The charity team at Russell-Cooke and the group Lawyers in Charities have been recognised by the Law Society for their collaboration on a knowledge sharing initiative for charity lawyers in the UK. The two organisations jointly won the Excellence in Learning and Development Award at the Law Society Excellence Awards held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London last night (23 October). The award was presented to them by Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark.
The Law Society Excellence Awards have been celebrating the hard work and inspiring achievements of solicitors, legal teams and firms of all sizes across England and Wales for the past 13 years.
Lawyers in Charities is a forum for in-house charity lawyers and has 350 members from over 150 UK charities. Its focus is on knowledge-sharing and it is a forum for raising questions and sharing experiences with peers.
The initiative recognised by the awards involved Russell-Cooke employing a professional support lawyer, funded by the Legal Education Foundation with additional support from Russell-Cooke, to deliver a centralised database of precedents tailored to the needs of lawyers working in-house in charities. Many in-house lawyers have a broad remit, no legally qualified colleagues and limited access to legal resources – the new resources are freely available to them.
The Law Society said: "Russell-Cooke and Lawyers in Charities were selected for Excellence in Learning & Development because of their collaborative effort in developing a clever, free legal resource for in-house charity lawyers that is easy to access and will be of benefit to charities across the UK."
Russell-Cooke charity partner Chris Rowse who initiated and led the project for Russell-Cooke said: "We've been enthusiastic about providing our support and resources as a large law firm to Lawyers in Charities, to give lawyers working in charities better access to the resources they need – as part of our firmwide commitment to the charity sector. We're delighted to have won this award jointly with LinC and hope it will help make their work better known to the wider profession."
Ricardo Gomes Da Silva, Chair of Lawyers in Charities, said: "We're delighted to have won this award for this initiative which was a collaboration with Russell-Cooke. Our members have been extremely appreciative of the additional support and centralised resource the firm has provided to Lawyers in Charities, which has been very beneficial to many member charities across the sector."