Voluntary trustee vacancies

We want to expand our Board of Trustees.

If you think you could bring something to the board table to enhance our work, through a combination of skills, experience or contacts, please send us a CV with a covering letter explaining in not more than 750 words why you believe you would be a suitable member of PLP’s Board. The deadine for new applicants is midnight Sunday 1st November 2015.
A PDF of all the written information on this page is available here.

We would also ask you to complete and submit the equality monitoring form, here. This will be anonymised and stored separately from your application. Please send your application to Ade Lukes at a.lukes@publiclawproject.org.uk or to The Public Law Project, 150 Caledonian Road, London, N1 9RD. If you require further information or would like to have an informal chat about your application with one of our existing trustees, please call Ade on 020 7843 1266.

About PLP and applying to be a trustee

PLP is an award winning access to justice NGO based in Central London. Our impact is wide, and felt by thousands of people who have benefited from robust defense of the rule of law, and specifically our legal challenges to restrictions on legal aid and attempts by the Government to insulate themselves from challenge by cutting access to the courts.

In recent years we have won a Guardian Charity of the Year Award (2012), A Halsbury ‘Special Rule of law Award’ (2013) and a Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year ‘Outstanding Achievement ‘Award’ (2015).  In its 25th year, PLP’s remit is more relevant than ever, that is, to improve access to public law remedies for those whose access is restricted by poverty, discrimination or similar disadvantage. We do this by:

  • Increasing the accountability of public decision-makers;

  • Enhancing the quality of public decision-making; and

  • Improving access to justice.

To fulfill these objectives PLP undertakes research, policy initiatives, casework and training across public law areas. Our work is carried out by a small but committed group of staff and volunteers, supported by an expert Board of Trustees.

Time Commitment

The minimum time commitment for trustees is regular attendance at the Trustee Board meetings, though if you can commit one day per month of your time in order to acquaint yourself with documents and attend other PLP events (especially if you are not so familiar with the field of public law), that would be an advantage. Board meetings are held approximately once every 6 weeks, on weekday evenings in Central London. Meetings last for around two hours and there will usually be pre-reading of around an hour per meeting. In addition to the minimum, trustees are encouraged to work with each other and staff between meetings to specific portfolios or subcommittees. On average, optional subcommittee responsibilities might take up to an additional hour to two hours a month, on an ad hoc basis.

Role description / Purpose of the role

The PLP Trustee Board consists of the chairperson, vice-chairperson, treasurer and up to 12 members. The Board members act both as charitable trustees and directors of PLP, which is a company limited by guarantee as well as a registered charity. Board members are responsible for overall governance of the organisation, including oversight of its strategic direction and financial management. The role is voluntary and therefore unpaid, although reasonable expenses will be reimbursed by PLP.

Key responsibilities of the Trustee Board

• Ensuring that PLP operates within the terms of its Constitution, and complies with charity law, company law and other relevant legal requirements;
• Giving strategic direction to PLP, setting overall policy and the broad objectives of its business plan;
• Ensuring that PLP applies its financial resources exclusively in pursuance of its objectives as defined in its Constitution;
• Ensuring the financial stability of the organisation, including by making sure that adequate procedures are in place for financial management and that the organisation remains solvent;
• Ensuring that PLP complies with its legal responsibilities as an employer and overseeing the recruitment of senior staff members.
Commitment of individual Board members:
• Attending monthly or bi-monthly Board meetings and helping the Board reach sound decisions, using any specific skills, knowledge or experience that might assist this process;
• Preparing for Board meetings by reading in advance any papers that have been circulated;
• Between Board meetings, responding to emails/phone calls from PLP staff or other Board members on an occasional basis as required;
• Following through decisions and undertaking actions as agreed at Board meetings, where appropriate;
• Where opportunities arise, raising awareness of PLP through external networking;
• Bring expertise, contacts and experience to PLP’s activities when relevant.

Person specification

Essential

• A commitment to the values of PLP, in particular justice and fairness and the use of public law remedies for those whose access is restricted by poverty, discrimination or other barriers;
• An interest in the work of PLP;
• Willingness to devote sufficient time to fulfilling the role of trustee;
• An understanding and acceptance of the legal responsibilities of trusteeship;
• Good and independent judgment and willingness to speak honestly and openly;
• Ability to think strategically and creatively;
• Ability to work effectively as part of a team;
• Willingness to be available to staff for advice and enquiries on an ad-hoc basis;
• A commitment to equal opportunities.

Desirable

• Experience of management (including financial management), strategic planning, and business development (especially but not necessarily within a charity);
• Experience of fundraising for project costs and/or core costs, including from grant-giving organisations
• Experience of marketing, including organising events, corporate fundraising and development of individual donors.
• Experience of media and public relations (especially work to improve and raise the profile of charities or campaigns).
• Managing sensitive and high-profile publicity and PR in the charitable sector.
• Experience of public law and/or pro bono work in a commercial law firm.
• Academic experience, particularly of law-related research
• Experience of participating in, or working with, a community organisation that has used the services of PLP, or would qualify to use its services.

Members of Black and ethnic minority groups, disabled people and women are currently under-represented on PLP’s Trustee Board. PLP is keen to recruit Board members from these groups and would encourage suitably qualified applicants to apply.