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