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Ministry of Justice: Online Procedure Rule Committee Member seeks Legal Expert

Members will be expected to play an active role in the OPRC and have collective responsibility for the creation and operation of the Online Procedure Rules. In particular, members will be expected to:

• Engage fully in Committee meetings, giving full consideration to the issues and taking account of all relevant factors, including any guidance issued by the Ministry of Justice or by the Lord Chancellor.

• Attend approximately 10 Committee meetings a year and participate in at least 1 working group. Frequency of working group meetings and associated work will depend on the priorities and work programme the Committee sets, working closely with the Lord Chancellor and Senior Judiciary.

• Read and consider papers outside of meetings. Keep abreast of paperwork and issues relating to the work of the OPRC. Candidates will be expected to put time aside ahead of meetings to review paperwork.

• Be prepared to represent the Committee publicly.

• Ensure that the OPRC’s responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act (including prompt responses to public requests for information) are discharged, agree contributions to publications as required.

• Respond appropriately to complaints, if necessary, with reference to the Ministry of Justice.

• Ensure that the Committee does not exceed its powers or functions.

From time-to-time issues of a confidential nature may arise during Committee work. The duty of confidentiality obliges members to respect the confidentiality of such work. Confidential information that members obtain during the course of membership of the Committee must not be shared by committee members except to the extent permitted by the Chair.

Person Specification

Essential criteria

Candidates will be able to demonstrate the following:

• Must be a barrister in England and Wales, a solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales, or a legal executive
• An interest in justice, law, court procedure, and digital services
• Commitment to putting the needs of users at the centre of the rule making process
• The ability to analyse and debate complex issues
• Effective interpersonal and communication skills including demonstrable ability to engage with stakeholders
• An understanding of diversity issues
• Demonstrable ability to express complicated matters in plain English

Desirable criteria

Candidates should ideally have experience in one or more of the following areas:
• Experience of digital change and innovation would be an advantage
• The ability to contribute to, and influence, committee meetings
• Excellent time management skills
• Experience of helping users navigate court processes
• A knowledge of the existing work developing the digital justice system, including the HMCTS reform programme and current online dispute resolution.

• There must be no employment restrictions, or limit on your permitted stay in the UK.
• You should not be employed in the UK Civil Service.

We welcome applications from all those who are eligible.


Please click here for further information.

Lone refugee charity ‘The Separated Child Foundation’ seeks new Trustee

This is a wonderful opportunity to make a difference to the lives of lone refugee youth! The charity is at an exciting stage of its development. We’re keen to recruit more Trustees to strengthen and broaden our skills and understanding.

What will you be doing?

The important role of a Trustee is to ensure that The Separated Child Foundation fulfils its duty to its beneficiaries through its charitable activities, delivers on our mission and is governed competently and with integrity.

The Board of Trustees, working collectively, needs to act to ensure that The Separated Child Foundation:-

  • Has a clear vision, mission and strategic direction on which it is focused
  • Pursues its objectives, as defined in its Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • Applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objectives
  • Is effectively and efficiently administrated
  • Is financially stable by protecting and managing its property, and investing its funds soundly

The Board appoints the Chief Executive Officer (whenever a vacancy arises) and monitors their performance.

Individual Trustees need to:-

  • Contribute actively to the Board’s collective role in giving The Separated Child Foundation firm strategic direction, creating policy, defining goals and setting targets, and evaluating performance
  • Take responsibility for the performance of The Separated Child Foundation and for its organisational behaviour, so that it complies with all legal and regulatory requirements
  • Safeguard the good name of the organisation
  • Ensure that the governance of The Separated Child Foundation is of the highest possible standard
  • Act as guardians of the charity’s assets, both tangible and intangible, taking all due care over their security, deployment and proper application
  • Make full use of their specific skills, knowledge or experience to help the Board make good decisions and advance the activities of The Separated Child Foundation

The above list of duties is indicative only and not exhaustive. Trustee are expected to perform additional duties that are reasonably commensurate with the role.

What are we looking for?

As a growing organisation we are keen to recruit Trustees with the skills and experience to support that growth, for example a Trustee with a background in HR and / or law. We particularly welcome applications from people who have the lived experience of a separated child or a refugee in another situation, or else have been working for organisations that support refugees, and from people in under-represented communities.


  • Understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of Trusteeship
  • Prior experience as a Trustee or member of a committee
  • Knowledge of the type of work undertaken by The Separated Child Foundation
  • Commitment to the objects, aims and values of The Separated Child Foundation, and willingness to devote time to carry out responsibilities
  • Strategic and forward-looking vision in relation to The Separated Child Foundation
  • Good, independent judgement, political impartiality and the ability to think creatively
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to respect the confidences of colleagues
  • Ability to balance tact and diplomacy with willingness to challenge and criticise constructively


  • A wider involvement in the voluntary sector

We’re committed to creating a diverse Board of Trustees that truly reflects the multi-ethnic nature of our society, including the children and young people that we support.

Please click here for further information.

Charity promoting research into rare diseases seeks new Trustee with IP law expertise

The Myrovlytis Trust is a charity founded in 2007 to promote research into rare diseases and advance education of the public in medical and molecular genetics.

By providing information and support to patients, raising awareness among clinicians and the public and strategically funding research, the Myrovlytis Trust aims to transform the outlook for rare diseases. With an initial focus on two conditions (Birt-Hogg-Dubé Syndrome and osteosarcoma), we fund research directed towards new treatments. We want to ensure that patients gain access to the same state-of-the-art technologies, breakthroughs and therapies as those with more common diseases, and work collaboratively with a variety of organisations to achieve this.

The Trust incorporates both the BHD Foundation and Osteosarcoma Now.

We have funded more than £6 million in research grants to laboratories around the world.

We are in a period of reinvigorating the charity, with a new business plan in place along with a new staff team who are committed to the direction the charity is taking.

We are seeking to appoint new Trustees who have the experience to promote the charity’s vision, mission, and goals, and assist with strategy development to ensure the charity meets its financial, legal and governance obligations.

Candidates should be aligned to the ethos of the charity and be keen to contribute their expertise to provide governance and support.  We would love to hear from people with a variety of backgrounds to help us develop a diverse board. A scientific or medical background is not essential.  We are particularly interested to hear from individuals with skills in finance, HR, law (in particular intellectual property), fundraising, scientific research, as well as those with lived experience of a rare disease.

This is an exciting time to be joining a small but agile charity with big plans to expand their remit in the world of rare diseases.


Please click here for further information.

Ealing Mencap seeks new Trustee with legal expertise

Join our Board of Trustees, and play a big part in making sure we offer people with learning and other disabilities greater choice and the very best opportunities in life.

Trustees are there to ensure we work in a way that reflects our vision, mission and values.  And that we spend our funds in a cost-conscious way to achieve the best impact.

Our Vision –  Disabled people will have every opportunity throughout their life to achieve their full potential.

Our Mission – To change society so that disabled people can fully enjoy their rights and live happily and independently as possible.

Who are we and what we do

We give children and adults with learning and other disabilities the opportunity to achieve their full potential and live as independently as possible.

Ealing Mencap is a charity that was set up in 1965.  We’re part of the Mencap network.  We raise our own funds and operate entirely independently of the national organisation.

Changing lives for the better:

  • We offer a wide variety of services that put people and their families first
  • provide free advice and support that enables people with learning and other disabilities to move forward
  • we stand up for people with learning disabilities, enabling them to speak out and get their voices heard
  • we forge alliances with other organisations – like borough councils, businesses and charities
  • use our specialist knowledge, experience and insight in the area of learning disabilities to enable our communities and partners to give people a better future.

What we’re looking for

We’d love to hear from you whatever your professional background and whether or not you have experience as a Trustee.  The important thing is that you’re passionate about changing the lives of those with learning disabilities. However we are keen to hear from you if you have skills or experience in the following areas:

  • Governance
  • Accountancy/Finance as our Treasurer
  • HR and Legal
  • IT

We welcome applicants of any background, particularly those who are under-represented in the communities we work within and have an understanding of social action.

What’s involved

The Charity is governed by a Board of Trustees who meet on a quarterly basis to provide strategic direction, oversight of the work of the charity and to give support to the Chief Executive and the Senior Management Team (SMT).

Please click here for further information.

Oxfordshire South and Vale seeks new Trustees – law background sought

We are looking for several new Trustees to join our Board

A Company Secretary Trustee

A PR & Communications Trustee

A Research & Campaigns Trustee


What will you be doing?

We are a local charity providing free, confidential and independent advice to help people in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of the White Horse resolve their problems. The main issues people bring us concern benefits, debt, employment, housing, relationships and consumer problems.  Following advice, four in five people are able to resolve their problem and we help most to find a way forward. We also use evidence to influence policies and practices that affect people’s lives.

Our 120 volunteers and our 23 (mainly part-time) staff, advise over 9,000 people each year from four main Advice Centres. At present our advice centres are partially open and many of our staff and volunteers operate our Adviceline service from home.

We are members of National Citizens Advice, which means we have access to its services, resources and support and it sets and audits our advice standards.  However, as an independent charity, we are responsible for running our own affairs and much of our funding comes from District, Town and Parish Councils and local charities.

Trustees are asked to attend six Board meetings a year, held in the evening at various locations.   Each Trustee is encouraged to take an interest in a particular aspect of the charity’s work.

What’s in it for you?

  • make a positive impact for people in your local area by ensuring the local Citizens Advice is sustainable and serves the needs of the community
  • meet people and build relationships with trustees, staff and other volunteers
  • build on your governance, leadership and strategy skills
  • increase your employability
  • and we’ll reimburse expenses too.

We encourage applications from people of any age, background or identity and are committed to equality and diversity.

We are looking for new Trustees to join our Board. As well as those with broad experience, we would particularly welcome applicants with skills in governance or with a legal background.

We encourage applications from people of any age, background or identity and are committed to equality and diversity.

Please click here for further information.

Responsible investment charity ‘ShareAction’ seeks new Trustee

This is an exciting time to join a growing organisation already established as a leading voice in the responsible investment space, and to play your part in helping shape a fairer, healthier, more sustainable future. The global investment system has an oversized impact on challenges from the climate crisis and biodiversity loss to poverty and inequality. We want to make sure that impact is positive. At ShareAction we work with investors, policymakers and individuals to unleash the positive potential of the investment system. We aim to build a world where our financial system serves our planet and its people.

ShareAction is widely recognised as a thought leader in the field of responsible investment (RI). The organisation’s mission is to define the highest standards for responsible investment and to drive change until those standards are adopted worldwide.

Background and Role Purpose

We are looking to appoint new trustees to support ShareAction in realising an ambitious new strategy. Trustees have ultimate responsibility for the governance of the organisation, as outlined in our Articles of Association, ensuring it delivers its charitable objectives, is financially sound and legally compliant.

We are looking for candidates who are passionate about ShareAction’s mission and will help us achieve even greater impact around the world.

Time Commitment

Trustees will be expected to be committed and engaged, devoting, on average, a minimum of 1-2 days per month, spread across different activities and requirements. More details available in the Recruitment Pack.


Key Responsibilities:

  • Attending regular meetings of the Board and its sub-committees (where appointed)
  • Contributing actively to the Board’s collective role in setting ShareAction’s strategic direction in line with its charitable objectives, setting policies, and evaluating the executive team’s performance against agreed targets
  • Ensuring that the organisation complies with its governing document, charity law, company law and all other relevant legislation and regulations
  • Ensuring that management and administration are undertaken responsibly
  • Ensuring that the organisation uses its resources well and exclusively in pursuance of its charitable objects
  • Acting in the best interests of ShareAction while exercising independent judgement
  • Safeguarding and protecting charity assets (investments, cash, intellectual property, staff and reputation) and ensuring the charity’s financial stability
  • Acting as an ambassador for ShareAction and using networks to promote its work and, where appropriate, to seek funding
  • Assessing and scrutinising Board papers and contributing to the work of sub-committees



Knowledge, skills and experience


  • Experience relevant to the mission of ShareAction and a willingness to champion its values


  • Firm and well-evidenced commitment to the aims and work of ShareAction
  • Collaborative and emotionally intelligent
  • Ability to work as part of a team, in a culture of learning and change
  • Willingness to support, directly or indirectly, ShareAction’s fundraising and other income generation activities
  • Ability to think creatively
  • Assertive, willing to speak their mind and exercise exercise independent judgment
  • Understanding, or willing to learn about, the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship
  • Willingness to support ShareAction’s executives and staff in their work as appropriate
  • Not be disqualified from being a trustee
  • Ability to make the time commitment to perform the functions of the role

Please click here for a link to the Recruitment Pack and application details.

Charity supporting children & families with illness/disability seeks Trustee with legal expertise

Every year, 12 to 17 of every 10,000 children born are diagnosed with an illness and/or disability that threatens or shortens life. The diagnosis itself is life-shattering and stressful for each and every family member.

The Maypole Project provides a range of support from diagnosis through treatment and beyond. We provide emotional support to the whole family including siblings and grandparents. Our promise is to be alongside families every step of the way, creating a package of emotional support tailored to their needs, for as long as it is needed.

Our vision is for all families who have a child with a chronic illness or disability to have access to a Maypole Project Support Worker at this time of great need.

This is an exciting opportunity for two trustees to join The Maypole Project’s Board of Trustees.  The role of a trustee is highly rewarding, its key responsibilities being to:

  • ensure that the charity and its trading subsidiaries are governed effectively
  • work in partnership with the Chief Executive to ensure that the organisation has a clear vision, mission and strategic direction and that the organisation, the trustees and the Chief Executive are focused on achieving these
  • work within the Board of Trustees to ensure future sustainability, in terms of the impact of activities against assessed need, and financial sustainability
  • ensure that the Board of Trustees is monitoring performance through reports provided by the Chief Executive and senior staff
  • take a particular interest or, by agreement, a lead role in any areas of specialist expert knowledge

The successful candidate will demonstrate leadership and management skills, with the ability to take a considered and clear view on strategic issues and vision. The successful candidate will have an understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship.

This is a role that requires strategic vision, willingness to devote the necessary time and effort, strong independent judgement, and the ability to lead and work as a member of a team. As a member of the Board of Trustees, you will carry the duties of the post with tact, diplomacy and confidentiality.

What are we looking for?

Ideally we are ​​​looking for trustees who have experience in one or more of the following areas:

  • Psychosocial care for families with children with medical needs/disabilities
  • Health and social care policy and/or policy development at senior level
  • Organisational development and people management
  • Strategic development including fundraising strategy
  • Legal expertise
  • Financial management
  • Individuals that have the contacts and networks to help source and retain high-value individual and corporate donations
  • Operating within a board in a charitable, public sector or commercial organisation

We are also looking for applicants with the following attributes:

  • Commitment to The Maypole Project and our mission and values
  • Willingness to devote the time and effort required to undertake the role effectively
  • Strategic vision
  • Sound, independent judgement
  • The skills to analyse proposals and examine their financial consequences
  • Willingness to speak your mind and make recommendations to the board
  • Understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of role
  • Willingness to be available to staff for advice and enquiries on an ad hoc basis

Please click here for further information.

Ministry of Justice: Online Procedure Rule Committee seeks Member with knowledge of the lay advice sector

Members will be expected to play an active role in the OPRC and have collective responsibility for the creation and operation of the Online Procedure Rules. In particular, members will be expected to:

• Engage fully in Committee meetings, giving full consideration to the issues and taking account of all relevant factors, including any guidance issued by the Ministry of Justice or by the Lord Chancellor.

• Attend approximately 10 Committee meetings a year and participate in at least 1 working group. Frequency of working group meetings and associated work will depend on the priorities and work programme the Committee sets, working closely with the Lord Chancellor and Senior Judiciary.

• Read and consider papers outside of meetings. Keep abreast of paperwork and issues relating to the work of the OPRC. Candidates will be expected to put time aside ahead of meetings to review paperwork.• Be prepared to represent the Committee publicly.

• Ensure that the OPRC’s responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act (including prompt responses to public requests for information) are discharged, agree contributions to publications as required.

• Respond appropriately to complaints, if necessary, with reference to the Ministry of Justice.

• Ensure that the Committee does not exceed its powers or functions.

From time-to-time issues of a confidential nature may arise during Committee work. The duty of confidentiality obliges members to respect the confidentiality of such work. Confidential information that members obtain during the course of membership of the Committee must not be shared by committee members except to the extent permitted by the Chair.

Person Specification

Essential criteria

Candidates will be able to demonstrate the following:

• Experience in and knowledge of the lay advice sector.
• An interest in justice, law, court procedure, and digital services
• Commitment to putting the needs of users at the centre of the rule making process
• The ability to analyse and debate complex issues
• Effective interpersonal and communication skills including demonstrable ability to engage with stakeholders
• An understanding of diversity issues
• Demonstrable ability to express complicated matters in plain English

Desirable criteria

Candidates should ideally have experience in one or more of the following areas:
• The ability to contribute to, and influence, Committee meetings
• Excellent time management skills
• Experience of helping users navigate court processes
• A knowledge of the existing work developing the digital justice system, including the HMCTS reform programme and current online dispute resolution.

• There must be no employment restrictions, or limit on your permitted stay in the UK.
• You should not be employed in the UK Civil Service.


Please click here for further information.

Grayshott & District Housing Association seeks new Trustee – legal expertise welcomed

Grayshott & District Housing Association provides affordable housing to rent for local people on low incomes. The small enthusiastic trustee board would welcome a few new members with the appropriate skills to ensure succession.

What will you be doing?

A Trustee has strategic responsibility for the management and direction of the charity. Trustees are supported by a part time Housing Administrator who deals with all the tenants, traders and contractors. A full supportive induction programme is carried out with new trustees. The existing board of nine has a wide range of skills & experience linked to housing, such as property management, a building surveyor, local building company director, social care, tenancy support and finance. G&DHA seeks to build on this skills base.

G&DHA has recently completed 14 flats in the village centre, the first development for many years. This was fully supported by the village community and has housed people with a strong local connection. There are sufficient resources to continue development to meet local needs. However, a decision has been made to concentrate on retrofitting the older properties to ensure improved energy efficiency and comfort for our tenants. Therefore any project management or building expertise would be very welcome on the board. We particularly seek people who are prepared to get involved, visit the properties and support our administrator.

What are we looking for?

G&DHA seek housing linked skills and experience such as building/property management, surveyor and property development.

Apart from the property management there are the tenants to support, so skills and experience in social care, supported housing or tenant support, local government housing / homelessness would be very welcome.

G&DHA would also value some legal expertise and Human Resources experience.

All Trustees need to have an enthusiasm and desire to provide quality social housing within a village context.

Please click here for further information.

Africa in Motion film festival seeks new Trustee – law expertise sought

We seek to appoint people who are as passionate as we are about African/Black diaspora cinema & artistic expression, the cultural sector in the UK, & addressing urgent questions about inequality with the aim of creating a just world.

What will you be doing?

We want our Board to reflect the diverse nature of the Black diaspora, be intergenerational, and to reflect the independent spirit of the filmmaking we champion. Following the exciting appointment of our new Festival Director and the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, we are keen to receive applications from potential Trustees across the spectrum of age, disability, gender, socio-economic background, and cultural heritage.

Anti-racism is firmly among our core values. We particularly welcome applications from people who have an understanding of Black British cultural experience, people of colour, other ethnic minorities and under-represented groups. You don’t need to have an arts background or a university degree to be a Trustee, or to have reached any particular stage in your career. We want to hear from people who bring something new, will challenge us, and who want to help us grow. We invite applications from people who are passionate about Africa in Motion’s vision, the arts/cultural sector, and those with lived* experience.

*By this we mean: “Personal knowledge about the world gained through direct, first-hand involvement in everyday events rather than through representations constructed by other people.” Some may consider it more in terms of personal identity or culture. You do not have to disclose which, if any, lived experiences you identify with as part of the application process.

