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Connecting charities to free legal advice

Connecting charities to free legal advice

As a North East-headquartered business, we have a genuine desire to impact the local communities where we live and operate. From giving back to local causes to driving change that promotes equality and opportunity, being a responsible business is important to us.

Connected Voice is a North East-based charity that independently supports the voluntary sector. It advises and supports both individuals and organisations with a range of services, including funding applications, training and advocacy.

The work that Connected Voice does is extremely important for our region and aligns with the core focus areas of our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy; supporting young people, overcoming disadvantage, improving social mobility and supporting causes close to the hearts of our people.

As our firm has the largest dedicated charities team in the North East, we wanted to do something different to mark Small Charities Week 2023, and to support small charities in our region. We decided to host a free charity law clinic and approached Connected Voice for help in promoting it. 

The support

We offered the opportunity to receive free legal advice to the small to medium-sized charities and not-for-profit organisations that Connected Voice works with and supports in our region. 

We offered free legal advice on the following areas of law: 

  • Data protection e.g. drafting privacy notices, dealing with subject access requests
  • Incorporation / restructuring / mergers / collaborations / outsourcing
  • Governance reviews
  • Trading (including setting up trading subsidiaries)
  • Corporate partnerships (including sponsorship)
  • Fundraising
  • General commercial contract issues
  • Compliance issues with the Charity Commission or Companies House
  • General employment / HR queries. 

Organisations wanting to take us up on the offer of free legal advice could book a 45-minute slot via our contact at Connected Voice. The advice was delivered either face-to-face at our Newcastle office or online (at the option of the organisation in question). 

The advice sessions were predominantly delivered by Alison Jones, one of our experienced senior associates in our sports, education and charities team, who was supported by either the trainee, newly qualified solicitor or paralegal in that team.

The impact

We advised 12 small to medium-sized charities and not-for-profit organisations. Our advice will help the charities in their operations and, ultimately, help them better serve the needs of their beneficiaries.  

As someone who’s worked for a range of charity sizes, including a multi-million national charity and smaller charities like the one I’m in now, this type of pro-bono support is not only appreciated but vital to the success and continued operation of charities like ours, and ultimately the people and other causes our community are helping.

Catriona Taylor, The Child Growth Foundation
Charity Manager

We were delighted when Muckle approached us with the offer of free legal support for VCSE sector organisations that might otherwise be unable to afford it. This sort of help can be vital in ensuring that charities, community interest companies and community groups can continue to make a difference to the communities they serve. Muckle went above and beyond and the response from the organisations that took part was overwhelmingly positive. It’s great news for everyone that Muckle will be doing it again next year.

Jeremy Cain, Connected Voice
Support and Development Coordinator
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