An association of in-house charity lawyers is exploring the possibility of setting up a new legal business that would offer free or cut-price legal advice to small charities.
Lawyers in Charities, which was founded more than decade ago as the In-House Charity Lawyers Group, has 250 members who are lawyers employed at about 100 of the UK’s biggest charities.
Last year, LinC took on its new name and elected a new management committee, chaired by Deborah Prince, the general counsel and company secretary at the British Heart Foundation, who has previously worked in private practice, for Tesco and for the consumer charity Which?.
She said the group was in the early stages of deciding whether to create an alternative business structure – a new type of legal business created by the Legal Services Act 2007 – to offer some sort of support to smaller organisations.
Prince said: "It is most definitely not without challenges and it would probably also require some kind of seed funding, which in this day and age is very difficult to get hold of. But one thing a group such as LinC can do is be nimble and look at these things – even if it dismisses them – to see if they work."
The idea was first made public by Caroline Parks, LinC member and legal counsel at the BHF, at a January meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Civil Society and Volunteering focused on small charities.
Find out more about Prince and recent changes at LinC on page 52 of the March edition of Third Sector, out now, or online here.