Some examples include: being chronically ill, d/Deaf, Black British, Black African, desi, disabled, LGBTQ+, non-binary, refugee or Asylum Seeker, visually impaired, working class, mixed heritage and so on.


What are we looking for?

We currently have 5 trustees. You don’t need to have an arts background or a university degree to be a Trustee, or to have reached any particular stage in your career. We want to hear from people who bring something new, will challenge us, and who want to help us grow. We invite applications from people who are passionate about Africa in Motion’s vision, the arts/cultural sector, and those with lived* experience. We have identified these key expertise gaps:

  • Law
  • HR / Policymaking
  • Accounting/Financial governance
  • Professional filmmaking/acting/media industry experience
  • Fundraising and Sponsorship experience
  • Community building
  • Strategic planning and business management

If you don’t meet any of the above, or have expertise in a different area, we still encourage you to submit your interest, but we may prioritise other applicants to ensure a well-rounded, representative board.

Please click here for further information.

Charity supporting people with life-changing illnesses seeks Trustee with legal expertise

The Pear Tree Fund is looking for five new trustees to join its resourceful, friendly, and committed team and help transform the lives of those in our community who are most in need. This is an exciting opportunity to join the charity at a time of change and play an integral role in its development.

We are looking for a treasurer, trustee with fundraising expertise and three other trustees. The successful applicants will join our board of trustees and help set the future direction of the Pear Tree Fund to make sure it can continue to respond to the needs of the local community.

Please click here for further information.


Charity for communities in need – The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul – seeks Trustee with law background

We are seeking individuals who can bring their professional knowledge, dedication and passion to the Daughters of Charity Services Board of Trustees through the appointment of individuals who have a background in one of the following areas:
• Finance / Accounting
• Social Care
• Law

Daughters of Charity Services operates as a family of charities across Britain, providing a diverse range of services to various communities in need of support, from working with Roma women and families in Glasgow, to providing homecare to elderly people living alone in Westminster.

The role

Each organisation is independently run, but forms a part of the Daughters of Charity Services family through their shared commitment to our Vincentian charism and values, and a commitment to collaborate in order to best serve those experiencing poverty, exclusion or isolation. It is this shared commitment, borne of our Catholic heritage and the philosophy and practice of St Vincent de Paul, which helps shape our common identity.

Our organisation serves to safeguard and deepen the Vincentian ethos of our member charities and operates as a central resource hub, assisting with infrastructural needs and best practice in governance, in order to enable each of our six member charities to best serve the needs of the respective communities. We also seek to respond to new poverties as they arise.

As an equal opportunities employer, we welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons. In seeking to ensure that our Board reflects the communities we serve, we would particularly welcome applications from black and minority ethnic (BME) candidates, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ persons and people aged 40 or under. All appointments will be made on merit.

Board meetings are held four times per year, with visits to our member charities strongly encouraged.

Please click here for further information.

Worthing Women’s Aid seeks new Trustee with legal expertise

Could you join our Board as our Legal Trustee, supporting the work of the Board and CEO to relieve the distress and suffering of people, with a particular focus on women and children who have suffered or are exposed to domestic abuse?

What will you be doing?

Our Trustee Board has gone through a transformation over the past two years and has a new generation of trustees who bring specific areas of expertise to the role of governance. We have a new Strategy and a strong ambition. We are looking for a legal expert who- in addition to usual trustee functions- can support our ambition through…

  • Advising on legal matters – experience in housing law and/or employee relations law desirable
  • Advising on compliance/regulatory matters
  • Bringing a substantial background as a legal expert
  • Contribute to the organisational development committee- supporting the charity to comply with legal requirements
  • Assessing potential legal risks

Experience of the refuge sector is not essential but any successful candidate will be expected to be able to demonstrate an understanding of, and empathy with our values, aims and objectives.

What are we looking for?

  • A formal qualification as a lawyer in English law
  • Experience in advising and leading on legal matters within an organisation
  • Experience in advising on compliance/regulatory matters
  • Understanding of the legal responsibilities and liabilities of a trustee
  • Ability to operate at both strategic and practical levels
  • Integrity and good/independent judgement
  • Ability to take decisions
  • Willingness to speak one’s mind, listen to the views of others and constructively challenge
  • An ability to work effectively as a member of a team
  • Willingness to commit the necessary time and effort to being a trustee (add in time commitment)
  • Commitment to and understanding of the vision and values of Safe in Sussex

Please click here for further information.

Charity for children with complex health needs seeks new Trustee – legal skills sought

This is an exciting opportunity for two trustees to join The Maypole Project’s Board of Trustees.  The role of a trustee is highly rewarding, its key responsibilities being to:

  • ensure that the charity and its trading subsidiaries are governed effectively
  • work in partnership with the Chief Executive to ensure that the organisation has a clear vision, mission and strategic direction and that the organisation, the trustees and the Chief Executive are focused on achieving these
  • work within the Board of Trustees to ensure future sustainability, in terms of the impact of activities against assessed need, and financial sustainability
  • ensure that the Board of Trustees is monitoring performance through reports provided by the Chief Executive and senior staff
  • take a particular interest or, by agreement, a lead role in any areas of specialist expert knowledge

The successful candidate will demonstrate leadership and management skills, with the ability to take a considered and clear view on strategic issues and vision. The successful candidate will have an understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship.

This is a role that requires strategic vision, willingness to devote the necessary time and effort, strong independent judgement, and the ability to lead and work as a member of a team. As a member of the Board of Trustees, you will carry the duties of the post with tact, diplomacy and confidentiality.

Although we are keen to strengthen our Board in general, we are particularly interested in applications from people who have experience in the following:

  • communications/branding
  • legal experience
  • governance experience
  • charity leadership experience
  • HR experience

Please click here for further information.

The Befriending Scheme – improving the lives of the vulnerable in East Anglia – seeks new Trustee with legal expertise

The Befriending Scheme is an established charity of over 30 years. We are blessed with having some amazing Trustees but we need two more! We have some very exciting plans for the future including social enterprise development.

What will you be doing?

The Board are passionate, forward thinking people with a wealth of experience.  Between them they have local government, social care, and HR experience.

We are looking for two new members who can assist with legal matters, writing funding applications, social enterprise experience and possibly with some farming knowledge. Like most charities we are faced with ever decreasing opportunities to gain funding from local authorities coupled with the fierce competition surrounding grant applications to Trusts.

As a Trustee you will attend Board meetings, currently between 4 and 6 per year. You will also be encouraged to take responsibility for working in identified sub groups with one or two other Trustees.

Ideally, most of all, you will have a huge passion to making a difference to the lives of disadvantaged people.  Experience of working or working alongside the Voluntary Sector in Suffolk, Norfolk or Essex, would be great, but not essential

Experience or knowledge of people with a learning disability would be useful but not essential.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for someone who is passionate about improving the lives of vulnerable people and families. You will live in the East Anglia area and be willing to travel to 4 – 6 Board meetings per annum and work with the Senior Management Team to develop new services and  if at all possible, identify funding steams.

Please click here for further information.

Clothing Collective seeks to appoint secretary trustee with responsibility for governance

With 22% of the UK population living in poverty and 7% of those living in persistent poverty we see more and more people on the street begging for help, in addition to those we don’t see, who are struggling to get by.

We provide access to the stocks of clothes held at charity shops, to people who are unable to afford to clothe themselves for whatever reason, were we are able restore some dignity to them by arranging for them to go into a charity shops and redeem the vouchers we provide in exchange for clothes.


We partner with third party charities such as Foodbanks, Homeless charities, local community organisations and others where we provide them with our vouchers for them to identify those most in need to benefit from the distribution of our vouchers to be redeemed at charity shops in exchange of clothes,

We also partner with charity shops where our vouchers can be accepted in exchange for clothes. This then not only provides the provision of clothes to those most in need, but in turn when the vouchers are redeemed back to us for repayment by the charity shop, we are also providing the charity shops cause with additional funding.


We’re looking for a friendly professional person who is able to act as the Secretary to the Board of Trustees who has the ability and experience to take on the additional task of being responsible for the charities Governance

What will you be doing?

The charity having only been in existence since 2018 is on a very steep trajectory in its development with a board of trustees tasked with growing the charity by upscaling the delivery of its charitable support to those it is set up to help, based on their specific core professional experiences.

With the long term view in mind, it’s the trustees objective to manage the charity professionally in all regards and operate as determined by the Charity Commissions.  With this in mind, we are looking for a suitable person who will oversee the Governance of the charity with additional secretarial tasks.

Ideally you will have experience of working in a senior capacity within a company or organisation where you are/were charged with the responsibility of looking after and overseeing tasks with statutory obligations of some kind.  The types of employment sector could vary but the level of responsibility will be high.

The majority of our Trustee meeting are conducted over MS Teams and one of the main tasks required would be to manage the trustees meeting where you would take the Minutes.  This would be followed by storing them on our MS ShareDrive and distributing the Minutes to each Trustee following the meetings, along with any other secretarial duties appropriate.

As a relatively new charity, the Trustees would look to the person in this role to provide guidance and advise in terms of the Governance of the charity and ensure all aspects of the charity were operating in accordance with the Charity Commissions guidance as set out in the charities Constitution.  Its important to note, as a relatively young charity operating at a basic level, the tasks and responsibilities are not overly onerous, nevertheless very important.

As an additional task of the Secretary, the charity works with professional fundraisers where they source and write bids for the charity to submit to grant funders who finance the charity.   The professional bid writers however do not submit the bids themselves and provide all the relevant bid information to the charity to submit ourselves.  The Secretary would be tasked with uploading the bids to the relevant funders, usually via their own funding portals, emails or via post.

The role requires someone who is able to provide their time with minimum of management, instinctively working on their own initiative.

Ideally the person interested in this role will have a professional background where they are familiar with working to and within guidelines.

We are looking for a suitable person who will oversee the Governance of the charity with additional secretarial tasks.

Ideally you will have experience of working in a senior capacity within a company or organisation where you are/were charged with the responsibility of looking after and overseeing tasks with statutory obligations of some kind.  The types of employment sector could vary but the level of responsibility will be high.

It would be beneficial to have MS 365 Office suite experience where they are familiar with using a SharePoint and OneDrive.

We are not looking for a professional Minute taker in terms of shorthand where this may be part of your current work role, we require someone who is willing to take Minutes longhand.

You should have excellent administrative skills which you will be able to share and introduce better working practices to the charity.

We would expect additional tasks to evolve which you would take charge of as you grow within the role.

Please click here for further information.

Learning disability charity in Winchester seeks new Trustee – legal expertise sought

Our focus is to enable adults with learning disabilities to live life to the full with the choices and independence that they want. We promote self-development, friendship, self-confidence, creativity and learning. We also like to have fun!

We have a range of weekly and monthly activities and we provide advocacy, information, safeguarding and skills workshops.

We respect and promote the rights of people with a learning disability and their families to speak up on issues both locally and nationally. We aim to raise awareness, change attitudes and influence policy.

Role summary

Being a Trustee at Winchester Go LD gives you the opportunity to contribute your experience and insight to the governance of the charity, enabling the organisation to support members to live life to the full. Winchester Go LD is proud to be a leading local organisation who enable people with learning disabilities (our members) to live life to the full with the choices and independence that they want.

Trustees set the overall vision, strategy and annual budget of the charity and guide the committed team of loyal and experienced staff on specific issues.

One Trustee has commented: “Working with this extraordinary group of committed members and volunteers has reminded me how everyone has a talent and how valuable it is to create time in your busy day to think of and help out others.”

Who we are looking for?

We are looking for a new Trustee who shares our interest in our local community and who has a passion to make a positive difference. Someone who wants to contribute their energy and ideas towards this fast growing and ambitious local charity.

Winchester Go LD welcomes applications for this Trustee role from individuals new to the organisation and also from existing members and volunteers. We are seeking to increase the diversity and skills within our group of trustees; the ideal candidate includes someone who is dynamic, inquisitive, has an interest in supporting the learning disability community and who would like to share their HR or Legal skills.

It is important for all our Trustees to have empathy for people with learning disabilities and to show an understanding of the challenges that they face.

Our new Trustee will have good communication and organisational skills, they will be enthusiastic, committed and be prepared to ask challenging questions. The role will build on pre-existing skills of leadership, teamwork, time management and competing priorities and decision making.

Time commitment

The Board meets either face to face or online for 2 hours on 6 evenings a year.


Please click here for further information.

Afrikindness seeks new Trustee with legal experience

Afrikindness is looking to strengthen its Board of Trustees.  We are seeking a trustee with legal experience to support our work by joining our Board.

We are a pioneering non-profit association founded in 2021 out of the desire to foster more awareness of Kindness among (albeit not exclusively) children and young people of BME origin (black & minority ethnic). Our charity’s sole purpose is to advocate for kindness. We are focused on inspiring, educating, and empowering children and young adults to be kind to themselves (mental health), kind to others, kind to the environment, and kind to Africa. At the core of our founding vision is the passion to create a world where every child can transform their community and make a global difference through Kindness.

Our trustees play a vital role in making sure that Afrikindness achieves its core purpose. They oversee the overall management and administration of the charity. They also ensure that Afrikindness has a clear strategy and that our work and goals are in line with our vision.

We are seeking a dynamic legal professional to work closely with our Co-leaders and the Board to maintain an overview of the regulatory environment and our contractual obligations and support strong governance. You will have strategic vision, experience, and expertise in charity law, commercial law, or employment law. We welcome those who share our values: thinking, speaking, and acting in a caring, collaborative, creative, and critical manner. You will be undertaking a lead role for the Board of Trustees on all matters associated with the legal aspects of the organization. You will work alongside the legal team in Africa.

We encourage candidates with experience in one or more of the below areas to apply:

  • Legal experience from either the private or public sector with experience in non-profit organizations.
  • Strategic planning, vision, and good, independent judgment.
  • An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities, and liabilities of trusteeship.
  • Commitment to the principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, and leadership.
  •  Knowledge and experience in the charity sector.
  • Ability to advise on employment law / HR policies
  • Commitment to Equal Opportunities and Diversity
  • Commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children: willing to undertake safeguarding training
  • Understanding of data protection legislation and changing regulations.
  • Understanding of fundraising and charity legislation.


What are we looking for?

We are looking for a trustee with legal expertise to play a significant role in strengthening our board of trustees. The trustee will remain legally compliant, and ascertain the challenges entailed in partnership working including the potential of mergers, working with children, appraising the implications of contracts, intellectual property, and data protection. To help develop and review policies and contractual documents. We are looking for people willing to bring energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to the role, and who will broaden the diversity of thinking on our board. We are looking for someone who is passionate about children and young adults, who is keen on Africa, and looking at making a difference in the educational sector.

Please click here for further information.

‘Alternatives to Violence Project’ in North London seeks new Trustee – employment law expertise sought

This is an opportunity to become a trustee of a small but growing charity and guide it through an exciting time of growth and development post pandemic.

AVP started in Britain in 1989 and is now an established charity and company limited by guarantee based in London and aiming to work in all regions of Great Britain as part of an international network in over 50 countries. We are a busy organisation that has grown organically on a low budget in Britain since 1989.

The Board of Trustees is ultimately responsible for directing the affairs of AVP Britain, and ensuring that it is solvent, well-run, and meeting the needs for which it has been set up. The Board is also responsible for the organisation’s governance, values, and overall strategy, and for meeting the organisation’s statutory obligations. The trustees delegate responsibility for managing and developing the work programme, in accordance with the trustees strategy, to staff.

Trustees are expected to use reasonable care and skill in their work as a Trustee, using their personal skills and experience as needed to ensure that the charity is well-run and efficient.

We are looking to strengthen our current Board of Trustees with those that have expertise in any of the following aspects; Safeguarding, ED&I, Employment Law or Fundraising.  However other suitable applicants will not be discouraged.  We are currently running with our minimum number of Trustees required so are keen to find the right people as soon as possible.

Please click here for further information.

Hospice care charity in Gravesend seeks new Trustee with a legal background

ellenor is a charity that provides hospice care to all ages and to help us provide this specialist hospice care and support, we need amazing people. We have an exciting opportunity for you to join our charity.

This is a fantastic opportunity for a business professional from all sectors to join ellenor at Board level.

As a Trustee you are responsible for the governance and strategy of ellenor, it’s financial health and the probity of its activities in accordance with ellenor’s Articles of Association.

We have several Trustee positions that will be vacant in 2023 and whether you are an experienced Trustee or wanting to take your first step at Board level, we want to hear from you.

People are at the heart of everything we do.

Please click here for a link to a full recruitment pack.

Mental health charity in Lincoln ‘Shine’ seeks new trustee with legal skills

Trustee required! How would you like to make a difference to a fast paced, rapidly growing Mental Health Charity? Do you have the legal skills that our charity is looking for? If you think you can help, please apply!

Shine Lincolnshire are looking for a dynamic trustee to join its board. Over the past 15 months Shine has exceeded all growth expectations and is moving forward at pace.  Shine is looking to enhance its board skills by recruiting an additional board member who has the legal skills/background to compliment its existing trustees.

About Shine


Shine Lincolnshire supports and aims to improve the health and well being of people with mental health issues living in Lincolnshire. It provides a network of people and organisations which help connect people with the community services and support that will most effectively meet their needs and enhance their lives.


Connecting people with help and support that will most effectively meet their needs by:

  • Sharing information about mental health support services, events and news
  • Training volunteer support workers
  • Working collaboratively with partner agencies
  • Supporting local organisations to grow, develop and deliver community services.


Time Commitment

Circa half a day per month.

Board meetings are held monthly in the daytime.

For this Trustee appointment, the role will have a specialist legal focus to provide advice and guidance to the Board of Trustees on a range of legal and law related issues including Contract & Employment Law as well as preferably advice on Charity Law.

The skills/experience we are looking for (but not limited to) are legal, risk assessments, team working, communication, strategic thinking and creativity.

Please click here for further information.

Arts organisation Farnham Maltings in SW Surrey seeks new Trustee with legal expertise

We are seeking four dynamic individuals to join our Board of Trustees who have a genuine interest in Farnham Maltings and are passionate about the arts and all it can offer communities here in Farnham, the South East region and beyond.

Farnham Maltings has a fifty-year history of contributing to the quality of life of the town and region as a vibrant cultural organisation. We have strong relationships with our Local Authorities, Arts Council of England and a range of trusts. Farnham Malting’s mission is to encourage people to be actively creative; connecting with others unlike ourselves; and by articulating new ideas we will foster a happier, healthier, and more inclusive set of communities. We instinctively gravitate to the margins, aspire to be generous, seek out surprising partnerships and delight in working with people who can do things better than us.

This voluntary position would require attendance at four quarterly Board meetings and the AGM. We encourage our trustees to actively support our work, visiting events, performances and various projects throughout the year.

The Board consists of a wide range of professionals who challenge, monitor, advise and work closely with the CEO and management team. In particular we are looking to enrich the current board with people who have experience and expertise in one or more of the following areas:

Arts development, Independent theatre and performance, Community engagement, Finance management, and Legal.

We are keen to reflect our communities by attracting applications from people of all different backgrounds who share our values and our vision, regardless of ethnicity, disability, or protected characteristics.

The Maltings is in receipt of major funding for innovative theatre and art projects, in addition to generating funds from its own resources. The Maltings is run as a company limited by guarantee (954753), with charitable status (305034) and is run as a creative organisation, that works with artists and communities to encourage people to make, see and enjoy the best art possible.

For further information, please click here.



The 93% Club – supporting ‘state schoolers’ at university – seeks new Trustee

We’re looking to grow our trustee board to bring a diverse range of experience, so that we can be sure we have all the skills we need as we prepare for the next stage of our journey. This is a brilliant opportunity to join a large but growing charity at a pivotal moment in our ambitions to dismantle social immobility in the UK.

