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Co-operatives and mutuals

We work with many established co-operative and community-benefit societies in a wide range of sectors, and regularly provide legal advice to those wishing to explore a co-operative or mutual approach for their business.

Our solicitors have extensive experience in advising leading co-operative retail societies, housing co-operatives, multi-constituency membership organisations and national bodies using a member-based structure. We regularly provide support to society secretaries and governance managers in dealing with democratic ownership and governance.

We are market leaders in developing innovative thinking in co-operative and mutual governance, for example, we:

  • work with a number of leading retail societies, exploring new ideas for co-operative governance and co-operative capital;
  • developed a co-operative approach that enables the general public to own local services as members, particularly in relation to care and personal services, for themselves and future generations;
  • developed an innovative restructuring of the charitable ownership and governance of the Housing and Support Alliance to become Learning Disability England;
  • helped Cartrefi Cymru, which supports people with learning disabilities, on its journey from a top-down charity to a bottom-up co-operative; and
  • support the emergence of platform co-operatives.

The legal expertise we can provide to co-operatives and mutual includes:

  • advising on how real accountability, to those that use an organisation’s service, can be built into governance;
  • explaining how multi-constituency (or multi-stakeholder) thinking, which has come out of our work with social co-operatives, can be transferred to different types of organisations;
  • working with co-operatives and mutuals to ensure that the voices of members are heard and that the membership structures combine accountability and democracy;
  • ensuring the right people, with the best skills and experience, are in place to steer the organisation;
  • providing ‘plain-English’ guides, alongside the technical wording of new constitutions, to ensure accessibility to all members;
  • guiding clients through structural and governance changes in regulated services, and advising and supporting on gaining consent where needed, so as not to slow down the process; and
  • providing training in co-operative law and governance.

We are active supporters of the Co-operative Care Forum, and members of the Plunkett Foundation, Locality and Co-operatives UK. We regularly collaborate with Co-operatives UK, including through its Governance Panel, the Co-operative Party and the Co-operative College.

Our expertise in our specialist sectors of health and social care, education, housing, local government, charities and individual legal services, enables us to draw on a broad spectrum of experience, ensuring we can provide a full-service offering that meets your requirements.

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 Springfield Horseshoe Co-operative has engaged Anthony Collins Solicitors on a number of matters, ranging from employment issues and board training, to general advice on the Co-operative Rules. We are always met with clear and concise advice with identified resolutions, delivered in a professional and approachable manner. Where a matter becomes non-cost-effective in pursuing, this has been identified without thoughtfully-reasoned advice. 

Julia Pangbourne, Housing Manager, Springfield Horseshoe Housing Management Co-operative Ltd.

Find out more about the services we provide to co-operatives and mutuals…

Employment

Contractual issues, disputes, TUPE and pensions.

Commercial and funding

Supporting cooperatives with contractual and grants advice.

Resolving disputes

Helping resolve a plethora of disputes.

Governance and constitutions

Legal support on organisational structures and…

Property, land and developments

Advisers on leases, development and regeneration projects.

We have been recognised for the work we do

Chambers and Partners Ranking 2018

Chambers and Partners UK 2017 – Ranked Practice Areas

Shortlisted: Employment Law Firm of the Year – Personnel Today Awards

Winner: Business Team of the Year 2018

Winner: Employment Law Firm of the Year

Sector Lead

Cliff Mills

Consultant

A consultant in the social business team.