Russell Cooke Putney London 2

About James

Charities, public bodies and housing associations all seek to deliver a social purpose. My work is about helping you navigate the complexities, regulations, risks and opportunities that you face doing that.

James works with a wide variety of charities, not-for-profits, local authorities and government departments. He focuses on governance and structure issues including reviews of governance, company, group and collaborative structures, royal charters, international federations and other bodies. He has done substantial amounts of work for membership organisations which face particular challenges.

Much of his work is involved with mergers including assisting clients find appropriate merger partners and negotiating the merger or collaborative working.

Increasingly, James has supported clients facing issues with regulators and in particular the Charity Commission. He advises on strategies to manage a range of risk, solvency and growth issues. 

His recent work has included:

  • undertaking governance reviews and support  for a range of bodies including  NESTA YHA and the English Speaking Union focusing on board effectiveness and improving EDI

  • assisting a new charity take on the ownership and management of a large stately home and estate in Wales

  • advising on funding issues including creating endowments for United World Colleges

The range and quality of helpful and actionable advice we receive from Russell-Cooke has been key to our recent successes. We believe this is because the team are genuinely interested in who we are as an organisation, our strategic and operational challenges and the risks we face, This understanding has helped us to direct our limited resources effectively to take projects forward whilst ensuring we continue to improve our governance and compliance. It helps that every member of the team is easy to work with and respects that we are often busy, with competing priorities.
Louise Stewart • CEO • Alexandra Park & Palace Charitable Trust


  • Merging United Response and Robert Owen Communities
  • Advising UNICEF on governance and an international collaboration agreement
  • Restructuring the governance of the International Youth Hostel Federation (Hostelling International) and of Consumer International
  • Advising on charitable status to the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists
  • Helping Tudor Trust on a major social enterprise investment
  • Complete revision of the royal charter of the Landscape Institute
  • Advising an NHS mutual on a major collaboration with GPs
  • Advising a local authority on the transfer of an historic community asset to a new charitable body
  • Assisting the Cyclists Touring Club to achieve charitable registration
  • Restructuring the Ironmonger's Charitable Trust
  • Advising the Medical Research Council Technology on its separation from the MRC
  • Negotiating a £7 million funding agreement for the Postal Heritage Trust
In supporting British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy the team at Russell-Cooke have deeply engaged with us and provided really clear and practical advice which has been massively appreciated.
CEO • British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy


  • Member of the Charity Law Association
  • Member of the Housing Association Chairs Group
  • Chair of ShelterBox, an international aid charity
  • Chairs the supported living area of a housing association
James and his colleagues in the charity and social business team at Russell-Cooke supported us throughout the process of a major governance review. Their input really set us up to go forward.
Sanjay Bhandari • Chair • Kick it Out


  • Author of the Russell-Cooke Legal Handbook 2010, the Directory of Social Change
  • Author of the Company Handbook and Registers for Voluntary Organizations

Awards and accreditations

James's highlights

The essential guide to the company secretary role



The essential guide to the company secretary role for charities

James Sinclair Taylor, Consultant in the Russell-Cooke Solicitors, charity law and not for profit team. Sukanya Ransford, Legal director in the Russell-Cooke Solicitors, charity law and not for profit team.
Multiple Authors
1 min Read
James Sinclair Taylor, Sukanya Ransford


Identifying and managing conflicts of interest in your charity

James Sinclair Taylor, Consultant in the Russell-Cooke Solicitors, charity law and not for profit team.
James Sinclair Taylor
13 min Runtime
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