‘Health Checks’ exist in many contexts, providing a snapshot of the condition of an individual or organisation. A Legal Health Check usually refers to a process by which lawyers undertake an assessment of a client’s potential legal needs.
A4ID staff lawyers work with all its development partners to examine and scope their legal needs.
The A4ID Legal Health Check is an extension of this process, offering a more in-depth assessment to those organisations willing and able to participate. A team of lawyers from A4ID legal partners undertakes the Legal Health Check on a pro bono basis. The lawyers use a questionnaire developed by A4ID to understand the condition of the organisation. Through analysing the information received in response, and through discussions with the organisation, the lawyers identify which legal issues the organisation needs to address. Their assessment is captured in a written report for the organisation, which the development organisation can then work through over time.
The Legal Health Check is free for A4ID development partners. However, it does require a significant investment of time to properly engage with the lawyers and respond to their questions. Yet, the organisation’s input should ultimately pay dividends by preventing issues manifesting into costly and time-intensive problems. Further, it will result in a structured document setting out the ongoing legal needs of the organisation which can be used as a benchmark for the future. In short, getting things right at the outset will help to ensure the organisation is sustainable both in the immediate and longer term.
“The Legal Health Check enables a dialogue that solves the problem of lawyers not knowing how best they can help charities, and charities not knowing what to ask for”
Charlie Hay, Director of Sustainability, AfriKids UK,
The Legal Health Check will involve exploring in depth the everyday functioning of the organisation and any related legal issues.
Examples of the kinds of topics covered and questions asked by a standard A4ID Legal Health Check are as follows:
- General organisational characteristics
- Structure and governance
- Employment contracts and policies, including health, safety and security
- Contracts and partnership agreements
- Property issues
- Liabilities and Funding
- Tax issues
- Intellectual property
- Use of the law in programmes or advocacy work
- Disputes and dispute resolution
- Risk management
- Compliance issues – e.g. anti-corruption, bribery
- Specific industry regulations
- Systems for monitoring legal issues
To participate or find out more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘It’s exciting to have a pro bono matter that can potentially involve all of our practice areas, which can be done in any of our offices, and which goes to the core of a charity’s legal needs and helps them to proactively address their most important legal issues.’
Jo Weiss, Head of Social Responsibility at White & Case
The firm which helped A4ID pilot the Legal Health Check