LETTER FROM THE CHAIR OF OUR BOARD
Thank you for your interest in serving as a trustee and treasurer for The Access to Justice Foundation. This pack contains details about this opportunity and our organization.
The Access to Justice Foundation is the UK’s only national charity solely focused on providing funding and support for access to legal advice and representation. We raise funds and distribute them strategically to free legal advice agencies that make the most difference to the lives of vulnerable people.
One of our trustees (who also serves as treasurer) is leaving her post after many years of service. We are seeking a new trustee and treasurer to take her place. The Foundation is undergoing an exciting period of growth and organizational development, and this new trustee will play an important role in ensuring the continued successful execution of our mission.
This role has an important and meaningful impact on our organization. As a member of the board of trustees and as its treasurer, you will: ensure the charity is carrying out its purposes for the public benefit and in compliance with its governing document and the law; monitor the financial administration of the charity and authorize key payments; and chair the board’s Governance, Risk and Audit Committee. Please see the full opportunity description below.
We are looking for candidates who share our vision of a society where everyone has access to justice. You should also have an understanding of the obligations and responsibilities of a charity trustee and company director; an accountancy qualification or equivalent experience at the Board or executive level; and strong independent judgment. We welcome applications from people based across the UK. Although board meetings are held in London, reasonable expenses are reimbursed, and there are opportunities to attend most meetings remotely.
Working as a trustee of the Access to Justice Foundation is hugely rewarding, and if you share our vision to ensure access to justice we would be delighted to hear from you. You can find out more about our work on our website. Useful information about the roles and responsibilities of trustees can be found on the Charity Commission website.
We care deeply about centering equity, diversity, and inclusion in our work and mission, and we believe that diverse identities and experiences will strengthen our Board of Trustees. We strongly encourage under-represented candidates to apply, including women, people of colour, LGBTQ+ individuals, people with disabilities, immigrants, and caregivers.
To apply, please submit a CV and covering letter (no more than 2 sides of A4), outlining your qualifications and interest via CharityJob by 5:00pm on 30 June 2023. (Full details on how to submit an application are included at the end of this description.)
We look forward to receiving your application.
Chair of the Board of Trustees
The Access to Justice Foundation is a UK-wide grant making charity which supports the provision of free legal advice and representation to the people who need it the most. We are led by the legal professions and work closely with other funders and the advice sector. We rely on the support of the legal community to help us raise funds and raise awareness of the work which we support.
Our vision is a society where everyone has access to justice.
Our mission is to improve people’s lives by increasing the availability of quality legal advice and support.
Our objectives are:
- Increasing available resources for the provision of free legal advice and support across the UK.
- Developing and implementing grant making programmes which align with our values, improve reach, and maximise impact.
- Improving understanding and awareness of the role of the law as a tool for social justice.
Principles/ factors which influence our work include:
- The balance of funds available across the sector/ from us and others – we will not seek to duplicate work which is covered by others or to raise funds in direct competition with our grantees as far as possible. Our aim is to raise new/additional funds for the sector, rather than increase competition regarding the allocation of existing funds.
- Level of reach – in terms of numbers, geography and communities of people. This is important in assessing to whom we give our grants.
- The availability of relevant data and evidence. As already noted, there is a real need for more evidence-based data to inform the raising and giving of funds to the sector.
- We support partnership working, supporting more connected service provision. In a diverse sector, partnership working and the elimination of duplication is essential.
- End user focused, impactful work.
- Areas of high need – geography and client base.
- Preference towards unrestricted funding. As we have become more experienced in grant making, we have increasingly realised that restricted project funding, while useful, can be counter-productive at building long term sustainability.
- Commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
- UK wide funding in a proportionate way.
Position: Trustee & Treasurer
Salary: The role is unremunerated but reasonable expenses will be reimbursed
Hours: Flexible with some scheduled meetings. Approximately 12 days of effort over the course of a year
Location: Board meetings are held in London but there are opportunities to attend most meetings remotely.
The successful candidate will have an important and meaningful impact on our organization. As a member of the board of trustees and as its treasurer, you will: ensure the charity is carrying out its purposes for the public benefit and in compliance with its governing document and the law; monitor the financial administration of the charity and authorize key payments; and chair the board’s Governance, Risk and Audit Committee. We are seeking a candidate with an understanding of the obligations and responsibilities of a charity trustee and company director; an accountancy qualification or equivalent experience at the Board or executive level; and strong independent judgment.
