Chair (Board of Trustees) - vol

Job Title: Chair (Board of Trustees) - vol
Contract Type: Contract
Location: London
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: CHA001286
Contact Name: Shyam Popat
Contact Email:
Job Published: September 21, 2018 13:20

Job Description

Time commitment:     4 – 6  Board meetings per year. These normally take place in the evenings through a partner firm in Putney.  The Chair should also want to have regular meetings with the Chief Executive, and Senior Management Team and represent the Charity at various events and meetings with key stakeholders.  Our head office is based in Croydon with other offices in Clapham Junction, Morden and Kingston.


Reporting to                            Board of Trustees (Executive Committee)


Role Description




The Chair will act corporately holding the Board and Senior Management Team to account for the Charity’s mission and vision, providing inclusive leadership to the Board of Trustees, ensuring that each trustee fulfils their duties and responsibilities for the effective governance of the charity. The Chair will also support, and, where appropriate, challenge the Chief Executive and ensure that the Board functions as a unit and works closely with the entire Senior Management Team of the charity to achieve agreed objectives. He or she will act as an ambassador and the public face of the charity in partnership with the Chief Executive.

Principal responsibilities


Strategic leadership


•           Act as representative of the whole board and not its defacto head

•           Provide leadership to the charity and its Board, ensuring that the Charity has maximum impact for its beneficiaries

•           Ensure that Trustees fulfil their duties and responsibilities for the effective governance of the Charity

•           Ensure that the Board operates within its charitable objectives, and provides a clear strategic direction for the Charity

•           Ensure that the Board is able to regularly review major risks and associated opportunities, and satisfy itself that systems are in place to take advantage of opportunities, and manage and mitigate the risks

•           Ensure that the Board fulfils its duties to ensure sound financial health of the charity, with systems in place to ensure financial accountability




•           Ensure that the governance arrangements are working in the most effective way for the Charity

•           Develop the knowledge and capability of the Board of Trustees

•           Encourage positive change where appropriate Address and resolve any conflicts within the Board

•           Appraise the performance of the Trustees and the Board on an annual basis

•           Ensure that the Board of Trustees is regularly refreshed and incorporates the right balance of skills, knowledge and experience needed to govern and lead the charity effectively, and which also reflects the wider population

•           Work within any agreed policies adopted by the charity


External Relations


•           Act as an ambassador for the cause and the charity in partnership with the CEO

•           Maintain close relationships with key stakeholders both locally and nationally and with key influences

•           Act as a spokesperson for the organisation when appropriate representing the charity at external functions, meetings and events

•           Facilitate change and address any potential conflict with external stakeholders


Efficiency and effectiveness


•           Chair meetings of the Board of Trustees effectively and efficiently, bringing impartiality and objectivity to the decision-making process

•           Ensure that Trustees are fully engaged and that decisions are taken in the best, long-term interests of the Charity and that the Board takes collective ownership

•           Foster, maintain and ensure that constructive relationships exist with and between the Trustees

•           Work closely with the Chief Executive to give direction to Board policy-making and to ensure that meetings are well planned, meaningful and reflect the responsibilities of trustees

•           Monitor that decisions taken at meetings are implemented.


Relationship with the Chief Executive and the Senior Management Team


•           Establish and build a strong, effective, supporting and a constructive working relationship with the Chief Executive, ensuring s/he is held to account for achieving agreed strategic objectives

•           Support the Chief Executive and the Senior Management Team to manage the operational side of the law centres work within the vision, values and overall strategic direction set by the board, whilst respecting the boundaries which exist between the two roles

•           Ensure regular contact with the Chief Executive and develop and maintain an open and supportive relationship within which each can speak openly about concerns, worries and challenges

•           Conduct an annual appraisal for the Chief Executive in consultation with other Trustees

•           Ensure that the Chief Executive has the opportunity for professional development and has appropriate external professional support


Additional information


The Vice-Chair acts for the Chair when the Chair is not available and undertakes assignments at the request of the Chair.


Person Specification


In addition to the qualities required of a Trustee of the charity, the Chair should also meet the following requirements:-


Personal Qualities


•           Personal gravitas to lead a significant organisation demonstrating a strong and visible passion and commitment to the law centre, its strategic objectives and cause

•           Exhibit strong inter-personal and relationship building abilities and be comfortable in an ambassadorial role

•           Demonstrate tact and diplomacy, with the ability to listen and engage effectively

•           Strong networking capabilities that can be utilised for the benefit of the law centre

•           Ability to foster and promote a collaborative team environment

•           Ability to commit time to conduct the role well, including travel and attending events out of office hours




•           Experience of operating at a senior strategic leadership level within an organisation

•           Successful track record of achievement through their career

•           Experience of external representation, delivering presentations and managing stakeholders

•           Significant experience of chairing meetings and events


Knowledge and skills


•           Broad knowledge and understanding of the legal sector and current issues affecting it

•           Strong leadership skills, ability to motivate staff and volunteers and bring people together

•           Good understanding of charity governance and finance issues




The charity’s Chair (and board members) will serve a four-year term to be eligible for re-appointment for one additional term.


In addition to chairing the main Board meetings, the Chair has the right to attend the sub-committees