It’s Pro Bono Week! – a global celebration of professional services for the public good #PBW18

And it’s also a cause for celebration here at SCVO because our very own Free Legal Advice Service is 10 years old. Since we started the Service in 2008, we’ve dealt with over 600 enquiries from SCVO member organisations covering subjects that range from charity law and governance, to property and employment law advice. In total the Service has provided nearly 1,300 hours of professional expertise to organisations who may otherwise have been unable to access legal advice.

The most popular enquiry area has always been governance and charity law. Our partner legal firms have helped organisations deal with any number of issues, giving legal advice on converting to a SCIO, or setting up a trading subsidiary, or helping organisations deal with defamation or the removal of their chairperson.

Running a charity can be tough, and there’s never enough money in the kitty. That’s why we’d like to say a huge thank you to all of the legal firms who’ve been involved in delivering this essential service to the sector over the years. That’s Burness Paull, MacRoberts, Stronachs, Harper Macleod and Lindsays, who have all offered fantastic support and expertise, not only to SCVO member organisations, but also to the SCVO Information Service.

As well as dealing with thorny issues and legal arguments, the firms have also provided their expertise at nearly 30 seminars and supported us at The Gathering every year. Our seminars have covered everything from collaborations and mergers to trading and setting up a SCIO. This year has seen us cover the hot topics of both GDPR and Safeguarding, with a Safeguarding seminar coming up in Aberdeen later this month, and another planned for Glasgow in January 2019.

Over the years, users of the service have praised the clear and comprehensive advice on offer which has given them the confidence and reassurance to make difficult decisions, one even described it as a ‘lifeline’ for themselves and their staff.

Going forward, we’re delighted to announce that Gillespie MacAndrew will be joining our team with their Charities and Third Sector Team offering their expertise to support SCVO members on our Pro Bono Service.

So here’s to the value of Pro Bono work, to the next ten years of SCVO’s Pro Bono Service!