Over the last four years, the 93% Club has grown from a Facebook group of 400 students at two universities, to a network of state-educated people at more than 30 universities across the UK. We’ve now reached over 10,000 young people in every corner of the country, we’re becoming the go-to organisation for state schoolers at university, and we have big plans to expand our reach even further over the next two years.

The role

About The 93% Club

We are the 93% of people who went to state schools in the UK. Despite our number, we occupy a much smaller percentage of top roles: 34% of FTSE 350 CEOs, 35% of senior judges, 43% of the House of Lords, 56% of journalists, and so the list goes on… That’s why we’re building a members’ club to rival some of the most exclusive and expensive clubs in the UK. We’re taking a centuries-old system and repurposing it to change society and tackle social immobility head on.

We exist to dismantle the class inequality that exists in Britain today through the power of community. By bringing together thousands of like-minded individuals across the country, we are breaking down the structural barriers to social mobility and building a future that’s fairer for the next generation. We are driven by our goal of solving the UK’s social mobility problem, once and for all. Whilst that might sound ambitious, it guides us in everything we do and steers the way in which we operate as a truly mission-driven organisation.

The Trustee Role

  • To actively contribute to policy setting, strategic direction, goal and target setting, and evaluate performance against targets, budgets, plans and charitable objectives
  • To ensure that activities and interventions are linked to the charity\’s objectives and complement the charity culture
  • To ensure the Trustee Board monitors and reviews the performance of the charity\’s leadership, rewards performance accordingly and identifies appropriate development opportunities
  • To monitor the financial position of the charity and its operations within its means and objects, making sure that there are clear lines of accountability for day-to-day financial management
  • To monitor whether the service complies with its governing document and standards and if the needs of the beneficiaries are being met

Required Skills & Behaviours

  • Willingness to actively participate in discussions concerning needs of charity’s beneficiaries, staff, volunteers and the trustee board
  • Willingness to act in the best interest of the charity while adhering the Nolan principles of public life
  • Sound, independent judgement and ability to think creatively
  • Working effectively as a team member and demonstrating a willingness to learn and develop
  • Strong intellectual and analytical ability; innovative thinker and ability to focus on issues requiring action

Particular Experience Sought

As part of our aim to build a Trustee Board that brings together a diverse range of knowledge, we are particularly keen to hear from individuals who can bring any of the following experience:

  • Human resources or volunteer management
  • Charity accounting or non-profit finance
  • Leadership in the charitable or voluntary sector
  • Charity law
  • Trustee experience
  • Education, teaching or education leadership
  • Lived experience of socio-economic disadvantage

Our Commitment to Inclusion

We’re serious about creating an inclusive charity that promotes and values diversity. Organisations that are diverse in age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, ethnicity, and perspective are proven to be better organisations. More importantly, creating an environment where everyone, from any background, can do their best work is the right thing to do.

Please click here for further information.

Marine conservation grant-giving charity seeks new Trustee – governance / charity law expertise sought

Sea-Changers is a grant-giving charity run by a small and committed team of volunteers. Our mission is to create a sea-change in the level of funds available for marine conservation and marine species protection work in the UK. Over the past 11 years we have funded over 250 vital and innovative marine conservation projects. We work with businesses and individuals to raise funds via bespoke corporate partnerships, online giving, eBay auctions, sponsored events and individual donations. To read more about the broad range of projects we have funded and the kinds of business partners we work with please visit our website: www.sea-changers.org.uk.

It is an exciting time of growth at Sea-Changers as our impact begins to scale up. To support this, we are looking for committed and motivated individuals to join our Trustee Team.

At Sea-Changers, the ocean is our passion. We are a volunteer run charity aiming to raise thousands of pounds for marine conservation in the UK. Our vision is to create a world where the seas and shores are clean and healthy and marine species are protected. What makes us different is how we raise the money for this important work. We aim to harness the energy, good will and resources of sea-users to create a sea-change in the amount of funding available for marine conservation.


Since 2011 we have given out over 250 small grants to UK based marine conservation projects….each one creating sea-change.


We are a UK marine conservation charity, managed by a small team of volunteers who love the UK’s seas, shores and wildlife. We give grants to UK marine charities and non-profits for conservation and research projects. ​We work with businesses and individuals to raise funds via bespoke corporate partnerships, online giving, eBay auctions, sponsored events and individual donations. Sea-Changers enables businesses to deliver their corporate social responsibility and to demonstrate care for the marine environment through charitable giving. We make it easy for those with a concern for the sea, and its future, to give something back.



The role

​The role of a Trustee is to ensure that Sea-Changers delivers on our vision, mission and values and fulfils its legal responsibilities and those outlined by the Charity Commission and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator. The Board is jointly and severally responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of the charity, its financial health, the probity of its activities and developing the organisation’s aims, objectives and goals in accordance with the Trust Deed, legal and regulatory guidelines.

We are looking for individuals who have a strong empathy with our vision is to create a world where the seas and shores are clean and healthy, marine species are protected and where, far from damaging the oceans, those who use the sea for their commercial or leisure pursuits, positively contribute to the sustainability of the marine environment.

The role of Trustee is not accompanied by any financial remuneration, although expenses for activities related to duties may be claimed.

Location – Home based anywhere in the UK

Time commitment – As a minimum we would expect you to attend approximately 4 trustee meetings (held virtually) & one away day per year. In addition, twice a year the Trustees are requested to review applications to our main grant fund and make decisions regarding grant allocation. This can take several hours, perhaps half a day each time. However, we are hoping to recruit Trustees who may be able to commit further time and take up a more active role within the organisation if that is possible for them.

All Trustees should be aware of their responsibilities as outlined by The Charity Commission / OSCR.

Please click here for further information.

Philanthropy organisation ‘The Charity Service’ seeks new Trustee with background in law

The Charity Service supports philanthropists to give with ease and confidence. We aim to grow our philanthropy advice services over the coming years, and are are looking to recruit new trustees to help us achieve our goals.

The Charity Service is a trusted expert in charitable giving having been managing charitable funds and making grants to voluntary organisations for over 20 years. Our vision is a world in which philanthropy is commonplace, generous and kind. We promote philanthropy and empower impactful charitable giving. We are an independent charity and operate on a not-for-profit basis.

After a strategic refresh in 2021, we are looking to grow our Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) and philanthropy advice services. To help us achieve this, we would like to appoint two new trustees to our board. Our board currently comprises seven trustees, one of whom will be standing down later this year. Trustees are responsible for the governance of our organisation. They play an influential role in shaping the charity’s strategic direction and monitoring and evaluating organisational performance.

The board meets four times a year, usually in Manchester, although we have been holding some meetings online. Between meetings, trustees may be asked to provide advice and support to the charity’s staff, especially on matters relating to their areas of expertise, although the level of time involved is unlikely to be onerous.

We are committed to recruiting excellent and diverse trustees because it’s important that our board reflect the communities we serve. Whatever your background, we will make it easy to join, participate and share your expertise in your role as a trustee. We welcome applications from individuals without prior trustee experience.

The role is voluntary but reasonable out-of-pocket expenses will be reimbursed.

We are looking for new trustees whose skills and experience will strengthen the board. In particular, we would welcome applications from individuals who can make a contribution in one or more of the following areas:

  • Charitable grant-making, especially in developing grant-making strategy and modern grant making practices, and with a good knowledge of the voluntary sector.
  • Wealth advice, financial planning and/or investment management, including knowledge and experience of ESG investing.
  • Law and legal advice, especially in relation to family and estate planning and/or the charitable sector.
  • Financial management and accounting, especially within the charity sector.
  • Strategic communications and public relations.

It’s an exciting time for The Charity Service as we look to grow our philanthropy services. The new trustees will play a major role in helping us to achieve our goals.

Please click here for further information.

Wheatsheaf Hall in Vauxhall seeks new Trustee with legal expertise

We are recruiting trustees to help take our ambitious, not-for-profit, community-led and volunteer-run venue in Vauxhall from unincorporated status to registered charity.

We need trustees, preferably with experience of setting up new charities, to support our existing long-serving and committed team of volunteers, in particular our Chair and our Treasurer/Secretary.

We meet once a month with the rest of the volunteers and representatives of user groups to run the organisation. We would appreciate individuals with legal, financial or other professional expertise to help steer us through this important phase in our development.

If you are local to Vauxhall, we would be especially pleased to hear from you, as we pride ourselves on our local focus and contact with the community. Join our friendly and ambitious team of young professionals and local residents at this exciting time in our journey.

We would appreciate individuals with legal, financial or other professional expertise to help steer us through this important phase in our development.

Our ideal trustee would

  • be local to Vauxhall
  • be well-connected to the local area or be willing to develop contacts
  • be good at networking
  • be a good team-player
  • be committed to our values of providing an accessible, affordable meeting space for our immediate community
  • help us ensure that we comply with our governing document, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations
  • help ensure that we pursue our objects as defined in our governing document
  • be able to help manage our financial obligations
  • help in setting policy for the future

We are a not-for-profit organisation aiming to become a registered charity by 2019. We need to ensure our trustee board is diverse and well-qualified.

Please click here for further information.

Bedfordshire Almshouse charity seeks new Trustee – legal expertise welcomed

The Frederick Ray Trust: Up to three new trustees sought for this Bedford Almshouse charity, preferably (but not exclusively) with legal/accounting experience to compliment the existing skills of our trustees

We have vacancies for up to three new trustees following the recent retirement of three members of the board. Residents in or close to Bedford with knowledge of the town, plus some background experience in legal or accountancy work would be ideal but not essential. We believe it is important to have a degree of expertise on our trustee board, in the professions that affect our regular activities. We also encourage attendance at trustee seminars arranged by the Almshouse Association of which we are a member.

The trustees meet quarterly in Bedford for about two hours. We have a remunerated clerk and are very confident that our policies are regularly reviewed and up-to-date.

Three of the existing board of five are direct relatives of the founder but live some distance from Bedford, hence a preference to seek new trustees locally.

Experience in legal or accounting work would be ideal but we will also consider other professional expertise.

Please click here for further information.

Alex, The Leukodystrophy Charity seeks new trustee with legal expertise

Would you like to make a real difference to the lives of individuals living with devastating and incurable conditions?

Alex TLC is a trusted and experienced organisation offering support and information for all those affected by a genetic leukodystrophy. These are a group of often terminal, rare neurodegenerative conditions, affecting people of all ages and backgrounds, most notably children. Established in 2004, we are recognised by the NHS and global stakeholders as the “go to” organisation for those affected by these devastating conditions in the UK.

Like many other small charities, we have grown organically from an informal support group to a thriving organisation supporting over a thousand individuals affected by leukodystrophy worldwide.

We are looking for experienced candidates to help develop and improve our existing beneficiary services as well as create and optimise future opportunities for growth.

It is an exciting time to join Alex TLC and we are delighted to be able to offer this opening to join our Board and complement current trustees.

Alex TLC currently employs 23 staff (three of whom are directly affected by leukodystrophy) and runs a charity shop business comprising five shops to support core costs.

We are looking for new trustees with experience in one or more of these areas: legal, PR, marketing, communications, fundraising, campaigning, political activity, IT, public health/care services, management, partnership, not for profit.


Please click here for further information.

Citizens Advice Wandsworth seeks new Trustees

We are currently looking for new Trustees. Several Trustees are likely to retire from the Board over the course of the next year and we have identified a set of skills and experience that would benefit the organisation. We are looking for 2-3 new Trustees and are looking for people with broad experience relevant to our advice delivery and / or people with experience of the health sector. We have also identified the need to increase board representation from Black African and Black Caribbean communities.

It’s an exciting time to join us. We remodelled and refocussed our delivery to remain sustainable throughout the pandemic. Now we are keen to expand our collaborative partnership working to meet rising service demand in Wandsworth.

Please read our Trustee Recruitment pack for further information about the charity, plus a Trustee role description and person specification.  All application details can be found in the Recruitment Pack by clicking through here.

Peace Brigades International (UK) seeks new Trustee with employment law expertise

We are seeking new Trustees to join the Board of Trustees of PBI UK.

This role provides a fantastic opportunity to gain insight into the management, governance and legal obligations of an international Non-Governmental Organisation while contributing significantly to its impact.

The key components of the role are:

  • To guide and support PBI UK’s Director in maintaining a long-term overview of the organisation and all its work;
  • To make strategic decisions about the organisation’s mission, objectives, policies and procedures;
  • To ensure the needs and interests of relevant people and bodies are taken into account when making decisions;
  • To ensure adequate resources are in place to carry out the country group’s activities;
  • To monitor the work of the organisation, especially progress towards objectives;
  • To ensure appropriate action is taken when work is not being done, or is not being done properly;
  • To ensure that PBI UK meets legal and charity obligations

Essential skills include:

  • Significant experience in human resources;
  • Demonstrable knowledge and experience of employment legislation and practice;
  • Understanding of worker and volunteer well-being;
  • Understanding of Diversity and Inclusion and adapting best practices to multiple professional contexts;
  • Good communication skills;

Desirable skills include:

  • Some knowledge of PBI UK and wider PBI structure, history, principles and mandate;
  • Familiarity or willingness to learn about consensus-based decision-making;
  • Political awareness and familiarity with global issues relating to peace and human rights;
  • Experience of trusteeship or similar voluntary roles involving oversight and governance.
  • Knowledge in Personnel, Human Resources or Employment Law, or Charity governance or charity law.

The Board of Trustees work together and trustees are supported by other members of the Board as well as the PBI UK team.

Trustees gain a great insight into the strategy and work of PBI UK and believe that this trustee role is an opportunity to gain insight into the human resources needs and obligations of a small charity, as well as other areas of its work.

The Board meets once every eight weeks. Meetings generally start around 6:30 pm and last approximately 2 hours. Between meetings, there is usually email communication and Trustees work on the action points agreed in the meetings.


Please click here for further information.

Charity helping those with life-changing illnesses in Suffolk seeks new Trustee with legal expertise

The Pear Tree Fund is looking for five new trustees to join its resourceful, friendly, and committed team and help transform the lives of those in our community who are most in need. This is an exciting opportunity to join the charity at a time of change and play an integral role in its development.

We are looking for a treasurer, trustee with fundraising expertise and three other trustees. The successful applicants will join our board of trustees and help set the future direction of the Pear Tree Fund to make sure it can continue to respond to the needs of the local community.


Please click here for a link to the Trustee Recruitment pack.

A Diverse Workplace with Raphael Mokades and Graham White from Rare

We will be joined for this session by Raphael Mokades and Graham White from Rare, the multi award-winning leaders in diversity graduate recruitment.  The session will explore the changing face of the legal profession, and whether firms and corporates are succeeding in their aims to make the profession accessible for all.  It will be easy for members to take some of this thinking back to their firms,  but also apply it in other non-legal contexts for their NED and trustee roles.

Raphael founded Rare in 2005 and remains its managing director. Today, Rare works with 150+ elite employers including all five Magic Circle law firms, the top three global strategy consulting firms, two of the world’s top three investment banks, and the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Rare’s contextual recruitment software has processed over 1.5 million graduate job applications.

Raphael has written for the Guardian, Times and Financial Times. He has been named in the Economist’s Top 50 Global Diversity List, the FT’s Empower Top 100 Ethnic Minority Executives list, and as Legal Week’s Outstanding Innovator.

Graham has been a NED at Rare since 2013 (having worked with the firm since its earliest years). Before that, Graham was a real estate partner at Slaughter and May, where he was also Graduate Recruitment Partner and then Executive Partner.  After retiring from law in 2013, Graham was Chair of Cricket Without Boundaries and a member of the board of High Tide, a theatre company which focuses on the development of new writers. He is currently a director of the Royal Automobile Club and a Governor of Tonbridge School.

The Linacre Institute – supporting young people access the most selective universities – seeks new Trustee with legal expertise

The Linacre Institute is a small charity supporting young people from less traditional backgrounds access this country’s most selective universities. We do this through providing intensive academic programmes for sixth formers which have, every year,  yielded fantastic results. Year-in, year-out many of our students make successful applications to Oxford, Cambridge, Durham and others, thanks to their efforts on our programmes. Our current work is focussed, mainly, in South Yorkshire but we are eager to reach more young people.

We need new trustees with a range of skillsets who have the drive, determination and energy to help us grow our small operation.


Please click here for further information.

Heathrow Immigration Removal Centre seeks volunteers

Every day ordinary people do an extraordinary job monitoring conditions for people in detention to make sure that they are treated with fairness and respect.

The Independent Monitoring Board at  Heathrow is recruiting new members who live within 25 miles of the IRC and can commit the time to 2 to 3 visits per month although this may be slightly higher during the first year of training and this can be flexible depending on the needs of the Board and the individual.

Who are the IMB?

We’re a group of ordinary members of the public, doing an extraordinary job. As a passionate, personable individual, you could join us in making a difference. In this unpaid role, you’ll volunteer your talent and time towards securing a decent day-to-day life for every detainee. Under the guidance of dedicated mentors and an extensive training programme, you’ll commit to a flexible schedule of visits to a local establishment each month, with travel and subsistence expenses paid. Your observations will have an impact as your Board reports its findings to Ministers in Her Majesty’s Government.

About the role

With unrestricted access to these unique environments, you’ll gain a rare insight into all aspects of life in detention. Impartial and highly influential, you can decide what shape your visits should take. As an independent monitor, you may spend time in a specific part of the IRC or choose to have your conversations with detainees out of sight or hearing of a member of staff. As well as keeping a close eye on daily operations, you’ll play a crucial role in dealing with problems that arise. This could be in response to a confidential request to see a member of the IMB, or to observe the management of the more serious incidents that occur.

Why join us?

More than anything else, this is a rewarding opportunity that makes a real and meaningful difference to the lives of detainees and our wider society. Ministers are obliged to respond to the issues raised in your Board’s report.  The environment may seem intimidating at first, but you will be fully supported through your training and accompanied during your visits until you feel ready to manage independently. This highly recognised and respected role could provide the experience that opens doors into other careers within the justice system.

Who are we looking for?

There is no one type of person who could be right for the IMB because it’s not about background or skillset. It’s about having the dedication and passion to ensure all people are being treated fairly For that reason, we’re looking for individuals from all walks of life who will approach the role with no preconceptions. You will need to be willing to work within a challenging environment and have the confidence to report your findings to senior figures. Most importantly, you will be able to talk to people in a way that makes each prisoner or detainee feel respected and reassured.

Royal Albert Memorial Museum Development Trust in Exeter seeks new Trustee with legal expertise

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum Development Trust is excited to announce it is seeking new trustees

Could you help protect the past, support the present and shape the future with us?

The RAMM Development Trust is an independent charity that raises crucial funds to support the work of the much-loved Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery which sits in the heart of Exeter. The Trust is governed by a dedicated team of volunteer trustees who have a passion for supporting RAMM’s work.

The Trust is registered with the Fundraising Regulator and is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and therefore offers trustees limited liability protection.

For fiscal year 2022/23 the Trust is looking to bring in two new Trustees. For the first role we are especially keen to hear from someone who can help with fundraising (approx. 5 hours per month), and for the second we are keen to hear from someone with legal experience (approx. 4 hours per month).

For fiscal year 2023/24 the Trust will be looking to nominate a new Chair and bring in a further new trustee.

All trustees will receive an induction and are supported by the rest of the board (who officially meet on a quarterly basis) and the museum’s small Development Team.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in exploring, we would be delighted to hear from you.


Please click here for further information.

Grant making trust in Islington seeks new Trustee

Are you interested in making a positive difference in Islington?
Can you help amplify the voice of those we work with through your personal or professional experience?
Could you bring diversity to our board so that we better reflect the community in which we work?
Do you have the time and flexibility to fit us into your life?
If any of the above apply to you, then becoming a governor (i.e. a trustee) of the Cripplegate Foundation may be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for you.

Cripplegate has grown from a local grant-making trust established over 500 years ago in Islington. We now have an endowment of some £40 million; together with Islington Giving, we give out grants of around £1.55 million a year in the local area. Our vision is of a society where everyone has the opportunity to live a rewarding and fulfilled life, free from poverty and inequality. We aim to bring about change to improve the lives of Islington’s most disadvantaged residents. We take an evidence-based, innovative and proactive approach and work in partnership with others to improve local support and resources, funding voluntary organisations and advocating positive change in policy and practice.

Being a Governor

As a Governor, you can expect to get involved in discussions around grants, strategy, planning and decision making; helping and supporting the organisation to grow and develop. Our governors come from a range of backgrounds and experiences and we are genuinely encouraging a wide range of people to come forward. We cannot emphasise enough that your background, life experience, approach and values are more important than any knowledge or experience of grant making, or of being a trustee elsewhere.

About you

We will be looking for people who bring some of the following values and approaches: vision and creativity, exceptional listening skills, integrity and commitment, team players, emotional intelligence and a willingness to learn about being a trustee/governor. We are not being specific about the skills and experience you might bring, as the right people can be supported and inducted in becoming a Governor. We hope to attract people who bring experience and knowledge of the local area, as well as people who come from a wide range of ages, backgrounds and ethnic groups, people who have experienced poverty and disadvantage first hand, and people who have a disability, or who have close experience of others with disabilities.

Please click here for further information.

The Rule of law in a changing world with Murray Hunt of The Bingham Centre

As Director of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, Murray Hunt has had a lifelong interest in the social significance of the law and the ways in which practitioners can help to develop a better understanding of the role of the law in society, politics and business. Murray’s session for BCKR will cover modern slavery, accountability for war crimes, parliamentary scrutiny and the significance of the rule of law for global businesses, as he takes members through his own varied career journey as well as the ways in which lawyers can broaden their horizons by engaging with the rule of law issues which confront us today, both domestically and internationally.

He is also the UK’s alternate member of the Council of Europe’s Commission for Democracy Through Law (the Venice Commission) and Legal Adviser to the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Rule of Law, for which the Bingham Centre provides the secretariat. Murray is also an Associate Member of Matrix, which, with a number of like-minded barristers, he helped to set up in 2000.

The Portfolio Lawyer with Larissa Joy

We are delighted that Larissa has agreed to talk to us about constructing a portfolio, based on her fascinating experience.

Having started her career as a City lawyer, Larissa moved out of law altogether 10 years ago and now has a full and varied portfolio. She is a Non-Executive Director of recruitment firm Saxton Bampfylde, law firm Charles Russell Speechlys and the housing association L&Q Group. She also chairs The Foundling Museum and SBT, a consortium including Clifford Chance, Bain, EY, Permira and Thomson Reuters, investing in growing high-potential social enterprises.

Larissa has previously been Vice Chairman of WPP’s Ogilvy Group UK, European COO for PR firm Weber Shandwick, Partner of emerging markets private equity firm, Actis LLP, and Chairman of the House of Illustration. She also holds an FTCL from Trinity College London and an LRAM from the Royal Academy of Music and plays and performs regularly with London Lawyers Music Symphony Orchestra.

Members will have a lot to learn from Larissa’s account of her move away from the law, and the breadth of positions she has since held. If you didn’t participate in Larissa’s earlier event (three years ago and very popular!), this is a tremendous opportunity to hear her views on portfolio life.

Network of Catholic social action charities seeks new Trustee with law experience

Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) is an agency of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales. It is also a network of over fifty Catholic social action charities and diocesan Caritas organisations. CSAN is rooted in Catholic Social Teaching and part of the global Caritas Internationalis family.

The charity works to:

    • Further the charitable works of the Catholic Church in England & Wales in accordance with its teaching through the development of the network of those working in social action;
    • Advance the education, training, practice and formation of those active in the field;
    • Promote the development of individuals and communities for the benefit of the poor, the vulnerable and the marginalised of all faiths or none by offering a coherent Catholic voice in the public arena.

The role

The Board of Trustees is looking to recruit new trustees in 2022. We are looking for people who are enthusiastic about Catholic social action and teaching and have a broad range of experience and knowledge, including Church organisation, third sector leadership and management, fundraising, finance, communication, human resources, politics, and the law. In particular, we are looking to recruit an Honorary Treasurer with experience and skills in finance and accounting.

You will be expected to commit to four Board meetings per year, with the associated preparation and follow-up work. Other events may call for your presence, and some work relating to your particular skills may also be expected.

Board meetings take place in central London. This is a voluntary role, but expenses are paid.

Trustee Role Description

Caritas Social Action Network’s Trustees act as custodians of the organisation’s vision, mission and values. They have the responsibility to ensure that these are embedded in CSAN’s work and to monitor this through the Strategic Framework. Together with the Chief Executive, they actively develop the organisation and its work. The Trustees play an essential role in scanning the external environment in which CSAN operates: reading the signs of the times and understanding the shifts in relevant policies and the trends within the Catholic community.

In bringing to bear this external viewpoint, the Trustees seek opportunities which ensure that CSAN maximises its potential to reduce poverty, exclusion and disadvantage. They act as ambassadors for the organisation.


Trustees are expected to:

  • Play an active part in the work of the Board of Trustees, enabling it to achieve the purpose set out in the Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • Give some time to CSAN between Board meetings, following up on any action points according to their responsibilities
  • Fulfil occasional ambassadorial, advocacy and representative roles

Key roles and responsibilities

Trustees should:

  • Preserve and develop the mission of CSAN and ensure its good governance
  • Undertake strategic planning, taking into account the interests of stakeholders, together with the associated strategies, plans, targets and performance indicators
  • Monitor the performance of CSAN against agreed strategies, operational targets and performance indicators
  • Approve annual estimates of income and expenditure, ensuring that resources are available to meet the strategic plans and targets
  • Ensure the financial health of CSAN and safeguard its assets
  • Ensure the establishment and monitoring of systems of control and accountability, including financial and operational controls and risk assessment with adequate internal and external audit
  • Ensure compliance with the charitable purposes of CSAN and observance of Company law
  • Appoint the Chief Executive and the determination of his/her pay and conditions of service
  • Identify and encourage potential major donors, corporate or foundation trust individuals.
  • In addition, the Honorary Treasurer is a trustee designated for this specific role or office. They will have particular responsibilities concerning the finances, ensuring that proper accounts are kept, and helping to set financial and investment policies and an annual budget.

Applications are by covering letter outlining the skills and knowledge you will bring to the role, accompanied by a CV. Applications close at noon on Friday, 7 October. Shortlisting will take place on Tuesday, 11 October, with in-person interviews in central London on Tuesday, 18 October. For more information on CSAN and the role of trustee, please visit the Jobs and Volunteering Section of our website: https://www.csan.org.uk/jobs/.
Please send all applications to recruitment@csan.org.uk.

Complementary health charity (helping carers, Grenfell survivors, homeless) seeks new Trustee

Are you able to make a difference to a local West London complementary health charity?

We at Munroe Health are looking for committed, enthusiastic and pro-active individuals to join our trustee board. We are a small London based charity that delivers a range of complementary therapies to support the health and well-being of those who would otherwise not be able to afford or access such treatments.  The beneficiaries of our treatments are diverse and has included Carers, the elderly, homeless and more recently Grenfell survivors.

You will work collaboratively with other trustees and be confident in making decisions that will shape the future direction of the charity.  You will contribute to the existing board with your skills and experience.

The nature of being a small charity means that additional ‘hands-on’ support between board meetings and for projects would be welcome.

This is a non-remunerated role but reasonable travel expenses for board meetings will be reimbursed.

We welcome applications from people of all ages (over 18) and backgrounds who feel they have the skills and attributes to help strengthen the Board.

Please click here for further information.

Arts & literature dementia charity ‘Living Words’ seeks new Trustee – legal expertise sought

We are seeking:

  •  People with an appreciation of, and commitment to Living Words’ journey, aims and ethos.
  • To complement the skills and expertise we already have on the board, we are looking for trustees who have experience in legal, marketing, finance or running a mid-size arts organisation.
  • We are also looking to recruit a Chair for the board, and are open to who this person might be.
  • In addition we would like to hear from individuals under 25 with an interest in the arts, dementias and/or mental health, who might like to join our board.

We hope to hear from you!

About Living Words:

Since 2007, Living Words has pioneered an arts and literature programme working in equitable partnerships with people impacted by dementias and mental ill health. Through this process, which began with people living with dementia, we evolved an ethically and methodologically sound process, Listen Out Loud, to co-create individual books of words about their lived experience. Informed by this intimate participatory work, with participant involvement, and within an ethical framework, we create anthologies, films, performance, songs and events to enable these voices to be heard in the world, and to challenge associated societal stigma and promote inclusion.

Please click here to download our Trustee Document for full info.


Heart of Bucks community foundation seeks new Trustee with legal expertise

We are currently seeking new trustees to join our established, friendly board and engage in the leadership, administration and governance of Heart of Bucks.

Our trustees are key to setting the strategic direction of our organisation and provide valuable advice and support to both board members and staff.

Our board meet five times a year, with meetings usually held at our offices in Weston Turville during the day. Trustees may also be asked to attend occasional evening and weekend events.

We hope that our trustees would also be involved in a committee that is the closest match for their skills or could support Heart of Bucks with specific projects, utilising their professional skill or expertise.

We estimate that these commitments will take up approximately five hours per month.

We encourage applications from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. It would be preferred if you live in, work in or are closely connected with Buckinghamshire. If you feel there may be barriers that could prevent you from otherwise supporting us as a trustee, please do get in touch for an informal discussion.


Please click here for further information.

Trustee with International Human Rights Law experience sought

Korea Future is recruiting at least one new trustee with extensive international human rights law experience to join our board.

Trustees are appointed for a 3-year term, which is renewable. The board currently has 7 trustees.


Korea Future investigates human rights violations in North Korea to accelerate justice and support accountability. It is currently undertaking a multi-year documentation project focused on the North Korean penal system. It maintains offices in London, Seoul, and the Hague..


  • Evidence of at least 5 years of professional experience in day-to-day role focusing on international human rights law. This experience may be in the academic, legal, CSO, government, etc. sectors.


  • Provides guidance for the organisations within a framework of prudent and effective controls which enable risks to be assessed and managed
  • As part of the board sets the strategic aims of rhe charities, ensures that the necessary financial and human resources are in place for the organisations to meet their objectives.
  • Sets the values and standards of the organisations and ensure that their obligations to their stakeholders are understood and met
  • Ensures that effective Governance and control procedures are in place within the organisations


  • Strategy. trustees should constructively challenge and help develop proposals on strategy;
  • Performance. trustees should scrutinise the performance of the organisations in meeting agreed goals and objectives and monitor the reporting of performance;
  • Risk. Trustees should satisfy themselves that financial controls and systems of risk management are robust and defensible;
  • Trustees are expected to lead or sit on one or more of the board’s subcommittees (Communications & Fundraising, Audit & Risk, or Programming)


Please note that Korea Future has a sister charity, Connect: North Korea. All Korea Future trustees also sit on the board of Connect: North Korea. Meetings are held at the same time for both charities.


Meetings are in London on a roughly 12-week cycle. They last for approximately 2 hours at a time. Additionally, this trustee would sit on our Audit and Risk subcommittee, which meets every quarter for around 2 hours.

Please click here for further information.

Trauma Breakthrough in Somerset seeks new Trustee – company law expertise sought

TRAUMA BREAKTHROUGH – Committed and Enthusiastic Trustees Sought for a Leading Regional UK Based Provider of Trauma-Informed Training, Consultancy & Well-Being Services for Organisations & Individuals.

1 in 5 adults have experienced abuse, sexual violence and other forms of trauma. Many go on to experience long-term impact on their mental and physical health, as well as increased levels of social exclusion and isolation.

At Trauma Breakthrough we believe that every trauma survivor should be able to access the help they need to make a full recovery, and to live full and empowered lives.

We work with:

  • Organisations – including businesses, statutory services and charities, to deliver training, consultancy and tailored solutions, aimed at helping them provide effective support to trauma survivors.
  • Individuals – to provide specialist psychotherapy, support and other well-being services.

In order to help us develop and deliver our ambitious and exciting strategic priorities over the next 3 to 5 years, we are looking recruit up to three new trustees. We are particularly interested in hearing from people with experience in any of the following areas:

  • Strategic planning
  • Financial management
  • Company or charity law

Please click here for further information.

Website here.

Enrich Learning Trust in Norfolk seeks new Trustee with legal expertise

Enrich Learning Trust is seeking supportive Directors/Trustees for the Trust Board.  We require, and benefit greatly from, a range of professional knowledge and experience, including but not limited to:

Education, Business, Finance, Information Technology, Human Resources, Legal, Marketing, Estates and Property Management.

This is a challenging but very rewarding voluntary role.  You are not expected to have knowledge in all areas as all of the Trust’s governance Boards work as a team and expertise in a particular field is extremely valuable to the Trust.  Your skills and experience are more important than previous Board Member experience.

We are based in Norfolk but would welcome Board Members from further afield.

A full induction programme and bespoke professional development opportunities are available to all successful applicants and actively encouraged in all areas of governance.

Applications will be considered on receipt and therefore an early application is recommended.

Further details are available on the Enrich Learning Trust website and if you would like an informal conversation about the role, please contact us – we would love to hear from you.

Please click here for further information.

The move from Lawyer to Entrepreneur with Calvin Walker

Calvin gave an engaging account of his move from legal practice to an entrepreneurial portfolio based round two new ventures. The first is on familiar territory and is a web based training company offering a range of programmes for international project financiers. The second is a new international index trading platform based on water prices. Calvin explained his transition from lawyer to entrepreneur and also outlined how he has hedged his own risks in this process.

Listen here or watch the webinar below.



A Coach’s Perspective on Lawyers with Niall Foster

Through our NED skills course, Niall has now helped many BCKR lawyers improve their chances of getting roles outside the law.  An MBA lecturer, change consultant, or coach at organisations as diverse as EDF Trading, HMRC, Peabody, the East African Seed Company in Nairobi and Kyiv National Economics University, Niall is well placed to help us understand how lawyers come across against the competition, and how just a few changes in approach and plenty of practice can make the path to portfolio life much easier. Watch our webinar to learn more.



Learning with Parents seeks new Trustee with legal expertise

We are looking for committed and passionate Trustees who are dedicated to supporting Learning with Parents to ensure all children are supported at home to reach their potential.

What will you be doing?

Our next steps as a charity will be to increase the number of children and parents we work with through working with more schools and developing more partnerships. We are looking for committed and passionate Trustees who are dedicated to supporting Learning with Parents to ensure all children are supported at home to reach their potential.

Learning with Parents is recruiting for three individuals to join our Board of Trustees. We are particularly keen to hear from candidates with fundraising or legal expertise. We are also looking to appoint a qualified accountant.

We think it is important that our charity reflects the lived experience of our beneficiaries, and we want to be an organisation where employees and supporters from any background can thrive. We particularly welcome applications from disabled, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME), Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans including non-binary (LGBTQ+) candidates, and candidates from low-income families. These groups are currently underrepresented at Learning with Parents, and we are committed to increasing representation and diversity at the charity.

There are numerous statutory responsibilities of a Trustee and a certain level of commitment is required.

What are we looking for?

About You

  • Essential:
    • A commitment to Learning with Parents’ charitable mission
    • Experience of operating at a senior or Board level
    • Experience of effective, fair and impartial decision-making
    • Experience of developing, and working towards, a strategic vision
    • Experience of building and sustaining relationships with key stakeholders
    • Willingness to contribute the time and effort necessary to the position
    • Appetite to challenge and discuss issues openly and to make difficult decisions
    • Ability to advocate on behalf of the charity, particularly within your network
    • An understanding / willingness to learn the responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship
    • An understanding / willingness to learn the roles of Chair, Trustee and CEO
  • Desirable:

We are particularly excited to hear from anyone with experience in one (or more) of the following areas:

  • Experience of fundraising and contacts that would support this activity for LwP
  • Knowledge of the law from a Charity’s perspective
  • Accountancy and financial management


Please click here for further information.

Cultural organisation in Southampton ‘City Eye’ seeks new Trustee with legal expertise

This is an exciting time to join our board. City Eye is a small but resilient organisation and we are at a transformational time in our existence. We are currently engaged in a process of organisational development to strengthen our financial position, confirm our long term business plan, and grow capacity and activity.

In 2018 – after many years of commitment and collaboration with project partners – City Eye moved into Studio 144; a new building created as a cultural hub in Southampton’s city centre. This move, while still presenting some challenges, offers many opportunities for us.  Studio 144 is undoubtedly an extremely exciting place for us to be. The board’s role is critical  in supporting the organisation to navigate obstacles and to capitalise on the benefits of the new location; ensuring ultimately that City Eye will be able to fully operate and realise its organisational vision.

The Trustees meet on average six times per year, depending on situation and need. The meetings last approximately two hours and take place in Southampton city centre or online. There will be paperwork to read prior to each meeting. Attendance at these meetings and the AGM is expected. There are ongoing working groups amongst board members and input into a working group as appropriate is welcomed. It is expected that a Trustee will advocate for City Eye and represent the organisation if required to do so. Trustees will always be welcomed to City Eye events and it is hoped that attendance at some is possible, particularly during Southampton Film Week (annually in November).

What are we looking for?

The Board of Trustees are collectively responsible for the governance and leadership of the organisation and, working with the company’s Executive Director, ensuring City Eye meets its charitable objectives as set out in our articles of association:

We are looking for people who are willing to take on this responsibility, who are passionate and enthusiastic about City Eye’s work and its future growth and success. We welcome those who are able to be both supportive and thoughtfully challenging and who can offer their wisdom and skills to move City Eye forwards.

To build on specific skills already represented in our board membership, we are particularly looking to recruit individuals who can offer expertise in the following areas:

Legal: perhaps you are a solicitor, or you work in the sector in some way. We need you to be able to ask relevant legal questions and then support us to find the right answers – whether you have them or whether you know how to find the person who will.

Financial: knowledge of fundraising and maximising income would be of interest here.  We engage an independent accountant with in-depth and long-term knowledge of City Eye’s financial situation, but a good grasp of accounts is an essential component of board membership.

Business Development: we are currently undergoing a process of organisational development. An ability to strategically consider the organisation and recognise opportunities is of interest here.

Film Industry:  The film industry is wide and varied, we are interested in hearing from anyone with experience of working within the sector at any level, and to understand how your experience and reflections might inform City Eye.

While we have identified a need to engage trustees with the above expertise, we are interested in hearing from people who can bring relevant wider abilities and experience to City Eye.

Please click here for further information.

A Lawyer’s move to Academia with Sarah Paterson

Sarah was a partner at Slaughter and May for 12 years before she took on a full time teaching and research role at the LSE in 2013.  She retains a part time consultancy at Slaughters in their insolvency and restructuring practice, and has recently obtained a professorship at the LSE.  Sarah is regarded as one of the leading insolvency lawyers of her generation but her story is likely to appeal to those lawyers of any discipline who aspire to revert to the academic roots of their profession.


Refugee youth charity ‘Our Second Home’ seeks new Trustee with legal expertise

Our Second Home is a youth movement that helps migrants and refugees to flourish in the place that they call home. Through residentials and leadership training, we empower our members to create community and build leadership.

Using a model of peer leadership and regular activity, we are creating a participant-led social movement. We do this through three core programmes to refugees and migrants aged 14 and above: school holiday residentials, a leadership training programme for graduates of the residentials, and regular movement building activities for our leaders. While youth movements like ours have existed for over a century, OSH is the first catering directly toward refugees and migrants. We are guided by 5 core values: the value of home; acting with, not for; building leaders; social action; care and support.

