant part of its success to them. The trustees themselves often receive little in the way of appreciation or thanks yet as voluntary, unpaid, non-executives they must, at risk of personal liability in default, ensure they carry out the charity's objects and do not act in excess of their powers. Many trustees must also engage with the delicate but vital balance between their strategic role as trustees and the executive responsibilities of those they employ to ensure that their charities grow and operate effectively.
We understand charity governance from the perspective of both trustees and senior management. We understand the challenges that our clients face in ensuring that they take the right decisions at the right time based upon the right evidence. We are trusted legal advisers and friends to many trustees who we have helped through challenging times and who use us as a sounding board. And many members of our team are themselves trustees and understand the trustee's perspective on their charities' problems and opportunities. We believe that this makes them better lawyers and better advisers to the charities we work with.
We believe that a well informed and well trained trustee body is the starting point for good governance. We can support good governance in your charity through our email bulletin, Charity Law Brief (subscribe) and with bespoke training for your trustee body and senior management team to keep you up to date with the latest law and best practice.
We also provide support via our leading publication "Charity Governance" (published by Jordans) and our contributions to Jordans' Charities Administration Service.
In times of crisis and opportunity, trustees have a vital part to play in working with senior management and also in dealing with professional advisers, the media, staff, beneficiaries and other stakeholders. We know that you may need practical advice, often out of normal office hours, to have confidence to act in the best interests of your charity. We also have good working relationships with key people at the Charity Commission (we are an "approved intermediary") which helps us find practical and cost efficient solutions (although we are equally experienced at challenging the Commission's decisions where necessary or desirable).
The quality of service is strong, but always balanced with a practical viewpoint. Advice is therefore not excessively legalistic and can be implemented more easily than would be possible with a more technical approach.