governance & commercial »
governance and constitutional issues
We advise clients on their constitutional structures, whether they are established as a Royal Charter Body, company, trust, unincorporated association or industrial and provident society.
We advise on
- Strategic governance including:
- Membership issues
- Effective decision-making and the appropriate use of committee
- Governance policies generally, and in particular, policies on and management of conflicts of interest
- Formation of charities and registration with the Charity Commission, including advice on overall legal structures, the charity's objects and corporate powers (such as payments for services provided by trustees and power to purchase trustee indemnity insurance) and the Charity Commission's public benefit requirements. Over the last few years the team has established several hundred charitable companies limited by guarantee.
- Legal duties and potential liabilities of directors/trustees.
- Incorporations of unincorporated charities.
- Obligations under the Companies Act 2006. We are currently assisting many charitable companies in updating their constitutions to take advantage of the provisions of the Companies Act 2006 and the Charities Act 2006 and to avoid unnecessary pitfalls.
- Company secretarial activities including convening and conducting meetings especially in relation to membership organisations, amending constitutions and necessary filings.
The appropriate wording of, and amendments to, constitutions suitable for the charity's present and anticipated future purposes.
Our clients and work
The expectation of higher levels of governance means that boards need regular updating on the changing requirements of their regulator and other issues arising from developments in the law and best practice. With many of our medium and larger charities, we undertake a regular annual or bi-annual update on these issues. Recent work has included support the boards of November Europe, United World Colleges, MRCT, UK Committee for UNICEF and Eduserv.
Our team and approach
We work with you in the way that suits you best. For example, we can help drive through a merger by providing legal, project management and change management advice to your trustees and senior management teams, helping them address risk, human resource and property issues. Alternatively we are happy to give light touch general advice on governance issues, contracts or disputes. We understand clients' cost sensitivities and always provide a scope of work and an estimate of cost, followed by ongoing communication on costs.