We began as a summer residential for 25 young people, and are now a movement of 148 young people from 25 countries based now in London, Essex & Newcastle. We officially became a charity in January 2022, and are now looking for one last piece of the puzzle: a trustee with a legal background.

You will have a passion for human rights and immigration law, but we are happy to hear from people with a wide variety of specialisms. We particularly encourage applications from women, disabled, and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates, and those who have lived experience of the asylum system.

There are 4 trustee board meetings a year, and we also encourage our trustees to roll up their sleeves and help out at our residentials.

We are looking for a trustee with legal expertise who can help complete our founding trustee board. We seek to appoint based on skills, and other interests and skills we look for in board members include:

  • Safeguarding and welfare of vulnerable young people
  • Strategic development
  • Knowledge of the UK refugee sector
  • Financial acumen
  • Legal expertise, in particular around charity law and/or refugee and immigration law
  • Fundraising
  • Communications & PR
  • Monitoring and evaluating impact
  • Logistical or event management expertise

We particularly encourage applications from women, disabled, and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates, and those who have lived experience of being a refugee.

Please click here for further information.

Stefan Stern – The Business Journalist View

Stefan Stern is a leading journalist and author on management, and is also Visiting Professor in management practice at Bayes Business School (formerly Cass) and a Fellow of the RSA.  He was director of the think tank, the High Pay Centre, from 2015 to 2018.  Stefan drew on his extensive experience of writing and teaching about the business world to share his thoughts on the NED role (and what makes a ‘good’ NED) as well as some of the issues which boards are (or should be) facing – executive pay being one.

His career in journalism has included stints at Euromoney, the BBC, Management Today and the Financial Times, (where he was the management columnist). He continues to write for the FT and the Guardian, among other titles.  He is the author of several books, including, “Myths of Management – what people get wrong about being the boss” (with Prof. Cary Cooper) and “How To Be A Better Leader”. His latest book, “The Lady Macbeth Guide to Ambition”, will be out in the autumn.

The Portfolio Lawyer with Kathryn Ludlow

Kathryn qualified as a lawyer in 1988 and was a partner at Linklaters for 20 years where she specialised in commercial dispute resolution and investigations. She was also the firm’s first Global Pro Bono Partner and chaired the Corporate Responsibility Committee.

Kathryn had a number of external roles whilst at Linklaters, including as a trustee of the Royal Courts of Justice Citizens Advice Centre and the Bingham Centre and as a member of the Aberystwyth University development board. Since retiring from Linklaters a few years ago, Kathryn has joined the board of The Great Ormond Street Hospital Foundation Trust and two not-for-profit organisations, The Hall for Cornwall – the leading arts organisation in Truro – and the humanitarian organisation International Rescue Committee UK. She also continued to serve on the Linklaters new partner election committee, worked with G3 and spent a short period returning to the law in an executive capacity, taking the role of General Counsel at Centerview Partners UK.

In recent years, Kathryn has gained considerable experience of not-for-profit organisations and their boards and will be talking about how she made the decisions which have shaped her post-law firm partner roles, describing the matters to take into account when deciding on a role and operating as a NED. She will also touch on her brief return to executive life as a GC and mention her new business venture…. to be launched imminently.


Richard Susskind: Widening horizons – technology and tomorrow’s lawyers

Richard is a leading authority on the interaction between technology and the law. He is a prolific author and speaker as well as being an independent adviser to international professional firms and national governments. He is the IT Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and holds professorships at the University of Oxford, Gresham College and Strathclyde University.

Click below to watch Richard in conversation with Guy Beringer. A fascinating exploration of the role of AI and the law and making the law more accessible for all.

“If the answer is ‘more lawyers’ then you’re probably asking the wrong question!”


Lawyer and Beyond with Matthew Rhodes

Matthew left Ashurst in 2000 to found RollOnFriday, he is one of the founder directors of BCKR, spent 6 years as a trustee of Prisoners Abroad and is a visiting lecturer at BPP Law School. Matthew was appointed an OBE in the 2011 New Year’s List for services to legal pro bono.

In conversation with Guy Beringer, Matthew explained how he took the leap from legal practice to start RollOnFriday, shared his insights into the legal profession today and how it helps, (or not!) its senior lawyers to develop and move on from the profession.  He says that “pro bono is in most lawyers’ DNA”.  BCKR is well placed to guide all lawyers through the process to pro bono and beyond.



Howard Charles: How music in the workplace can make you a better lawyer

Howard Charles describes his career journey from young professional singer to establishing a business which brings music, dance and theatre to the workplace. He explains why individuals will benefit from this and how it can improve individual self esteem, confidence and performance in work. He also explains that these benefits can be accessed by anyone irrespective of musical talent or experience.



Blake Cottage Trust (William Blake) in West Sussex seeks new Trustee

William Blake (poet, artist and visionary 1757-1827) and his wife Catherine lived in a cottage in the village of Felpham in West Sussex between 1800 and 1803. The Cottage is now one of the only two surviving homes where Blake lived, the other being a Georgian townhouse in London. The Blake Cottage Trust was set up in 2015 and successfully raised half a million pounds to purchase the Cottage and put it into trust for the nation. Our aim now is to renovate the building in time for the 200th anniversary of Blake’s death in 2027 and open it as a centre for the dissenting imagination; celebrating Blake’s life and works.We are therefore at the start of an exciting five-year project and we, the four existing Trustees, are looking for other people to join us in the adventure. In total we currently have six vacancies, with one being reserved for a representative from the local community.

Although the Cottage is located in West Sussex on the South Coast of England, Trustees can be based anywhere in the UK, although occasional visits to the Cottage will obviously be required. Trustees give their time free but in due course, when funds allow, we hope to be able to cover travel expenses, or similar costs. In return you will gain experience in a range of skills, including historic building restoration, property management, interpretation and educational activities. Come and join us.


Please click here for further information.

Financial Markets: The Questions the Board is Asking with James Ayling – Research Analyst of JM Finn

James Ayling is a Research Analyst within JM Finn’s Equity Research team responsible for UK and overseas equity coverage.  James gave a comprehensive run down of market conditions over the last 18 months, how the pandemic is affecting supply chains, the impact of inflationary pressures and where we are in the current economic cycle – all of which are areas influencing the decision-making process of the board.


Zest Theatre based in Lincoln seeks new Trustee with legal specialism

Zest is an award-winning theatre company creating exhilarating new work for young people. In light of the pandemic, we are overhauling our work to better meet the needs of young people and make a greater impact on their communities. Zest is seeking new at least one new Trustee with a Legal Specialism to join our board and support the organisation at this exciting time.

Based in Lincoln, Zest creates work for theatres, festivals, outdoor spaces, schools and digital platforms, with work described as ‘unpretentious’ (The Stage) and ‘invigorating’ (The British Theatre Guide). We actively place young people at the centre of the action and creative process.

Zest is searching for at least one new Trustee who is ready to invest their knowledge to enrich the evolution of the company and the lives of the young people we serve. You might not have an arts background, but you’ll be authentic, transparent and excited to join a collaborative team focused on the inclusion and amplification of young voices. Acting as a critical friend to Zest, you would be able to use your experience and specialisms to interrogate our practice, whilst offering contingency and support to our small-but-mighty core team.

Please click here for further information and application details.

Lynn Hiestand: The Portfolio Lawyer – Life is too short to do just one thing!

Lynn Hiestand spent nearly thirty years in international corporate restructuring, mostly at Skadden Arps in Chicago and London, before moving to Heartland Alliance International, a human rights organisation aimed at assisting marginalized populations. She has recently been Country Director in Iraq where HAI aims to provide legal, mental health and other services to vulnerable Iraqis throughout the Kurdistan Region and Southern Iraq.

Alongside this, Lynn is a NED or trustee for JUSTICE, Wellbeing for Women, Literature for All of Us and Georgetown University Law Center, roles based in the US and the UK.


The Importance of Legal Platforms as Valuable Economic Assets by BCKR’s Guy Beringer

In this Spotlight article Guy Beringer considers the importance of legal platforms as valuable economic assets; he argues that this requires:

(i) an understanding of the value that can accrue to an economy as a result of the efficiency of a legal platform;

(ii) planning of the legal platform so that it keeps pace with development; and

(iii) investment in the legal platform.

Click here to read more.

BCKR founder Guy Beringer interview on MSNBC/NBC News for Climate Action Live

Chairman of The Legal Education Foundation, Former Chair UK Export Finance, Former Senior Partner of Allen & Overy Guy Beringer CBE is interviewed by Anchor and Journalist MSNBC/NBC News, Author of “Enough About Me” Richard Lui for Climate Action Live 21

Hear Guy explain how Climate Action requires the framework of the Rule of Law to achieve its aims.


Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen: The Chairman’s Perspective

We were delighted to welcome Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen to BCKR. After studying law at Cambridge, Stephen’s career initially embraced financial journalism (a founder of Euromoney Publications at 23) before moving into theatre-owning and managing 11 leading West End theatres.
While Stephen has had plenty of commercial non-executive experience, he focused the session on the not-for-profit elements of his career and in particular, his Chairing of RADA, where he took over from Richard Attenborough – and why Attenborough called everyone ‘darling’!  He discussed taking trustee roles at younger or older ages, the role of non-execs given the limited knowledge available to them, and the importance of strategy reviews, touching on the importance of lawyers on the board not being regarded as a source of free advice.

“It’s the Chairman’s job to make sure the meetings are useful, interesting and constructive.”

Click below to hear more.

Professor Lynda Gratton: how to prepare for a 60 year working life?

Below is the recording of the BCKR event with Professor Lynda Gratton 0n 7 October. Lynda is an expert on the future of work and, during the event, she discussed the major demographic changes in the developed world and the significant consequences which these will have for the lives and careers of lawyers and for law firms. How do we deal with the changes which are taking place, including a move towards working lives of 60 years, and what are some of the things which we can do to prepare for this. A thought-provoking event in an area which is not sufficiently considered.

A practical and informative session with leading headhunter Kit Bingham

We were delighted to welcome Kit Bingham to BCKR. Kit is the Head of the UK Board practice at leading headhunter Heidrick & Struggles, leading searches for Chairs, Non-Executive Directors and Chief Executive Officers across a wide range of industries.  Kit joined the session and provided members with a practical guide on how to approach headhunters.

According to Kit, lawyers are problem solvers, crisis managers and people who bring solutions to the board, but they also need to bring ingredient ‘x’!  Click below to find out more.




The Board: A General Counsel’s Perspective with Dan Fitz

We were joined by Dan Fitz, GC of the Crick Institute. Dan has served as General Counsel and Company Secretary of BT Group, Cable & Wireless and Misys. He has chaired the Association of Corporate Counsel and been Vice Chair of the GC 100. He has been named in the FT’s list of the top 30 Global General Counsel and in 2014 the FT named him one of the top 100 LGBT executives.  Watch back to see how Dan planned, or didn’t plan, his career path leading him to his current post.


Former lawyer turned psychotherapist Gavin Sharpe – workaholism, life, law and stress

We were joined by former Allen & Overy lawyer, Gavin Sharpe who, in 2012, made the decision to retrain as a coach and psychotherapist. He encouraged us all to take a step back and take a look at work and life as a whole. Anyone who takes work calls whilst on ‘holiday’ or pulled all-nighters, will benefit from spending a few minutes listening and reflecting upon what Gavin had to say. Gavin himself now has a diversified portfolio career alongside his main career, and seems to have achieved a balance that many current lawyers are now looking for.

The Portfolio Lawyer with Andrew Peck: Plan ahead, get committee experience and fill your address book!

We were joined by former Linklaters lawyer, Andrew Peck, who shared with us his experience of planning for and achieving a fulfilling portfolio career. This should resonate with any lawyer currently thinking about how the next few years will look.

Click the link below and watch the webinar back to hear Andrew’s top tips for planning ahead, achieving his aims, and looking forward with no regrets.

Tim Wainwright CE WaterAid UK: What to look for in a good board member

Tim has worked with two Chairs who have also been lawyers so you’ll be pleased to hear that he doesn’t feel lawyers should be pigeon-holed into one single category. He wants to see what that individual can offer as a whole. Indeed, Tim has found a legal background to be a valued asset on a board, often bringing with it wisdom, a breadth of experience, “lawyers see an awful lot of things!” and, in his experience, a “precise and forensic'” approach.

Watch Tim Clark (BCKR) and Tim Wainwright in discussion below.

Headhunter Susanne André: the benefits Lawyers can bring to development agencies and non-profits

Starting out as a lawyer, and now in search for the development and NGO sector, Susanne’s session looked at a number of aspects of the NED roles in the development sector and the opportunities for lawyers who are considering these roles. These aspects included:

  • the inter-linkages between the public and private sectors in the light of the UN SDGs
  • the differences between the private and development sectors including cultural and senior relationship matters
  • the attributes which are required for appointments in the development sector including a growth mindset, motivation for the cause, diplomacy and networking
  • the expertise and experience of lawyers which support successful applications including understanding business organisations and partnership dynamics (in particular, consensus decision-making), attention to detail and the advisory mindset

Overall, it was Susanne’s view that the development sector held out a range of interesting opportunities for lawyers given their experience and expertise. This was particularly the case following the pandemic given that attendance at meetings (which, for many agencies, were held outside the UK) would not continue to involve such an extensive travel requirement.

Watch the webinar below to hear more.


The Portfolio Lawyer – Jonathan Scott: how to have a successful plural life after law

On retiring from his roles as Senior Partner and Executive Chair of Herbert Smith Freehills, Jonathan Scott wanted to take on number of external appointments.  He has sought roles which would be an interesting challenge,  take him out of his comfort zone, enable him to ‘put something back’ and ultimately, have fun in the process.

With some help along the way Jonathan now enjoys a successful plural life. Do watch our conversation with Jonathan who gave us a first hand insight into how he went about realising his plans and just what benefits he feels lawyers can bring to boards.

Andrea Coomber Director of Justice: how law, and lawyers, can be a vehicle for change

Andrea Coomber, the Director of Justice, gave an excellent overview of the role of Justice in addressing societal concerns and of the value of the justice system as a public good. She also looked at how lawyers might themselves practically contribute to the challenge of ensuring that the justice system is effective, particularly at a time when public confidence has been shaken in areas such as racial inequality and gender based violence.
She concluded with some valuable insights into remote working based on her experience of working as Director of Justice from Australia in recent months.
Watch Andrea in discussion with one of BCKR’s directors, Guy Beringer, below.

Headhunter Jan Hall: Be your own best advocate

Jan was until recently one of the leading headhunters for Chair, Board and senior executive roles at major corporates and is now running a consultancy for senior NEDs and management. Jan’s session gave many insights (based on her executive and NED career – which started at the age of 27) into:

  • how headhunters work and how to make them your messenger,
  • how to keep in touch with them,
  • avoiding being desperate, grumpy or arrogant, and
  • why we should not take rejection personally.

She has also recently published Changing Gear, on how best to approach life after a full-on career.

One point was of particular note – when researching this book, Jan realised that, when compared to others, we lawyers spend too little time treating ourselves and our next career stage as a project and, therefore, invest too little in ourselves when working out our next steps and securing the next stage of our careers. BCKR and its various offerings offer you a good way to make this key investment.

Do watch the webinar below to hear Jan’s take on the transition to portfolio life.

Rebecca Gudgeon on ESG and Corporate Reputation

Rebecca Gudgeon, a partner in the communications firm Hudson Sandler, has extensive experience as an adviser on organisation risk and reputation issues. She leads HS Sustain (the ESG practice of Hudson Sandler) and is one of the leading advisers in the ESG sector.

Rebecca’s talk (and the subsequent conversation) covered the impact of the rapidly developing ESG sector, the broad scope of ESG requirements and the knowledge which non-executive board members of an organisation (including not for profit boards) now need to have to operate effectively as NEDs.  The areas covered by the discussion included:
  • ESG and the development of strategy (including the role of the UN SDGs)
  • the stakeholders affected by ESG strategy and operations
  • the cross disciplinary impact of ESG
  • measurement and the role of ESG rating agencies
  • the role of the Board in looking at ESG requirements
  • the interplay between long-term strategy and shorter term decision-making (including executive remuneration) and reporting
  • becoming familiar with ESG requirements
  • how to deal with ESG ‘dinosaurs’ on a board.

Click below to watch back the webinar.

Hilary Wild: How the Audit Committee can be a perfect fit for a lawyer

We were joined by highly experienced audit committee chair, Hilary Wild, who takes us through just how beneficial the presence of a lawyer on a board can be. The prerequisites of an audit committee member – the ability to think independently and objectively, integrity, the ability to manage confidential and sensitive information, are all characteristics often found not just in accountants but in lawyers too.

Whilst not all lawyers are not finance professionals, many lawyers are hugely financially literate and their place on an Audit Committee will be an asset. Indeed, as Hilary suggested herself, an Audit Committee made up solely of accountants would not be at all healthy! Lawyers have the potential to bring far more to the table.

Hilary has provided some useful background material from The Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors which provides us with a high level view of the context for audit committees, and a sample audit committee charter. Please do watch the webinar below to find out more.


Miranda Wayland from the BBC: Boardroom issues of the day – BLM and the diversity agenda

We were delighted to be joined by Miranda Wayland, Head of Creative Diversity at the BBC who talked us through how they go about analysing the gap between diversity/equality and equity and the practical steps which can be taken to address that gap as well as looking at diversity in its widest context. Miranda articulates well one of the key issues of understanding other people’s perceptions and perspectives.

The BBC – although different from other organisations – is a great comparator and the (internal) work which they were doing is really impressive and an example if we are to address these fundamental problems.

Click the video below to watch our webinar.

David Paterson: top tips for current lawyers – plan early and take the initiative

We were joined by former lawyer, David Paterson, who spoke candidly about the need to preserve self esteem and be realistic when starting out on a portfolio life. His words will resonate with many of us. David guides our members through his own journey in transitioning from being an M&A and board advisory partner at HSF to holding a variety of non-executive and trustee roles in the charitable and sporting arena just two years later.

David recommends doing research to find out what it is you want from a portfolio life, be realistic, network, and use the services that BCKR has to offer.

Watch the recording below to hear more from David.


RACC-UK (Rare auto-inflammatory support organisation) seeks new Trustee with law expertise

TrusteeRACC – UK is the UK’s only patient charity for patients and families suffering from #Rare Autoinflammatory conditions.

We are looking for applications from people from all social and cultural backgrounds, which are passionate about Rare Diseases, enthusiastic and reliable, with a variety of skills and experience they could use to help with the running of Rare Auto-inflammatory Conditions Community – UK (RACC-UK), such as:

  • Charity governance
  • Finance
  • Law
  • Fundraising
  • Project management
  • Business management
  • Marketing
  • Communication
  • Human Resources
  • Event planning


We are looking for skilled, enthusiastic and reliable people to manage the affairs of Rare Auto-inflammatory Conditions Community – UK (RACC-UK) as trustees, ensuring that the Branch is governed and managed effectively, whilst continually having Rare Diseases at the forefront of their minds. Trustees serve on the governing body of the charity and have the responsibility for the running of the charity.

Please click here for further information.

Guy Henderson: Six steps to take when looking at life after law

This week we were joined by Guy Henderson, former lawyer at Allen & Overy, who performed a complete career change and is now Chief Executive of Ascot Racecourse, amongst other things.

Guy takes us through the six steps he would recommend taking when sitting down to consider a life after law, planning for a life that makes you ‘leap out of bed in the morning!’


Christopher Rodrigues CBE: judgement, insight, worldly experience and a passion for the cause

Christopher Rodrigues, chair past and present of a diverse range of boards from the arts and sport to finance and education, provided our members with an invaluable insight into what he looks for in a useful board member, often counting lawyers among those who can best help the board make better decisions. He takes the refreshing approach of always trying to recruit members to his boards for whom the role will be their first.

