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Russell-Cooke Telephone Helpline – Available to ACO Members

As a member of ACO, you are entitled to free access to a telephone helpline run by the Charity and Social Business team at the law firm Russell-Cooke. The helpline allows ACO members to have a short telephone conversation with a charity solicitor on issues relating to running a charity, such as governance, contracts, fundraising, mergers, disputes, employment, data protection, safeguarding, leases and property transactions.

Perhaps you are negotiating a contract with a local authority, have received a threatening letter from a supplier, have suffered a data breach, want to serve notice on your landlord, or need to make redundancies. Using the helpline, you can access a free, 15-minute call with a charity specialist, who can help you identify if you are proceeding correctly, if there are further issues to consider, or if formal professional advice would be helpful.

The solicitors at Russell-Cooke can also assist with queries relating to Covid-19, such as furlough, virtual meetings, employee sickness, rent holidays, accessing reserves or restricted funds and financial difficulties. The present circumstances are very difficult for many charities and the helpline allows trustees and management to discuss issues in confidence with a legal specialist.

Three of the solicitors who may help with your enquiries are profiled below:

·    Rebecca Cumming specialises in assisting charities with their governance issues, including governing documents, contracts (e.g. fundraising, partnerships, grants and sponsorship), charity registrations, incorporations, trading subsidiaries, governance disputes and trade marks. You can see Rebecca’s bio here:

·      Carla Whalen is an employment and data protection specialist, advising charities on HR issues such as employment status, contracts, safeguarding, redundancies, TUPE, disciplinary and grievance processes and employment disputes, along with data issues such as lawful collection and use of personal data, marketing rules and PECR, data breaches, subject access requests and data transfers. You can see Carla’s bio here:

·    Catherine Flexer is a charity property specialist, who advises charities on managing their land and property. Catherine can help with issues relating to freehold sales and purchases, taking or renewing leases, granting leases to other organisations, ending leases, property development, mortgages and title issues. You can see Catherine’s bio here:

Further information on the helpline can be found via the ACO website here: Full terms and conditions applicable to use of the helpline can be found here: You can find out more about Russell-Cooke’s Charity and Social Business team and the solicitors who may deal with your enquiry here: