Solicitors’ community interest company to donate all profits to charity

Laura van Ree

Two private client solicitors have launched a community interest company (CIC) that will donate all of its profits to charity.

Not for Profit Law in Norwich will give its profits to Norfolk Community Foundation, which supports small charities and voluntary groups across the county.

Laura van Ree and Trina Worden will use the foundation’s offices when face-to-face meetings are required; it will also promote their services across its network.

The pair met while working at East Anglia law firm Fosters, where Ms van Ree was head of the wills, trust and probate department.

She later worked at another leading firm in the region, Birketts, but told Legal Futures that – having begun her career in the charity sector – she decided that she did not like working in a big corporate law firm environment and wanted to give more back to the community “rather than a few people at the top”.

She approached Ms Worden who said: “I thought it was such a fabulous idea that I came on board in about half an hour.” Ms van Ree added: “Giving back was something missing from our working lives.”

The CIC takes advantage of the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) Standards & Regulations by allowing the pair to practise as solicitors while not operating from a regulated business.

As a non-commercial body, it is permitted under the Legal Services Act 2007 to provide reserved legal activities; the company, regulated by the Community Interest Company Regulator, has professional indemnity insurance.

Trina Worden

Though there is nothing to stop an SRA-regulated law firm donating all of its profits to charity, Ms van Ree said that, as a CIC, it had no choice but to do so.

The solicitors welcomed the greater freedom to choose what type of business they worked from; as private client lawyers competing with will-writers and accountants for probate work, “sticking with a very traditional business structure and being regulated in the way they are makes us less competitive”, Ms van Ree said.

There has been a strong positive reaction from contacts and potential clients, the solicitors reported, suggesting that the mood of the public had shifted as a result of the pandemic.

Leave a Comment

By clicking Submit you consent to Legal Futures storing your personal data and confirm you have read our Privacy Policy and section 5 of our Terms & Conditions which deals with user-generated content. All comments will be moderated before posting.

Required fields are marked *
Email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Looking ahead to a difficult insurance renewal season

We do not envisage market conditions changing positively for some time. We anticipate that rates will continue to rise in October, although perhaps not quite as dramatically as in recent years.

Resigning is not enough

Over many years now I have contributed to the conversation about the role and purpose of in-house lawyers, but in the last few weeks the Post Office scandal has rocked me to my core.

Loading animation