Additionally, Christopher details how the nature and form of board meetings are changing over the course of 2020 while we try and cope with the limitations imposed by the pandemic – some changes are for the better, and some will be retained even after the threat of covid has subsided.

Lisa Mulley: taking control of your personal and professional life with consulting

We were recently joined by Lisa Mulley who leads Peerpoint, the consulting panel for Allen & Overy, who considers how lawyers, in her experience, can take their first brave steps into the world of legal consultancy, thereby allowing them greater control and the freedom to explore different avenues.

‘Knowing your skillset’, and ‘good listening skills’ are just a couple of areas crucial for lawyers to consider if they wish to successfully pursue a career in consultancy. These are equally crucial areas for lawyers to review in preparation for securing their board roles.  Being a good lawyer is almost a ‘given’. Do watch the webinar to find out more about this potentially exciting and enriching area.

If you email us here, we will be happy to put any of our members in touch with Peerpoint if they wish to consider consultancy.

Susie Cummings from Nurole: Simplifying the headhunting process

We were joined by Susie Cummings from Nurole who talked us through the process they adopt when charged with finding candidates to fill board roles, citing many lawyers along the way who have successfully attained their board roles this way. Nurole actively encourages boards to hire ‘first timers’, indeed around half their appointees are taking on their first role. Do watch the webinar to see Susie’s enthusiasm for this successful, thriving business model.

If you would like to get in touch with Nurole, Susie and her team will be pleased to hear from BCKR members. Please email them enquiries@nurole.com to find out more.



The case for English law: Underpinning the City – and the UK economy – CSFI and Guy Beringer


Two of the UK’s most senior lawyers, Dame Elizabeth Gloster and Guy Beringer, published a letter in the FT urging the government to provide the sort of support for the UK’s dispute resolution system that it already does for, say, the film and fashion industries. After all, English law is crucial to the UK economy – and there is no doubt that it is under challenge from NY law, from Brexit and from the development of local alternatives not least in Asia. Liz and Guy explain what they want, and why. And Simon Gleeson adds his own contribution to a topic that will become increasingly important.


Malcolm Sparkes and Cyber-Security: “it is the business of the board to manage risk”

This week we were very fortunate to welcome Malcolm Sparkes and his colleague Dr Susanna Berry from security consultancy firm Blacksmiths, to discuss how the Non-Executive Director can be best placed to help minimise risk and ensure their firm is secure.

Given the increasing number of cyber-attacks on firms large and small, the webinar is worth watching. We consider subjects ranging from security within large institutions to whether there is risk working from home on your own laptop! Malcolm also let us have a list of the top 10 security questions non-executive directors may like to raise, as during the webinar he reminded us that ‘it is the business of the board to manage risk’.


Webinar with Nigel Boardman: taking on external roles ‘makes you a better advisor’

BCKR welcomed portfolio lawyer Nigel Boardman to talk us through his journey from partner at Slaughter & May to where he is now, holding an interesting and diverse portfolio of non-executive roles.

If you are starting to consider taking on roles, it’s worth listening to what Nigel has to say about lawyers sitting on boards and just how much taking on roles can benefit your clients, benefit your employer, and ultimately, you. As Nigel himself says, taking on roles “adds humanity to your life and work… anyone who’s qualified as a lawyer has a lot to offer.”


Webinar with John Schonert: Headhunting is not a dark art! A different approach to finding the right NED

We were delighted to welcome John Schonert from executive search firm Williams Schone this week. He put BCKR director, Elizabeth Holden, on one of her boards, so is ideally placed to guide our members when looking for their first portfolio role. We hope you will find John’s approach to placing Non-Executive Directors both engaging and refreshing.

If you wish to take up John’s offer of an initial discussion please let us know here and we’ll put you in touch.



Webinar with Nick Alcock from G3: The World Post Covid

We recently welcomed Nick Alcock, former investment banker and intelligence officer, now CEO of the G3, one of the leading international business intelligence firms advising a range of companies, investors and law firms on issues across the business world.

Click the video link below to hear Nick’s take on how the world may look in the future.





Webinar with Nick Aitchison: One-to-One guidance during the Pandemic

BCKR’s Nick Aitchison talked us through the tailored service we are offering during the pandemic and beyond. Elizabeth Holden, Guy Beringer and Tim Clark gave us their useful insight too in how they were able to go about securing their their first NED roles. Click the on the webinar below to find out more.




Martin Jones: The Parole Board and Lawyers make a perfect fit

BCKR recently welcomed Martin Jones to host a Breakfast Event. Martin has been Chief Executive of The Parole Board for nearly five years and has worked in the justice system for 27 years. His current role has been  the most challenging and also the most rewarding. Members can access the presentation Martin gave here.


What does the Parole Board do?

It is similar to a court – a body that, independent of the Government, makes decisions regarding  whether to order the release of prisoners; it also conditions under which such a release should be made.

There are around 270 members of the Parole Board, making these decisions. Last year the Parole Board released 3,600 people but also decided a further 10,000 needed to remain in prison for the protection of the public. The Board has a 99% success rate; success is defined as the number of people released who go on to commit a serious offence thereafter ( they don’t, for example,  count someone who has spent 30 years in prison, who is then released but is caught shoplifting. Their sole focus in law is the risk to public.

Looking back to when the Parole Board was created in 1967, it had just 17 members and was purely an advisory body – advising the Home Secretary who made the final decision. Leaving the final release decision to politicians, who might be influenced by other factors than solely risk, was not ideal. That is why the Home Secretary’s powers over release have been gradually taken away and now the decisions rest solely within the justice system.

Fifty years ago, there were no parole hearings at all and decisions were made based on a paper-based review. About 25 years ago the courts decided that in the interest of fairness, the prisoners should be entitled to a court hearing to decide their suitability for release. The number of hearings this year is at an all-time high – 8400 hearings, a 590% increase to 15 years ago.


Why does the Parole Board matter?

These are independent decisions based on risk and on evidence.  The Board considers  the evidence and makes the decision based on fairness and the evidence; decisions are not influenced by whether or not someone is going to like/dislike the decision.

It is also about ensuring that we only lawfully keep in prison those that pose significant risk to the public. If necessary, that means some will be in prison for the rest of their lives, and the Board doesn’t  shirk from that. But it is also about providing hope for those who reform and change, and who can show there is a low risk of reoffending.

Ultimately it is about understanding and reducing risk, as well as managing  risk when someone is released back into their community. That is where licensing can be very powerful.  At any one time there are about 1000 people currently on license in the community – with tags on their ankles to track their location.  This acts as a deterrent, but also is a reassurance to victims.  Exclusion zones can be set and there can also be residence and other conditions, setting limits around where they can live, who they can’t  contact i.e. victims or people you originally committed the offence with.


What the Parole Board does

Last year 64,000 people were released from prison. Of these, under 3,000 were released by the Parole Board.  95% are automatically released by virtue of the law with only the more serious offenders being referred to the parole board.  Contrary to popular belief, the Parole Board are not there just to’ let people out’…. the parole system provides a lawful way of keeping people in prison if they are considered to be a continued risk to the public.


Who joins the Parole Board?

As a public body it is important that it reflects the community it serves – diversity is ever more important.  However, the types of people that generally sit on the boards are from the following backgrounds:

  • Judges or magistrates
  • People from a legal background
  • Psychologists and Psychiatrists
  • Justice system background
  • Probation experience or
  • Retired prison governors

There is usually a panel of 3 people, sitting in the prison, with the prisoner on the other side of the table, hearing from the probation officers, prison staff, psychologists and others about what has happened to that prisoner since they’ve been in prison.  Getting an understanding of the way their risk has changed and what their behaviour is like since being in custody.

One major issue is keeping up with the case load. When Martin arrived at the Parole Board in 2015 there was typically a 15 months wait for a hearing, so many of these prisoners would be considered safe to be released but were  being kept in prison merely because of the inability of the system to cope. – and as a result the Parole Board was paying out about £1million per year in prisoner compensation claims.

Increasing transparency has been a major issue since 2018.  Until the law was changed in 2018, a victim could be refused release  without any explanation as to why.  The law then changed to allow the Parole Board to provide summaries of the decision-making process to the victims. The prisoner also gets a separate report detailing why a decision has been made. If it is felt that the decision is unfair the new system allows for the decision to be reconsidered. So far there have been 130 applications and 17 have those have been successful.  In the majority of cases it is the prisoner asking for reconsideration – not the victims.  All these decisions are now being published.


Victims – What are they entitled to?

  • Updates on prisoners progress in custody
  • Can summit a victim personal statement about the impact the offence has had on their life and can read it at the parole hearing if they wish.  Very important that the board is not influenced at all by representations made by the victims.  The decision is made based on the evidence.
  • To be made aware of license decisions, where the prisoner will reside
  • They can write to the Secretary of State for reconsideration
  • Notification of a prisoner’s release

The healing process of the victim is very difficult, and the  Parole Board is sensitive to that.  They do take into account non-contact and inclusion zones.  They have been working with the charity Why Me about the value of restorative justice.  Sometimes this kind of intervention can be the thing that triggers a prisoner to reform.

The Board also deals with about 20-30 terrorism cases each year. For these cases there are is a small group of members cleared at the high security levels to deal with those cases including those high in the judiciary.  There is specialised training to members regarding the specific aspects of risk which are rather different for radicalised prisoners .  Psychological evidence becomes much more important and you need to ask a different set of questions around that.




What insights does it give you into the prison system generally?

Prison conditions are very difficult at times. The levels of prison staffing has directly impacted on the levels of violence in prisons.  Being in prison is also damaging to your health.


What is the criteria for risk?

There is a statutory risk test.  They have to be satisfied that the prisoner is no longer going to be a risk to the public.  You have to go with weighted evidence.  Closer to the civil burden than the reasonable doubt.


What is the process and timescale?

A case will be referred to the Parole Board automatically by the Secretary of State for Justice when the minimum term expires, and the prisoner becomes eligible for parole.  He will disclose a body of papers including all relevant reports to a single member of the board who will do a triage assessment of the case.  They are essentially looking for 3 things:

  1. Is it possible to release the prisoner based on the papers?  That’s quite unusual.
  2. Have you got all the information you need – are there any gaps?
  3. Do you turn down the prisoner based on the papers?  For example did they assault a prisoner officer three  weeks ago … thereby rendering  a parole hearing pointless?

Once the Members are satisfied  they have enough background, the case can be directed to a parole hearing.  Normally it takes about six months from initial referral to the oral hearing.

After the hearing the Chairman will write a report and 14 days later a decision will be given.

There will be anywhere between 1 and 3 members sitting on a panel, depending on the seriousness of the case.


What makes a good member?

It is essentially  the ability to assess information (which can be up to 1000 pages of evidence) and taking on board that evidence to conduct an effective independent assessment and being quite laser-like to reach the  ten or so questions that need to be asked to make a sound decision. Ultimately we need people who can make decisions.  In the past criminal justice experience was generally required but that is not the case anymore.  A lot of the panel chairs are senior people from varied backgrounds –including numerous  Lawyers– who have the ability to assimilate the evidence and have a commitment to fairness, putting aside any personal prejudices (for instance, regarding sex offenders – indeed about 40% of the work relates to sex offenders).


Do you fit members to the attributes of a particular case?

  • Yes – if there are mental health issues they would look to appoint a psychologist to the review. Typically a psychiatrist would be deployed in terrorism cases, etc.
  • In some instances the complexity of the case might require having a judge or lawyer to be on the panel.


What is the selection process?

It is quite a popular job.  The Board recently had 1200 applications for 100 jobs. There are regular 12 week rolling recruitment campaigns.  You can write to the Parole Board and express an interest so that when the next competition opens you can ‘throw your hat into the ring’.

Candidates, via their CVs, need to be able to demonstrate, against a set of examples, that they have gained the requisite set of skills.

The CVs are sifted and then the process goes straight to interview.  During the last process, they conducted about 150 interviews and there was a 70% success rate in securing  the required number of appointments.  The time commitment is about 100 days per year.  Members are paid on a daily rate and can earn around £40,000-£50,000 p.a.

A residential training course and process is provided, which includes:

  • Legal training
  • The identification of a mentor
  • Training on effective questioning – for example how do you question vulnerable prisoners who  feel unable to speak for themselves?
  • Sitting as a co-panellist
  • After 3 months experience, sitting  on your own.  Then after a year it is possible to progress to becoming  a panel Chair.


Is there a postcode lottery with regards to availability of services in the community upon release?

Ultimately the burden falls to the local authority. The Parole Board’s role is solely to make a decision based on risk, which is not based on the availability of services.


Is there an appraisal process?

Yes, members are subject to appraisal.  This covers the decisions made, it entails practical observations, reviews any complaints made etc.


Sir Mike Rake: having a legal mind on the board can mean the right questions are asked

We recently welcomed Sir Mike Rake to come and share with us his experience of heading boards and the positive role lawyers can play on them.

Mike Rake has very wide Board and leadership experience, as the former head of KPMG and since as a Chairman and NED of many organisations, including public companies (including BT plc) in the UK and US, the NHS (Gt Ormond Street Hospital), the CBI etc.

Mike sees the key challenges for boards as follows: constructively addressing the key issues facing the organisation;  defining and adhering to the organisation’s culture and values; understanding and mentoring  the key senior executives;  succession planning; and ensuring good governance and compliance.

It is vital for the Board to stand back and look at the bigger picture.  A clear strategic framework is important, not least as there are CEOs who are strategic but not operational and those who are operationally strong but can’t see the big picture.  Meanwhile, Boards must know enough about what is coming through on the operational point of view.

The role of the board is one of huge responsibility but also very interesting and challenging. Ultimately, it is all about people. For example, sometimes boards have to work with a strong, aggressively confident  CEO with little or no financial background who may be trying to push things forward; in such situations, the Board must be alert. Board members must bring a complex balance of professional experience, constructive challenge, advice and encouragement. Obviously, integrity of reporting is essential. Boards must also have close constructive dialogue with their auditors, and the role of the big accounting firm is very important.

The role of the Chair is to ensure there is a balance of tone and constant, constructive challenge. The UK’s board system is generally a good one compared to the US system, where the combination of CEO and Chair roles can be problematic and lacking in challenge.

The composition of the board is important, bringing different perspectives but with the ability to work constructively together. Too big a board is as bad as no board – and the same goes for the information provided to the board –  i.e. too much data flowing is as bad as no information! It really is unreasonable to expect a non-exec to understand an enormous level of detail when, realistically they maybe only involved (in the NFP sector particularly) with an organisation 4 – 6 times a year.

It is important that the board is diverse in terms of age, gender, social and educational background and professional and international experience, in order to achieve the board’s objectives.  The UK has made a start in the right direction, for example with the 30% Club but headhunters can be a big problem here. They tend to introduce Chairs to people they already know of, to make you feel comfortable. Boards would be improved by widening the net and board diversity has the capacity to have a real impact on success. With a smaller board you do need to work quite hard to find the right people, who can bring the experience and skills you need.

The NEDs’ role is often to ‘ask the stupid question’  –  incidentally there is no such thing as a stupid question! The Chair needs to create the right environment where that is acceptable. The UK approach to boards has been effective, particularly with more private sessions with the Chair outside the boardroom.  It allows the Chair to get feedback and often to become aware of what is going on behind the scenes.

Compared to the accountants, who often successfully move from accountancy to business roles, lawyers tend not to do as well in making a similar transition. Often, doubts exist about lawyers’ financial literacy.  HR directors can also find it difficult to get onto boards for similar reasons. Lawyers are seen more as ‘compliance officers’ and so, unfortunately, lawyers on boards are not common nor are they much in demand. Is it because the legal profession is not seen as being commercial enough, too specialised?

How do you go about building a profile outside the legal profession? The Not for Profit world is more fertile ground for lawyers.  Ironically, though many Chairs think they don’t need a lawyer on their boards because they already have in-house advice, or they can buy it in – many of the biggest mistakes have been by my in-house legal departments not reporting issues to the top management. And if there was a senior legal person on the board then the right questions might be asked.


Q & A

At what point does a Chair’s opinion ‘enter the room’?  

You have to be disciplined. In large organisations, the Chair tends to be there frequently, and so gets more in-depth exposure to the major issues of the organisation.  But NEDs won’t have access to the same degree of information. You need to manage by example.  These are complex issues and not everyone has the same level of understanding.

In Board discussions, for the Chair it is a question of drawing out the pros and cons during the discussion, and though it can be tempting to push to a conclusion, it is important to encourage those NEDs who may not feel they have much to say on the topic in question to give their views. And many non-executives will add value outside the board room, given the opportunity.


If head hunters are prone to putting forward well-known, conventional candidates as NEDs, how does one get through the impenetrable headhunter wall? 

Ideally, Chairs need to get together as a group and lobby the head hunters to broaden the backgrounds of their network of people.


Miranda Leung: Former lawyer with a portfolio of satisfying roles

We recently welcomed Portfolio Lawyer, Miranda Leung, to BCKR.

Miranda left Slaughter and May three years ago after 26 years with the firm.  She had spent four years in Hong Kong in that time but the rest in London as a finance lawyer.

Miranda decided to leave Slaughters when her mother became unwell and she returned to Hong Kong to be closer to her family.  She had no other plans.  She just knew she didn’t want to do part time law and ultimately wanted to remain in London.  She did have an interest in interior design and signed up for a course in London but as it turned out, she soon realised that she didn’t have the patience to deal with interior design clients and learning all the relevant software programmes etc, so decided to keep this interest as a hobby.

Her portfolio career developed by chance.   Her first trustee role with China Literature Ltd (a subsidiary of Tencent whom she used to act for) came about when the Chair, who she also knew through a transaction, heard she was retiring invited her to a drink and the process went on from there.  China Literature only started up 7 years ago but is now the largest e-book seller with a revenue of $11 billion, with 11 million books, accounting for 84% of the best-selling literature in China.  Miranda sits on their Audit and Risk and RemCo Committees.  Her main role is as an Independent Non-Executive Director.  The Independents’ role is to police transactions between the parent company and the listed company and frame policies and procedures that allow day to day transactions to take place according to known terms.  As a lawyer, she was probably better placed to think about the details than many and she probably goes about it with rather more rigour than some. The role has allowed her to understand better the ins and outs of running a business in China and has given her a lot of board experience on the regulatory side.

Miranda then got a role in London with the Commodities Trading Company, an investment arm of China Construction Bank, a large trader on the London Metal Exchange.   They were specifically looking for a lawyer to be a member of their board as it is a joint venture and following the r=governance rules matters.  She was chosen because of her experience as a Financial Services lawyer and it probably helped that she also speaks pretty good Mandarin.    CTC offers a very different role from her e-publishing one, as they were in the early stages of building their clientele, along with all their financially regulated systems.  They needed policies and procedures to be designed for board and regulator approval.  This role gave Miranda good hand on exposure to boards within the London financial services arena.  It requires her to have an understanding of the management team’s frustrations in having to deal with GDPR, the FRA, PRA etc.  They all come to life in this business.

These roles illustrate quite how much lawyers need to understand within a business to be good non-execs – how to get operational systems right, and how to evidence proper controls and checks across all departments of the business on a day to day basis.  Being in tune as to how changes in personnel can affect the business is also critical, as well as how they have to integrate group policies dictated from China that may not fit squarely with the business at all.

Miranda’s third role is with the Cambodian children’s charity Starfish.  Although the economic situation in Cambodia is improving, 40% still earn less than $2 a day.  The charity picks up kids from the slums who have no education.

  • They run catch-up programmes until state school will take them.
  • They provide them with extra curricula lessons to help them get better jobs, including English lessons, IT skills and soft skills as most of these children have no adults who have ever had a job to help them.
  • They also help with vocational training.
  • They also operate a large football outreach programme, involving about 3500 kids receiving weekly coaching, 40% of whom are girls

The role came about knowing someone on the board.  Miranda felt that the organisation was small enough to feel like a family but had a board with trustees with lots of different skills. Having teamed up with a large Hong Kong school – they are large enough to be able to make a real difference.

