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Legal support a key benefit of Inspiring Scotland’s Specialist Volunteer offering

Specialist Volunteer Network
Inspiring Scotland’s Specialist Volunteer network consists of over 500 professionals who provide their expertise free of charge to charities across Scotland.

All types of support can be arranged, from HR, finance, and strategic planning to marketing, governance and mentoring. This support – available to charities outside our portfolios as well as portfolio members – allows charities to focus on core business functions and streamline, scale and innovate to transform the lives of the most disadvantaged people and communities in Scotland.

Legal support is one strand of support that consistently receives appreciative feedback from organisations. This can range from commercial contact advice and intellectual property support, to property and lease advice for charity premises and can make a real difference to charities.
“We have been extremely fortunate to have such an esteemed firm act on our behalf, and through a pro bono scheme is incredible. For a small charity like ourselves this has had a very positive impact financially and has taken away any kind of organisational stresses we were beginning to experience.”
Stuart Allardyce, Stop It Now
As a long standing member of the specialist volunteer network, CMS has given support through Inspiring Scotland for over a decade, providing more than £1m for the benefit of a huge number of local causes across Scotland, of all shapes and sizes: PEEK, Street Fit Scotland, Argyll and the Isles Coast and Countryside Trust, musicALL, Stop It Now, Street League, Perth Autism Support, 3D Drumchapel, Toddler Hut, IFDAS, Care & Learning Alliance, Impact Arts, Canongate Youth, and the Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust (to name a few).
“CMS are very approachable and have been outstanding in every aspect of our dealing with them, including communication – explaining the processes, explaining the often very confusing legal language. They’ve been empathic to our needs and situation and left no question unanswered, however naïve.”
Sleep Scotland

Pro bono legal support can provide a lifeline for organisations. When Portobello Toddler Hut were negotiating with Edinburgh Council over a long-term lease, they ran into numerous legal issues which quite frankly were incomprehensible. The Board did not have the requisite skill sets to ensure the lease terms were in the best interests of Toddler Hut. They knew they needed advice, but that obtaining this advice could be very expensive. Inspiring Scotland put them in touch with Chris Rae a partner at CMS in Glasgow, specialising in all aspects of Real Estate. After reviewing the situation together, Chris explained the steps to take and shared their views on the pros and cons of all aspects of the lease. Negotiating with Edinburgh Council took time but after six months Toddler Hut confidently signed the lease and through utilising the Specialist Volunteer Network saved the charity £6,000 in legal fees.

“Chris Rae did a wonderful job for us at Portobello Toddler Hut. When Edinburgh Council offered us a long-term lease with peppercorn rent, we jumped at it, but couldn’t possibly have navigated the legals without outside support. Running on the miniscule budgets of a local community nursery we turned to Inspiring Scotland, who connected us with CMS and Chris. From the start Chris was generous, clear, efficient and committed to getting the best for us. He listened carefully to our needs and context, plotted the most appropriate course to adjust and modify the lease for everybody’s long-term benefit, and undertook the work diligently through to its conclusion. We are incredibly grateful for this support for the difference it has already made to our staff and families as we develop plans for the long-term sustainable and inclusive development of the building on a new, secure footing.”
Simon Bateson, Chair Portobello Toddler Hut
This skilled volunteering offering is central to Inspiring Scotland’s model, helping us to tackle long-term entrenched social problems.
CMS was one of the founding corporate partners in the original Pro Bono supporters’ group and is an integral part of the non-financial support we offer to charities. Guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals and their commitment to the UN Global Compact, CMS look to collaborate with its partners like Inspiring Scotland, and use their talents, reach, and resources to make a positive difference. Enjoying the benefits of being a global law firm, and yet also ensuring they are extremely local in their approach, CMS strive to make a positive impact in the communities where their people work and live.
“CMS Scotland’s longstanding partnership with Inspiring Scotland fits perfectly with our aim to make a positive social impact in our communities. The local causes we support through Inspiring Scotland can’t afford to waste precious donations on legal overheads, and it is our privilege to be able to support them in this way, when and where we are able. Our pro bono programme is tailored to not only work with large-scale national and global charity partners, but also make sure that the often forgotten smaller and more local charities get the support they need as well. Inspiring Scotland are a key partner to help ensure no one gets missed.”
Chris Rae, CMS Partner & Responsible Business Champion (Glasgow)
Chris Rae, CMS Partner & Responsible Business Champion
Chris Rae

Find out more about our Specialist Volunteer Network and how our volunteers could support your organisation.

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