Social Economy Consultancy
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Technical support services for: voluntary and community organisations, charities, social enterprise, mutuals, co-operatives, and the not-for-profit sector
My name is Charlie Cattell, and I have over 30 years' experience of solving problems and developing opportunities for organisations with a social purpose.
My specialist areas are legal structures and governance, subjects that are discussed in more detail elsewhere on this site. I have extensive experience with mergers, consortia and collaborative ventures.
I combine in-depth knowledge of relevant legal subjects – such as company, charity and trust law – with a lifelong immersion in the values and principles that drive the social economy and the voluntary sector.
Having worked on many feasibility studies, business plans and funding applications, I can also offer considerable expertise in financial modelling and developing meaningful projections.
I have worked as a freelance consultant since 1996, with access to a small and trusted team of other specialists with whom I collaborate on individual projects.
I work with groups of all types and sizes and all over England, Wales and Scotland. A small selection will be found on the ‘Clients’ page of this website. I also provide technical support to other professionals working in the field.
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Years of experience
Adopting the correct legal structure is an essential element in creating and sustaining a successful organisation. It influences many operational matters: the personal liabilities of the members, fundraising capacity, the ability to borrow money, and decision-making processes.It will also have a major influence on how the organisation is viewed by the rest of the world.
Constitutional health checks and much more
A badly-written or inappropriate governing document can cause all manner of problems. It is an important legal document and can be enforced, by the courts if necessary. Far too many organisations in the voluntary, charitable and social enterprise sectors operate in breach of their own constitutions, or even in complete ignorance of them. We also come across constitutions containing provisions that are do not comply with the prevailing law. In this case the law takes precedence, so a group may be acting illegally even when they are abiding by the regulations contained in their own constitution.
I offer a bespoke legal structures design service to the not-for-profit, charitable and social enterprise sectors in England , Scotland and Wales. This involves designing a unique, tailor-made legal vehicle for each client group and taking them through the process of getting this structure properly registered with the minimum of work and hassle.
Expert technical advice in plain English
I provide a comprehensive range of consultancy services on any subject relating to legal structures and governance issues. A small selection of examples might include:
One-off work with a group to identify the most suitable structure for their organisation - and implementing it if required.
Analyzing options during times of change: expansion, merger, moving from grant dependency to income earning and the like.
Acting as on-call expert for advisory and support agencies, providing specialist advice to their clients and members.
Making a contribution to larger consultancy exercises where a specialist input is required on legal structures and associated topics.
Mentoring staff in advice and development agencies as part of their professional development.
Advising on more esoteric aspects of legal structures and governance such as share issues, golden votes, franchising, and complex membership models.