COVID-19 NOTICE: The LawWorks Not-for-Profits Programme continues to operate as usual. We have created a dedicated page of resources for small not-for-profits affected by COVID-19.
We help charities, voluntary organisations, social enterprises, and other not-for-profits in England and Wales in the following ways: (1) providing free videos on common legal issues and (2) providing free legal assistance.
1. Free videos on common legal issues - "Free Talks"
LawWorks hosts a range of short online videos presented by solicitors about common legal issues faced by small not-for-profit organisations, our "Free Talks". The videos are all free to watch and aim to help you when making important decisions. We recommend that you browse these videos before considering whether you need to fill out our application form for free legal assistance (see below).
The Not-for-Profits Programme brokers legal advice on a wide range of legal issues to small not-for-profit organisations meeting our eligibility criteria.
It can find a solicitor either for a one-off legal issue (like drafting a contract, reviewing a lease, updating a constitution/articles, or clarifying rights in a commercial dispute), or on a longer-term basis to carry out a review of the organisation's documents, identify potential legal issues, and be a first port of call for legal queries.
What we can help with
Our volunteers can advise eligible organisations on intellectual property, employment, property, tax, commercial/contract, insurance, insolvency, data protection, defamation, and company law. Our volunteers can also advise on amending or updating articles.
What we can't help with
Unfortunately our volunteers cannot help with criminal law, immigration law, internal disputes between a charity and its trustees, complaints about a charity, or with specialist charity law matters. These include: 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).
LawWorks is piloting a service to broker free legal assistance to those those making applications to set up charitable organisations which, when established, will match LawWorks’ eligibility criteria.
Please note that as the service is a pilot the number of volunteer solicitors is limited.
“Many small voluntary organisations can barely meet their core costs let alone pay for legal advice - LawWorks is an invaluable service.” (Not-for-Profits Programme applicant)
The LawWorks Not-for-Profits Programme is supported by the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust.