Links to other providers of legal advice and information

You may be able to access advice and information for your organisation through one of the providers listed below.

General advice and information

Local CVS
A CVS is an agency for the voluntary and community sector that supports not-for profit groups, social enterprises and charities. All local authority boroughs in the UK will have access to one.
 
They can help with matters such as understanding the types of legal structures available and what is required of each, including:
  • trustee/director liability issues
  • organisational development
  • internal processes
  • governing documents
  • policies
  • funding.  
You can find your nearest CVS by visiting NAVCA's website.
Interface Legal Advisory Service 
This organisation seeks to offer clear and affordable advice to the charity sector. For further information, please visit their website.
The Law Society
A solicitor can be found by area of specialism and/or location on The Law Society’s website.
• Legal Toolkit for Charities by Slaughter and May

This toolkit is an introductory guide to legal matters and is available to download from the Slaughter and May website.

 

Guidance and complaints 

The Charity Commission

The Charity Commission registers and regulates charities in England and Wales, to ensure that the public can support charities with confidence. Find out more about how they can help here.

 

Representation and disputes

Bar Pro Bono Unit
This charity helps to find free legal assistance from volunteer barristers. For further information, please visit their website.
• IP Pro Bono

This service helps small businesses and individuals who are involved in a dispute about an intellectual property right such as patent, trade mark, protected design or copyright.

 

Mediation

National Mediation Providers Association

Mediation can be a low-cost and effective way of resolving disputes. For further information please visit the National Mediation Providers Association's website. 

• Garden Court Mediation

Garden Court Mediation offers a cost effective alternative to litigating your dispute in court. 

 

Legal structure resources

Free Talks
These short Free Talks videos provide a useful overview of some structures (overview, CIOs, charity registration).
Small Charities Coalition guidance

The Small Charities Coalition provide answers to frequently asked questions regarding starting a new charity.  

Get Legal

The Get Legal website provides expert advice on legal structures and issues such as governance for charities, social enterprises and co-ops and a decision tool. 

Government Guidance
The Government website provides guidance on how to set up a charity.
• NCVO
NCVO Know How Not Profit website provides guidance on setting up a charity.
The Charity Commission
The Charity Commision is a useful source of information for charities. 
 

 Internationally focused organisations

Advocates for International Development (A4ID)
A4ID assists development organisations through the brokerage of free legal advice.
 

Animal welfare organisations

Association of Lawyers for Animal Welfare

The Association of Lawyers for Animal Welfare (ALAW) is a charity which aims to bring together lawyers interested in animal protection law to share experience and to harness that expertise for the benefit of the animal protection community. 
 

Employment matters

Acas
Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service), provides free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law. Acas has a free helpline for employment law advice. 
 

Property matters

• Architects for Social Housing (ASH)

ASH offers support, advice and expertise to residents who feel their interests are not being represented by landlords, housing associations or local council during the redevelopment process.  

Ethical Property Foundation
The Ethical Property Foundation offers independent, ethical advice and training to help charities and voluntary groups rent, buy, let or manage their property. 
Charity Property Help
Charity Property Help offers free support and guidance on property matters. 
• Land Aid

LandAid provides a range of free property services for charities working with disadvantaged young people, families and communities including those experiencing homelessness.

 

Other

• Cranfield Trust

Cranfield Trust offers free business skills to help charities succeed. It offers free HR advice and has a national charity management consultancy service.

Local Government Ombudsman 

This free service looks into complaints about councils and some other authorities.

• Lawbite

LawBite is a legal resource for small companies and offers a free 15 minute consultation with a lawyer.

Lawyers Volunteering for the Arts (LVFA)

LVFA finds legal assistance for not-for-profit and low-income arts and cultural organisations. 
 Liberty

Liberty specialises in human rights.