LawWorks “Honorary Counsel” Service for Small Charities
Published 11/02/2019 by Wahida Ahmed
LawWorks’ Not-for-Profits Programme provides advice to small not-for-profit organisations, including law centres and clinics. The programme’s casework service finds specialist volunteer lawyers to advise on one-off discrete legal issues. The programme’s honorary counsel scheme matches organisations with a volunteer lawyer (the “honorary counsel”) on a long-term basis. The honorary counsel carries out a basic review of the organisation’s documents for gaps and issues; is the first point of contact for ad hoc queries; and identifies when further legal advice is needed.
The Honorary Counsel (HC) service is a platform that act as a single point of contact for small, not-for-profit organisations, who have legal questions or concerns. The project forms an ongoing relationship between the organisation and their HC which includes:
- A general review of the organisations policies and procedures (the Health Check)
- A ‘first port of call’ for any and all legal related queries
- Access to “in-house” resources the HC will normally have access to
- Improving the organisations ability to be able to identify and manage legal risk on their own.
How it works?
The HC offer not-for-profit organisations one-off legal help. They do this by matching their organisation with a volunteer lawyer from their network of member law firms and in-house teams who can advise on the issue. The advice provide is free.
Examples of discrete matters volunteers can help with include:
- drafting a contract
- reviewing a lease
- updating a constitution/articles, or
- clarifying rights in a commercial dispute
Volunteers can advise on intellectual property, employment, property, tax, commercial/contract, insurance, insolvency, data protection, defamation, and company/charity law.
Unfortunately, volunteers cannot help with choosing a not-for-profit structure, setting it up, or registering with the Charity Commission, but you may want to try another resource for such help (see: Resources and other sources of advice).
If you are interested in applying for an honorary counsel please complete the application form: https://www.lawworks.org.uk/legal-advice-not-profits/free-legal-assistance