So, in conclusion, each role is satisfying in different ways.

Her Linked-In profile has been important in making connections.  A new role with Aviva has emerged this way on their With Profits committee.  Previous clients are a good source and people who know you in different industries.

Tim Ingram: Lawyers can be the very best Non-Executives

Contrary to what Chairs may think, people who have been lawyers are very well suited to being non-executives.

Tim was a banker for many years, then ran an investment company, but he’s also been on the board of 15 listed companies over the last 30 years, as an exec, non-exec, chairman and SID.  The very best non-exec he’s ever observed was a lawyer, from Linklaters, Charles Allen-Jones.

It is important for potential non-executives to understand what a board does.  To be clear they don’t originate strategy or run the company.  This is management’s role.  Big decisions always come from management.  Boards have to approve them, and it is extremely unusual for a board to reject them, and if they do, it is normally the route to the exit door for the executive.  This is not because boards have no real role.  Instead it is because plenty of discussions will have been held on a particular topic inside and outside the boardroom before important decisions are finally taken.  So, it is not problematic when a board simply agrees a proposal or modifies it only very slightly.

Non-execs are there to keep company and management out of trouble.  They oversee it and make sure it doesn’t do the wrong things.

When boards are being composed, generally you need one director with suitable finance experience and someone else with deep industry experience in the same area as the company.  But there is room for more industry experience than this.  It is important that non-execs can act constructively and cohesively.  No one wants to encourage dysfunction.

The role of the chairman is to work very closely with the CEO so that the chair is sufficiently briefed about any major decisions that have to be taken and is confident that the other non-execs will approve the CEO’s proposals.  If a decision were to be turned down at the board, then that would also be seen as the chair’s failure.

If you don’t like the idea of being a NED then don’t do it.  But if you do like the idea then you should absolutely go for it as Tim reiterated that he thinks lawyers make very good NEDs for the following reasons (Tim’s 7 points):

  1. Every legal firm is a capitalist business – not a political or government entity. You understand what business is about and operate daily in the commercial world.
  2. How a board works is through constructive challenge of management in a non-confrontational way. That’s exactly how you challenge and advise your clients.  It is in lawyers’ DNA.

One example – a major FTSE 250 company with 2 new non-execs.  One lawyer and one former CEO.  The CEO could not adapt to the constructive, rather than dictatorial, style of the board.  The lawyer succeeded Tim Ingram as SID as she was really good. Keeping management on the straight and narrow is an art, and she knew how to do it.

  1. Lawyers are there to see the company avoids mistakes. Lawyers spend their time clearing up mistakes and organising things to avoid mistakes.  People from an executive world do not see their job as avoiding mistakes, but rather as making things happen.  Very different.
  2. Board papers. They can run to 1000 pages.  A lawyer can grasp key points quickly.  Management often don’t have this skill.  Often a non-exec has to rely on management telling him what’s important but useful.
  3. Industry knowledge. The chair will want sector knowledge and many lawyers have a legal specialism with detailed knowledge of the company’s arena.  Though legal knowledge itself isn’t so often useful, there are times when it is.  For instance, at UK Wind,  Tim frequently does new share issues.  It is not unhelpful to have a lawyer on the board who can assure the others that what the bankers etc are offering is ‘quite normal’ and ‘okay’.
  4. Corporate governance is increasingly important. It’s all about keeping companies out of trouble. It’s second nature to someone with a legal background.  It’s much harder to grasp for other first time non-execs.
  5. If you follow a NED career you might be on several boards in completely different arenas.  It can be quite strange for someone who’s only ever worked in one area, but this doesn’t faze a lawyer who most likely will have dealt with lots of different businesses at the same time in their day job.

Diversity in the board room can be aided by having a lawyer there, a legal mind and background.  Diversity is much more than gender.


How do non-execs get appointed?


Not simply by knowing people anymore.  When a new non-exec is being recruited [for a listed company] it MUST be done through a headhunter.  You need to proactively go to headhunters – don’t be reticent – they need the raw material and they don’t generally go on desktop research, just from their own lists.  Get on those lists.  The chair gives the headhunter a list of the type of things he/she wants.  The headhunter produces a longlist, which may include a lawyer, and will then chat through each potential candidate with the chair and what they can bring to the role.  So, if you can get the “Tim’s 7 points” across to the headhunter when you meet them, the headhunter is more able to relay to those competencies to the chair.  You need to keep going back to the headhunters and repeating that process.  That’s the same for every individual, not just lawyers.  You have to put yourself in the headhunter’s mind.

The younger a headhunter, the more likely they are to be more worldly and able to see the lawyer’s strengths.  It helps if you can get an introduction.

The longlist has to be people that the headhunter believes will want to be put forward – so if they don’t know you are currently looking they won’t put you on a longlist.

As a charity non-exec, remember that the people you are overseeing have very different motivations from the people you see on the corporate side.  E.g. a charity CEO has been known to ask for a salary cut.  But apart from that, there are remarkably few differences in the way they operate.  The 7 features are equally applicable.  They still need your expertise and they still need a strategy.  A charity is a form of business,  it can’t go on making deficits if it is to serve its purpose.  There has to be a certain commerciality to how it is run, which may be lost on former civil servants or politicians.

The average life of a former CE on a board can be short.  Lawyers are rarely tapped on the shoulder, once on the board.


The CV

It is important to get Tim’s 7 points across.  You need to underplay and hardly mention the pure legal experience – it’s hardly worth anything.  It’s the ability to get the point across in a constructive manner that will count.

It is important as a chairman to have SOMEONE on the board who scan reads all the 1000 pages of the board papers.  It is a useful skill.  Especially for regulated businesses.

One success of Tim’s was getting the PRA to change their views on whether all non-execs should have satisfactory knowledge of the banking and financial environment – he pointed out the need for diverse views to avoid group think.

An audit chair is unlikely to be a lawyer.  A specific need for business experience is unlikely to be met by a lawyer.  The downside could be that lawyers don’t understand the business at all – services businesses are easier for lawyers than e.g. a car business.  But you can overcome this by your own experiences.

Chair of Rem Com – lawyers well suited to that role.  The key role of that committee is to ensure there is fair division of spoils between owners and management, with lots of advice from Rem consultants.  Quite a lot results in changes to the employment contracts.  Chair of Rem has to do that work.  There is now a lot more scrutiny of executive pay in the charity sector too.

The SID has one duty.  To make sure the relationship between the chairman and chief executive works well.  If another non-exec has a concern, then they should have a word with the SID to raise the issue.

If you do decide to pursue a NED career,  don’t expect it to happen straightway.  Keep at it.  Every six months or so, do the rounds of headhunters again.  Keep yourself in their minds.  Educate them on everything lawyers can bring to a board which business executives cannot.


Moni Mannings: Portfolio Life During and After Law – a BCKR Success Story

Moni sees her career has having two halves.  The first half being a traditional legal career, starting in the banking department at Clifford Chance, followed by 6 years as a partner at Simmonds and Simmonds and then to Dewy Ballantine where she was their first UK partner hire.  In 2000 she left to set up the banking department of Olswang and within a year was asked to head up their main corporate department, which delivered half the firm’s revenue and came with a seat on the board.  The financial crisis followed swiftly thereafter, and she had to restructure her department which meant a 15% cost reduction i.e. people.  Over the next 13 years of her management career, as a law firm board member, she was part of a team that implemented 3 changes of CEO, 4 acquisitions and 2 further rounds of redundancy.  It was all about running things and being involved in a business.

Finally, in 2016, after 30 years Moni decided to leave law altogether.  She was lucky to be invited to become COO of Aistemos, a data analytics start-up for which she had zero experience.  She stayed there for two year and then launched fully into the second half of her career in the non-executive arena.

The transition

The transition came about with a lot networking. A bit of luck too, and a bit of planning, but mostly networking!  The most important decision Moni made was to start her plural non-exec life while still at Olswang.  It genuinely benefits both the firm and the individual.

In 2011 she took on two not for profit roles, one as a non-exec at the SRA and one as a trustee on a small charity board.  The SRA role was particularly helpful going forward, since the SRA and her committee had a strong executive team so she had to learn to be non-executive.  After that, she could demonstrate that she had non-executive experience when it came to her board CV.  Smaller charities, with no executives, do not offer that evidence.

In 2014 Moni took on her first commercial non-exec role with Polypipe at time of its IPO and was asked to chair the RemCo, having no experience of industry or Rem.


How Moni built her portfolio in those 3 years

  • Motivation: she spent time thinking about why she wanted this new career and for Moni, after 30 years as a lawyer, she just wanted to work differently, to get closer to business, not further away. Think hard as you will be asked, and you need to be able to answer with authenticity.  How you come across matters so spend time working it out.  She was still a partner at Olswang, and she believes that worked in her favour as there tends to be bias/prejudice against you if you are not in role.
  • Networking: she joined a number of different networks; they will not necessarily give you a job, but they do expand your circle of contacts. Reach out further; FT NED Club; Winmark, WoB and the Professional Boards Forum; and genuinely and relentlessly follow up every contact and opportunity.  Ask for advice and when you do so, often comes an opportunity. People are open with their time and it is important to let them know who you are, what you’re good at, and that you are looking and available; the process works such that headhunters etc regularly contact people they’ve met for recommendations of who to approach for roles.  This keeps you live with the headhunters.
  • Getting help writing her board CV: it is very different from writing an executive CV. Moni attended a Board CV masterclass from WoB (BCKR also runs CV workshops). The value is that it teaches you the whole way of viewing your executive career using language that resonates with boards.  It is not just the bit of paper at the end.  You need to look at your career through the NED lens  (e.g. partnership promotion panel = nominations committee; in-role impact = oversaw 3 CEO changes).   (Moni has provided her original CV template which BCKR can forward on request.)
  • Headhunters: it is really important that they know who you are, which is easier said than done. The best way is to be introduced by one of their clients.  But be aware – they are not career advisers.  Treat any ‘chat’ as a pre-interview – so prepare well and be able to answer the following questions:
    • Why do you want to be a NED?
    • What did you deliver?
    • What were the challenges you were asked to deliver on?
    • Why do you think you’d be a good non-exec?

You have to do all of the above consistently – always keeping your network warm.  It is very hard to get airtime with the headhunters.  You need to feed them with nuggets they can use to sell you.  Think about how you present yourself – in the same way you think about a pitch for business.


What do boards and chairs look for in NEDs (apart from sector experience)?

Commercial acumen; financial literacy; being able to articulate thoughts in business language; an ability to view things through a wider lens.

Lawyers thrive on complexity and ambiguity; they have a knowledge and understanding of risk; they have the personality trait of courage to challenge constructively; they have intellectual flexibility to think laterally beyond their own expertise.  It is your broader business experience that will help you thrive.  Articulating your understanding/experience of dramatic changes in market conditions; internal changes; your responsibility for P&L etc can be useful in speaking the language of the board room.

Unfortunately, headhunters want to put people in boxes.  You have to give them a box to put you in, but then be broader than that in what you show them you can offer.  Boards do not like single skills.

But things are improving. There are not enough people in the board room who think like lawyers, absorbing complexity and finding a route through it.


How did you get your first roles?

SRA: Moni was approached by a headhunter and on this occasion, she was ready to say yes.

Polypipe: She had joined the Professional Boards Forum and had followed up with various coffess with those she met.  This meant she had been chatting to one of the chairs.  She went on a long list as a result this conversation – a year later.  A headhunter phoned her to enquire about the role and Moni later learned that that chair, Alan Thompson, had asked for her to go on the list.  Despite having no experience at all she got the role.  Alan, by now Chair of Polypipe, later said that he wanted someone unfamiliar and smart who knew the rules and would be good for their RemCom.  He already had plenty of people who knew the business.

It was easier to get the next role once she had Polypipe.  Moni had been telling people she was looking for a charity role in children, social care, social mobility and that is when the role at Barnardo’s came along.  There was much more complexity in this institution than in Polypipe, a £350 million charity with 8,000 staff and 22,000 volunteers.  Despite it being a volunteer role, Moni sees this as akin to a corporate non-executive role in terms of responsibility, challenge and fulfilment.

Other roles have come about through assiduous contact with headhunters – continuously updating them on changes in her career.

Cranfield: Her role here came through BCKR! BCKR’s first direct approach for a non-exec role.  It is an unusual university which has helped in other roles – being able to talk about relationships with other industries.


How do you characterise the bias against lawyers?

The stereotype is that lawyers are uncommercial; essentially narrow; pedantic; can be hired by the hour so not needed.  This part is changing with the focus now on diversity which includes backgrounds and mindset so there’s more opportunity to push the ‘think differently’ concept as part of the diversity debate.


Are not for profit roles important in the non-exec journey?

Yes, especially when there is an executive team, so you are learning the non-executive way – ‘nose is in, fingers out’ .  People are buying you as a non-executive person. They want to know what you are interested in, why type of person you are.  All roles you take on demonstrate this.


Is there value on the FT Non-exec course?

It shows commitment to the path you want to take and may fill in knowledge gaps.  Moni has not done the course, but nonetheless sought to fill-in the gaps in the areas she felt she lacked knowledge by other means, e.g. the PWC course on Accounting principles for non-execs.  Doing the FT course doesn’t in itself help you achieve the role, but may be good for your confidence.


How do you respond to headhunter’s sigh as you tell them you are a lawyer? 

Inhabit your own board CV so you can defend your approach to the non-exec world; the emphasis needs to be within yourself; review what you’ve done through a different lens.  Do not lead with your legal attributes.


Did you have a coach?

Not one person, but she genuinely sought advice and still asks for outside input for many.


How did you get the role with the data analytics company?

An ex colleague and former partner said “Come and join me”, and she was leaving the law anyway. Moni said yes in part out of insecurity and because of seeing it as the furthest thing from being a lawyer.  It turns out that being COO is doing everything that the CEO and CFO don’t want to do.  You fail all the time and take regular decisions on what’s ‘good enough’.  It certainly  gets rid of the idea that you have to have the absolutely right answer.  Those two years were much more valuable than doing any of the courses.  She left because she got the Barnardo’s role.


Now that you are looking to refresh your board roles – what matters to you? 

The people who are on the board, culture and values; keeping her portfolio broad.  It is important now that there is a career path in what she is doing so opportunities to be SID or chairing a committee will play a part in her choices.  Women predominantly get their chairs from within, so she’s aware of that.  Social purpose matters more now than it did before; will she make a valuable contribution to society?



Richard Meddings: Network, broaden your business knowledge and get up to speed on issues facing businesses today

We recently welcomed hugely experienced Chairman Richard Meddings to BCKR.


Board dynamics

Richard began by stressing that anyone hoping to join a board (particularly in the commercial sector) should realise the amount of the work that’s done outside the boardroom. One of Richard’s early boardroom mistakes was to underestimate the importance of the informal interaction, both between the board members themselves and also between the executive team and members of the board. It is easy to assume that you just turn up for the meetings, when actually it is an area of significant communication and ‘social dynamic’.


How are boards built?

As a Chair, you obviously have to tick certain boxes when appointing NEDs, such as appointing the chairs of Audit, Remuneration and (particularly in Financial Services) Risk. And you need to have some back-up in place, do some succession planning. In addition to the formal board committees, some boards now have new sub-committees, for example for Strategy and for Tech.  Tech is fast becoming a new type of board sub-committee; however the challenge is that the current available experience and focus tends to be on Cyber risk – but the board’s focus on technical issues needs to be broader than that. The Senior Independent Director (SID) is also a very important role, a form ‘consiglieri’ or trusted adviser to the Chair and other board members.

For lawyers, this is a difficult area to break into, as the Chair generally feels that legal advice can be bought in as and when needed and that the CEO has his/her General Counsel anyway. So, to overcome that hurdle you need to demonstrate different, broader skills. Boards are not composed of people because of their specific executive skills, they need to be able to advise the business as a whole. So when making your case, DON’T lead with your Legal experience!

And remember that an effective Chair is always looking at the dynamics of the board and is in constant contact with the board-level head hunters, so, looking ahead, make yourself known to the head hunters.


Do you really want to do this?

The regulatory pressures are very demanding these days, particularly in Financial Services. Being on a FS board can be a very intense regime; you have to expect difficult days ahead.  Financial Services is a highly complex area and produces large quantities of very detailed reports; boards are expected by the Regulator to understand the micro detail.

So why would you do it?  After all you don’t get paid very much.

One of the main reasons that people are motivated to join a board is a wish to remain ‘relevant’ after completing an executive career which will have had momentum and intellectual stimulation. Being able to continue to learn new things is also a very important motivation.

In many ways, being on the boards of smaller companies is more interesting and is often an easier place for NEDs to contribute in terms of actually running a business, rather than focusing more on regulatory and compliance issues.

Richard feels he was lucky in that his first external board role was at 3i plc, at a time when he was Finance Director at Standard Chartered plc.  The bank felt it was very important for their main board executives to get non-executive experience, partly in order to gain an understanding of what it is like for the NEDs ‘on the other side of the table’ and 3i provided that very well.

You learn pretty quickly that there is limited opportunity in the boardroom for asking questions.  You might have the chance to make around six comments during a meeting. What is important is that the NEDs don’t try to use the board meeting to ‘to crowd’ the executives on the board. NEDs should bring a current general commercial perspective, not just rely on their particular past functional executive experience.


Networking and visibility

Your first board appointment gets you into the general NEDs network. Head hunters host frequent lunches and receptions for board members. The earlier you start the better; cultivate senior external contacts and learn from them. This is just as important if you are targeting non-commercial roles (Not-for Profit, Government boards etc) – by the way Government NED roles are really interesting!

For all would-be NEDs, you need to be known and seen – and you need to be able to display broad commercial knowledge and judgement. Law firms tend to lack this kind of profile so you need to think hard about how you can get into these networks.

As a profession you lag behind in the self-promotion stakes – particularly compared to Investment Bankers. They have greater success that Lawyers in getting onto boards but probably less to contribute once they are there. But they are more adept at showing they understand the dynamics of companies and sectors, which is very important.


Other points

What do you think of Not for Profit board experience when building your own boards?

They tend to be less managed but potentially provide good experience and often there are NEDs/Trustees from the commercial sector on these boards. For example Teach First has a very interesting mix of different skill sets on their board. Government boards seem open to  lawyers coming onto their boards, and the work is very interesting.


Head hunters

Go to meet head hunters (unfortunately they are very powerful and some are incredibly lazy, particularly about thinking out of the box)).  You need to stay at the top of their pile.  Don’t present yourself as a lawyer but as someone who runs an international business.

You need to provide other reference points. Provide some ‘soft referees’, people who can talk about your judgement and range of experience and how you manage people issues. Though board diversity is a big topic with the head hunters, there doesn’t seem to be much  real desire for diversity of career background.


What do you think Private Equity companies seek from their NEDs?

They are deep into the financials – NEDs have to be right up to speed. Relevant sector knowledge is important and so is an ongoing focus on the actual performance of the company..



Network….and broaden your business knowledge and be up to date on issues such as diversity, environment and climate change.

Generally, as a profession, lawyers and law firms generally really need to raise their profiles. ’Have a view’ and be able to engage on non-legal business issues  Bankers always have an issue they can talk to companies and directors about.

Your first role is important – but don’t think you have to get a role on a FTSE listed company board. You get many more interesting roles as NEDs at the smaller cap end and in non-listed companies, where you can get closer to the actual running of the business, as well as in the Not for Profit sector.

Simon Page: NEDs – Can you become a sparring partner, trusted advisor and a good listener?

After 10 years in the Foreign Office, Simon moved to Egon Zehnder to become one of the five lead consultants – private partnership, lockstep, to allow them to cover a very broad range of work at the firm, and in the board practice.  Works across PLC type non-execs, government related roles and charities.