Duties and Responsibilities
Trustee role and responsibilities
Those who serve as trustees of the Access to Justice Foundation have duties, responsibilities, and liabilities both under Company Law as Directors and under Charity Law as Trustees. Candidates must be 18 years or above and will be expected to demonstrate high standards of corporate and personal conduct including impartiality, fairness, integrity, respecting confidences and objectivity in the execution of the role and responsibilities.
The legal duties of a trustee are:
- To ensure the charity is carrying out its purposes for the public benefit.
- To comply with the charity’s governing document and the law
- To act in the charity’s best interests.
- To manage the charity’s resources responsibly.
- To act with reasonable care and skill.
- To ensure the charity is accountable and complies with legal requirements.
The duties of Company directors are:
- To act within powers under the constitution.
- To promote the success of the company.
- To exercise independent judgment.
- To exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence.
- To avoid or manage conflicts of interest.
- Not to accept benefits from third parties.
- To declare interest(s) in proposed or existing transactions or arrangements.
- Monitoring the financial administration of the charity and reporting to the board of trustees.
- Overseeing the charity’s financial risk management processes.
- Authorising payments from the charity’s bank account
- Liaising with auditors on specific issues.
- Reviewing management accounts and budgets.
- Liaising with staff in relation to finance matters.
- Confirming that monthly bank reconciliations have been completed.
- Chairing the Governance, Risk and Audit Committee and reporting back to the trustees.
Chair of the Governance, Risk and Audit Committee’s Duties
- The Committee shall establish a work plan for each year and shall review and make recommendations to the Board on:
- Internal control and risk management systems, including arrangements to safeguard assets, prevent fraud or error and to promote value for money in the conduct of the Foundation’s operations.
- Arrangements established by management for compliance with regulatory and financial reporting requirements.
- The external audit of the Foundation, including its effectiveness and the auditor’s independence.
- External audit findings and management’s response to those findings.
- The Foundation internal financial controls and accounting policies.
- The Foundation’s risk analysis, including highlighting key strategic risk.
- The Foundation’s relationship with its external auditors.
- The Foundation’s annual report and accounts including the integrity of the accounts and significant financial reporting judgments.
- It is envisaged that appointments will be for an initial term of three years which may be extended by up to two further three-year terms. The Board of Trustees meets four to six times per year in London (which can be remote) usually between 5pm and 7pm, with one all-day strategy meeting per year.
- This trustee will be expected to attend and fully participate in the Governance, Risk and Audit Committee which usually meets four to six times a year for up to two hours.
- Further time will be required for other duties, including to review documentation and finance information prior to meetings, follow up any action points from meetings, authorise online payments via our bank and review management accounts and budgets.
- Trustees are encouraged to spend time with beneficiaries and to involve themselves in the Foundation’s fundraising activities.
- In total, this role will require approximately 12 days of effort over the course of a year.
- A commitment to the vision, mission, and objectives of the Access to Justice Foundation.
- An understanding and acceptance of the obligations and responsibilities of a charity trustee and company director.
- An accountancy qualification or equivalent experience at Board or executive level.
- Independent judgment.
- An ability to listen, communication and influence effectively.
- An ability to assimilate complex information and participate fully in trustee deliberations, including offering contributions and challenges outside the area of your main expertise.
- A willingness to devote the necessary time and effort to the role.
- Strategic vision.
- An understanding of charity accounts at Board or executive level.
HOW TO APPLY
To apply, please prepare (i) a CV and (ii) a covering letter (no more than 2 sides of A4).
Your covering letter should:
- Tell us why you are motivated to become a trustee of the Access to Justice Foundation
- Evidence your skills, experience and qualifications as required by the person specification for the role you are applying for.
- Explain how you believe your skills and experience will help the organisation to meet its legislative responsibilities and support our strategic and financial planning.
Files should be submitted in Word (.docx) or PDF (.pdf) format and should be titled using the naming convention [FullName]CV and [FullName]Letter (e.g. EmmaSmithCV.pdf and EmmaSmithLetter.pdf).
Submit your application via CharityJobs by 5pm BST on 30 June 2023. Please note that we will not accept incomplete applications or those submitted via email.
Interviews will be held in the weeks commencing 10 July, although these dates are subject to change. If you do not hear from us within 30 days of the closing date, please assume your application has been unsuccessful on this occasion. Please note that we only provide feedback to shortlisted candidates. Successful applicants will be asked to take up their appointments as soon as possible.
Diversity, Inclusion, and Accommodations
We are striving to run an inclusive search process. We believe that diverse identities and experiences will strengthen our Board of Trustees. We strongly encourage under-represented candidates to apply, including women, people of colour, LGBTQ+ individuals, people with disabilities, immigrants, and caregivers.
If you require an accommodation to complete this job application, please contact us at email@example.com.