What types of roles are out there?

The broad landscape falls into 3 sectors:

  • Private sector: FTSE, 250, 350, AIM etc, private companies and start-ups, and private equity boards (a consumer of decent talent in the private sector board space)
  • Public sector:
    • central government departments (not the same as plc boards, as for many years NEDs historically felt like spare parts – but were more recently revamped by Lord Brown of BP who was appointed to be head NED at the Cabinet Office to increase their profile. This has made a huge difference to the use and effectiveness of government NEDs and greatly increased interest in the roles.
    • Non-departmental public bodies – there is a huge range. Managed in the same way as public appointments.
    • NHS operates separately from central government, but on broadly similar rules to public sector
  • Third sector: Charities, think tanks, academic works (schools to universities), housing associations

How appointments are made in practice

Private sector: FTSE 100 appointments used to be friends of the chair – but there has been a sea-change in last 15 years.  Now, 80% of major appointments ‘go through’ the headhunter process, at least to some extent.  Further down the FTSE it’s more likely to be through word of mouth and personal connection though Harvey Nash does an awful lot of smaller listed companies.  They have in common that they are rarely advertised in the media.

Public sector:  MUST be advertised to maintain the perception of fairness, and increasing diversity.  That’s the official government line.  The Public Appointments website is well run and lists all roles available at any one time.

Third sector: will often advertise via The Guardian online or on their own website.  There is partial transparency in the process but these roles are rarely advertised in paper.

Process is then the same for all, with the nominations committee narrowing down to four or five candidates for interviews and then one or two, who will meet the chief executive.

The nature of the involvement of CEO is interesting.  They should not have the final say as it is not meant to be their appointment, but as a chair has to work together with the CEO, when appointing a Chair, candidates will often meet the CEO and the CEO can be very influential.  In charities it is even more important to be independent.  The process often finishes with a confirmatory meeting with a larger group of executives and non-execs to allow candidates to meet broader base of the board.

There is an increasing tendency for appointments to be made by panel interview process, which Simon disagrees with.  The behaviour of panel members becomes very formal, with lists of questions, each allocated to individual panel members, but presented to candidates as unconnected sets of questions asked by separate people.  This favours a candidate who has fluent, shallows answers to a lot of questions rather than deep answers to a few.

The typical approach of a PLC is to meet candidates individually or two on one, which works out better with more interview time, different views, an ability to follow up and compare notes afterwards which Simon believes allows a fair comparison.  But despite his urging, he doesn’t believe the government process will change.

What are they looking for?

Fundamentally NEDs are there to be a good sparring partner for the CEO and the executive team, so most of the interview should be about how the candidates will react with other board members and bring their knowledge and experience in a good way.  They are looking for members who behave like a trusted adviser, not a content expert.  More often qualitative than a skills based interview.  Listening skills are strongly sought after.

Massively and rightly, boards in all these sectors are looking for diversity.  Egon Zehnder clients and others are treating this as a fundamental aim.  The UK has made a pretty good improvement in gender balance of some boards, by coercion and encouragement, without need for quotas, but is still very strongly looking to improve diversity which places white males at a disadvantage.  In UK the focus is still mostly about gender, in the US ethnicity is now equally important but LGBT and other elements don’t get a look in.

Lawyers and board roles:

We don’t have the appointment of lawyers as the norm – unlike US and European companies.  It’s not been the practice.  Partly because of UK board’s unitary structure.  The pattern for the executives is to match the career of the executives with the non-execs – man-marking.  Some UK lawyers have moved onto UK boards very successfully.  The skills that need to be deployed are; risk, which adds a lot of value; lawyers (and bankers) make a really strong contribution on strategy; the perception of what other stakeholders will think of decisions; and their network.

Base case reduces the number of lawyers – the existing board members can understand better the career of a finance director.  Lawyers risk being seen as too narrow.

How to go about getting a role?

It is important to go through a process of self-reflection before embarking on the search for a portfolio career.

  • What is your real level of interest? Lots of board roles are admin and not particularly interesting, ‘governancy’ heavy. Think about whether it’s really something you’d enjoy.
  • What time commitment can you offer? 50 days pa for FTSE companies, more for the big banks, and generally 15 days a year for any small role and not all can be done in the evenings.

The Shrek group of headhunters (Spencer Stuart, Heidricks, Russell Reynolds, Egon Zehnder and Korn Ferry) consist of the main players in the board practice area.

For the FTSE 250 – Hanson Green and a few others

For charities – Saxton Bampfylde, Odgers and Perret Laver

Other ways to enhance you personal brand are through networking, thought pieces or speaking at conferences. All go to raising your profile.  Getting a board mentor can be useful.

Developing a portfolio takes two or three years at least, as even the processes themselves can take a long time in the public sector.  So be patient.  And remember it is much easier to get on a board than to get off one.


How does one get on Egon Zehnder’s radar when looking for a role?

The London office has 50 consultants, 8 of whom form the board practice.  They have a central group of researchers who assist.  The practice meetings work as a clearinghouse for ideas but the rigour comes from the researchers.

As a minimum, upload your CV etc onto their portal.  It is always useful to be able to meet one of the consultants directly and personal introductions work very well.

NuRole and WoB are effective in advancing the cause of diversity.  However the big firms have had to develop lists of quality senior female candidates.

The PE recruitment process:

PE does like to run it their way, with their own views.   Formal arrangements exist with people who can become their chairs of acquired companies. They are not unsophisticated in this, with a reasonably sized stable of candidates; but at the lower level they are using headhunters, as they don’t have enough candidates known to the PE houses. EBRD has its own network for potential NED candidates.

How to you prepare your CV?

Fine tuning of the wording of a CV probably won’t move the dial very much.  Key facts speak for themselves in a digestible form. Don’t bother with the introductory paragraph.  What headhunters need to see are the numbers of people you’ve managed, scale of budget, revenue etc.  It is hard for lawyers but look for ways to make some statements that give an idea of scale, types of people you influence.

You have to overcome the prejudices and negative perceptions that lawyers are too technical, detailed or challenging.  Early type board positions, which are not easy to do but fairly accessible to obtain, help humanise the candidate, such as chair of school governors, charity board experience etc.

Sandeep Katwala: Top tips from a lawyer with a varied, fulfilling portfolio

Sandeep lives the BCKR mission.  He even introduced Tim to the Water Aid board (in fact interviewed him!) when WA was so enlightened that there were 3 lawyers on their board.

Sandeep headed the EMEA practice at Linklaters but retired 4 years ago after 25 years at the firm.  He took on WaterAid while still at Linklaters, and on leaving, built his portfolio.  He now Chairs Octavia (a West London housing association) and BID (Bail for Immigration Detainees),  and the Mowgli Foundation mentoring people from the middle east and he is also a Trustee of the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s’ Charity.

Sandeep started with a Law degree, intending to be a barrister but soon realised that wasn’t for him.  He instead wanted to travel internationally so joined NatWest’s international team as a banker – in six years he got as far as Leeds – but while there did an MBA, then knew he wanted to get back to law.  He became a trainee at Linklaters, qualifying into capital markets, where he spent the next 25 years. He sees his career at Linklaters in 3 buckets – the client side – doing the work; growing businesses – he built Indian and African businesses for Linklaters;  and management – he was on the Executive Committee for 5 years and looked after the EMEA region for firm.  However, most just see the first bit.  For a non-executive life, the other two bits are even more useful.  He decided to stop at 55 and prior to that, spent time working out what to do next.  He chose the not for profit sector out of a sense of wanting to put something back (to make up for taking a lot out!).    There are two types of roles in the not for profit sector,  hands on operational or governance.  He knew that the operational side wouldn’t allow him to fit in all the other things he wanted to do, so the non-executive piece was for him.

He had been introduced to WaterAid by a colleague while still at Links. Once on the WaterAid board he was quickly introduced to two other roles, which came through an introduction from WaterAid’s former chief executive, to BID and Octavia (a quasi-commercial as well as charity role), having been approached for all sorts or roles from fin tech start-ups to investing in Iran.

The impression of the charity world as woolly sweaters and sandals is not right – his experience is that the governance is very strong and often of a higher quality than his former clients.  The other common perspective is that his board members would be of poorer quality than on commercial boards.  However, Sandeep has found that, particularly in the larger organisations, the calibre of the people has been high and their systems better due to great resources.

Octavia is a West London Housing Association with a £2.5bn housing value which includes care schemes and social housing, property management and development.  They have been put through their paces by S&P for fund raising.  The role is a mix of social enterprise and commercial.  As chair he has to be careful what he says, because what he says happens.  They have recently had to deal with crisis management in relation to the Grenfell reaction.  It’s something new to apply his old skills to, with a variety that includes walkabouts where he gets to meet residents; to large scale property development; to deciding if they should be putting the rents up (at 40% of market).  There is a lot of challenge and it is broader than a more traditional charity role.

BID is a tiny law firm which provides pro bono legal advice to immigrants stuck in the legal system.


Lawyers on Boards

The larger not for profits are increasingly seeing the value of having lawyers on their boards.  You will see some posts advertised as wanting legal skills.  It is more challenging when looking for a chair role or applying for a role that doesn’t specify a need for legal expertise.  There is still a perception among executive teams that lawyers are negative; this carries over to the headhunters.  Lawyers don’t sell themselves very well.  He still sees lawyers’ CVs for board roles which are simply a deal list – use the other buckets of your experience, promote the other sides. On LinkedIn ‘retired lawyer’ is not good for the algorithms. Lawyers can help themselves by highlighting how you manage and build teams and reference your commercial side.

Developing the relationship with the headhunters can be very helpful.  The more people they have in their pool the better their long lists can look like.  Headhunters tend to call people in their pool to get recommendations for alternative candidates and this builds relationships. Word of mouth works well too.   Other resources for roles are Guardian adverts; Charity Jobs; LinkedIn; Nurole.


The Interview process:

It’s very competitive! You’d be amazed – some candidates will analyse every statement made by the company or the interviewing panel ahead of the interview.  Don’t underestimate the competition just because it is not for profit.


The Portfolio piece:

It is worth being selective and focused on what you are after.  Perhaps focus on a particular sector – but not exclusively.  Keep an open mind. Housing for instance is a £60bn sector.  Be bold.  Don’t just look at what instantly appeals.

Be clear about your purpose.  It is important to hone in on what you’re after.  Sandeep distilled it down to simply wanting to do something that makes a difference to people’s lives.


Time commitment:

People are generally respective of your diary, so you can book and go to the theatre.  But dates can be fixed 12 months+ in advance.  Roles he’s had have been challenging and varied – he’s listened to an 80 year old on the Portobello Road asking why their ceiling had not been properly repaired, been involved in the Charlie Guard situation at GoSH and appointed new chief execs.  It’s kept him alive and buzzing!

Chair vs trustee.  The role of a chair is lots more time intensive; you are more involved in strategy and there is a chance to make a real difference.  For instance, he persuaded Octavia to build 1,000 more homes as part of their strategy.



How were you first approached for the role at WaterAid?

Sandeep wanted to do something different outside the firm.  He started asking round.  Wanted something international and in development, and the advert was pointed out by the company secretary at Linklaters.  He applied and got the role.

How can you be sure you’re not being seen as a cheap source of legal advice?

The smaller charities will see you as ‘the lawyer on the board’ and you will be asked to do a bit; but generally make it clear that you are not there to give legal advice, you are there to participate fully on the board; but your legal mindset will be useful and you’d be daft not to use that skill sometimes.

Finding some sense of purpose is quite difficult.

Sandeep was once asked to think about what he’d want written on his tombstone.  What would you be proud of? You need a big idea and work off that.  Sandeep’s central theme was making a difference.  Work on the basis that you will have another career.  Plan and create the opportunities; and make a difference for people’s lives.  For instance, for the first time last year Sandeep spent 6 days volunteering at Crisis at Christmas, serving breakfast, washing dishes and meeting and talking to people from very different backgrounds.

How do you gauge the time commitment?

Work out what percentage of your time you want to be allocated to the  ‘family’, ‘entertainment’ and ‘work’ buckets.  When applying for a role double the amount of time they are asking for.

Should you worry about your liability as a board member?

You’re not held to a higher standard simply because you are a lawyer.  All directors have the same liability and the board members you will come across are generally very professional.  Do your due diligence.  Talk to ex board members.  You need to get on with the board members and you will need to trust them so it can be useful to think about how they would work in a crisis.

There’s a steep learning curve for everybody joining a board, and it’s probably about a year before you’re up and running to make a real commitment, but don’t worry about that either since it is the same for everyone.  Sandeep feels that 6 years is the maximum length of time to stay on a board.  Selfishly he enjoys the fun of learning a new area and he wants to keep doing that.  It keeps you fresh.  But also, particularly in the role of Chair, you can harm an organisation if you hang around for too long.





Anita Hoffmann: Creating your Second Career

Anita is Swedish, and a chemical engineer by training – she had to be an engineer to get into industry at all in Sweden.  But how is she now a headhunter and coach in London? She took opportunities that were offered – and planned where she wanted to go.

After 18 years in the chemical industry, she was stuck. If she was going to get on in that industry, she would be doing more of the same – but she asked herself “How good am I really? Let me change into something else and I’ll find out”.  Without the support of the company and network she’d been in for years, could she re-invent herself?

She had been in the chemical practice at Accenture just pre the Andersen’s split, she’d been in the Deloitte consulting arm for the oil industry just pre the world oil crisis – she had big ticket names and big industry moments under her belt but now she wanted suddenly to be a professional services person.

Anita took a year off – she had done how things work as an engineer, then how business works at Deloittes, but realised that she cared more about how people work.  She was talking to leading headhunter Heidrick & Struggles while looking for her next move, when they offered her partnership at their own firm – she took it, and suddenly she was a people person.  She then combined her current interests with her past experience by starting their renewable energy practice.  This was not at all popular at H&S until it started making a lot of money for them!

Anita left H&S at the end of 2010 and had a further year off through illness.  But then had to decide what to do next.  Did she need one more good company t-shirt? Decided no.  Could she do it on her own – how tricky could it be to bring in 5 searches to earn the same as doing 35 for H&S?

Since then, Anita has combined her headhunting practice, and other activities with research conducted through Cranfield on the intersection of longevity and careers.  She also works with the Institute of Business Ethics and coaches refugee academics to find work.

But to her research and new book: Purpose & Impact: How Executives are Creating Meaningful Second Careers.  This looks at a key point of change in professional careers – the mid 50s – people often don’t want to do the same thing for the next for 25/30 years, but don’t want to do nothing either.  This is universal and a huge topic.  Anita found and interviewed 92 executives from around the world, who had already changed careers successfully – 46 of these agreed to be named in the book and have their stories told.

So what’s the meaning of this human journey? She discovered it is the same everywhere around the world – pupil, householder, forest dweller (learn wisdom), then wisdom sharer.

Once there was a business with a purpose, which happened to create profit – then gradually the profit motive came to the top.  People want to go back to finding and living their purpose.  Don’t feel a failure if you don’t feel you have it right, if you don’t know your purpose – don’t feel pressured – it will come.

Can you have impact – yes, but not alone – don’t take that responsibility on by yourself – that’s too much pressure.  In the last couple of years there have been good examples where different sectors have worked together to a common goal – businesses, NGOs and governments and social enterprises.  They have come together to tackle areas such as the social economy around fast fashion – eg new areas at the intersection of all the sectors where at the outset, there are no answers and no specialists. THAT’s where you can position yourself – but they have to know you exist – and you have to keep track of what is happening out there, and who do you need to know to get in on the act.  It can take time to figure it out.

Do you need to adopt the approach in stages? The stages of a human being do come in stages, but that doesn’t mean you have to treat each stage as a different type of life – you can keep the breadth and development all the way through – job crafting!

The Start up of You – by Reid Hoffman, co-founder and chairman of LinkedIn, and author Ben Casnocha – says that every stage of your career should be data tested regularly.  You use this data to adapt what you are doing to develop your career in the way you choose.

All her successful transitioned executives found something they were really passionate about, found a benefit from taking it on to the company they were already working for, as well as the community as well as themselves, and then went about changing their existing work-place to accommodate their passion. The real pattern to emerge from all the studies was that they nearly all started Career 2 during Career 1.

First case: Deputy CEO at Schlumberger, wanted a 5 year exit plan for himself.  In the meantime he was president of Africa at Schlumberger – he wanted to make an impact for the company, building its network and brand so he started the Schlumberger Foundation.  He was president of that Foundation, investigating problems and giving women scholarships to succeed, then became  president of sustainability and gave the women small loans – what was good for the company, was good for the community and ultimately for himself as he built his knowledge and reputation in the development arena.

Second case: Richard Gillies was high up in M&S procurement.  He ended up signing payment authorisations for thousands of pounds worth of power.  He asked himself why are we doing it this way? Why not get green electricity? He went and did some work on it, and M&S went 100% renewable energy which changed M&S first and others followed.  Richard himself had moved from procurement into sustainability.  A transformed career.  The move will always need a business case for the firm as well as for himself – and in this particular case, the change took just 5% of Richard’s time and made plenty of money for the company, great PR and changed his personal profile.

So ask yourself “What has my career today given me to prepare me for my next role?”.  Don’t think you need to jump off a cliff – it is a continuum.

Career and identity is one part.  A good financial runway is another part.  Money lasts a lot longer than you think if you prepare for it.  If you pace yourself, and practice living on a significantly smaller sum, you will have a better idea of what you need to have financially before you take a significant pay cut, if that’s what is to follow.  This gives you the confidence to take the cut in the first place, and gives you more of a cushion if things go wrong.

Working at career transformation requires:

  • Self-knowledge
  • A new network – dynamic and diverse – you can’t change things radically only talking to your existing circle
  • Openness

Networking is meeting and contacting other people who are interested in solving the same things as you are – it then becomes pleasurable and not intimidating.  All are happy to share common interests over a cup of coffee – ask for advice, it is within everybody’s gift to give – don’t ask for a job.

Don’t be shy – start with old colleagues, what’s the worst that can happen? Old colleagues, peers at university etc will be willing to act as the network starter, even if you haven’t seen them for years.

Process: ending the current role is an unknown zone.  It can be uncomfortable if you don’t know what you’re looking for but it’s a lot easier if you’ve already tried some of it while in your current job – whether as part of or alongside that job.

Anita believes there are several questions to cover in considering career change.
What are you good at?
What are you interested in?

Take time, it’s not always obvious – start to narrow it down by meeting people to help you gradually learn about what’s out there and about yourself.  Networking is an adventure which is so much fun – it’s part of giving – the people you meet will introduce you to others and it becomes much more comfortable.  Networking allows you to meet confident kind people who do genuinely want to help you.

Think too about what you really do not want to do.

Headhunters – these are not career coaches.  They are working on behalf of clients to fill roles in accordance with a spec.  Headhunters are not there to figure out what you should do next.  They can be helpful in understanding the process and explain the role but they can’t help you change career – you have to produce the evidence of that yourself.

Headhunters hire based on the last 5 years on a CV – it is all about perception of risk – the headhunters can push the boundary only so far – but that explains the tricky task of getting the first role.  In talking to the big ones, you have to know what you want, and give them three good reasons for why you should have it.  Headhunters speak to 2000 senior people a year so they forget you.  Research assistants speak to even more.  The assessment written at first meeting will go into a system and cannot be changed – it’s the start of your record.  Learning and practicing matters.

Headhunters ask themselves who do we know who can do this job – who’s in the database who can do this job.  The assessment from the database has to be recognisable as you to remind people who have met you who you are – it needs to be a human thing when they present to a client.  Your very first contact with the headhunter should say, in the preview, in the very opening of the email, the one good reason why they should talk to you.

Be kind to yourself – be open to the ideas for your own future that are bubbling away and put steps in place to follow through with them.  Start now!