Non-Executive Director

Please send your CV to Mia Hakl-Law, Director of Operations & HR at miah@gclaw.co.uk by 13 March 2020.

Garden Court Chambers (‘GCC’) is a barristers’ chambers founded in 1974 on a commitment to hold state agents to account and promote fundamental human rights and freedoms. GCC was started by six newly qualified barristers, who collectively took on three loans from the Co-op bank.  They employed one member of staff, a barristers’ clerk, whose role was to book clients and undertake fee collection. GCC’s commitment to human rights,  equality before the law and freedom is as strong today as it was in the beginning, as social justice and the provision of socially useful legal services is still embedded in the hearts of the original founders and is the core of GCC’s values.

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In 2011, GCC set up a limited liability company, Garden Court Ltd (GC Ltd.), with the sole responsibility of running the administration side of the chambers and taking on key support functions, such as, reception, marketing and fee negotiation and fee-chasing.

Today, GCC comprises 200 self-employed barristers, along with GC Chambers Ltd, which has 60 employees, who cover all of the administrative, marketing and billing functions.

We are fast approaching our 50-year anniversary. The legal services market has changed irreversibly in the last decade with legal aid being hardest hit by government funding cuts. We are proud of our strong track record of innovating in the law to defend the fundamental rights and freedoms of our clients. Our legacy is important to us, as we want to continue to make a real difference towards the work we do. We are therefore working to innovate on how we deliver our services and business model   as efficiently and effectively as possible and to strategically fit with the challenging environment whilst maintaining our priorities and ethos.

Overview

The Non-Executive Director (‘NED’) is the sole Non-Executive of the company and will chair the Board of Directors at key quarterly meetings. The NED is expected to bring an external, independent perspective to the Board, assist with strategy, help develop the business and ensure that the risks are suitably managed. The NED is expected to challenge and advise the executive directors and help them to reach balanced judgements.

Roles and Responsibilities

Internal

  1. Attend and participate in quarterly Board meetings in a Non-Executive capacity*
  2. Bring external, independent scrutiny and perspective and advise the Board accordingly
  3. To contribute to the development of strategic objectives for GCC and hold the Board and senior management team to account for their implementation
  4. Challenge executive directors on their decision making
  5. Scrutinise the performance of management against the objectives and values of the company
  6. Help to determine appropriate levels of remuneration of executive directors and senior management and to advise on reward mechanisms
  7. Advise on risk management
  8. Advise on systems which support the integrity and quality of management information
  9. Advise on the management of our premises and key relationships between pension policy holders with a stake in our building and the company (GCC ltd)
  10. Advise on governance arrangements and assist with succession planning
  11. Attend AGMs, if required. 

* Board meetings are held at GCC, but AGMs may also be in an off-site location usually within walking distance of GCC.

External

  1. Involvement in business development, (working closely with Board and senior management team)
  2. Provide access to useful contacts and networks to help develop new business in line with strategy
  3. Identify opportunities for GCC, for example new services, clients or partners

Person Specification

Previous Experience

  • Strategic management or business development role preferably in a professional services firm or consultancy organisation 
  • Director of similar-sized company which has undergone sustained growth (Executive or Non-Executive)
  • Strategy development, governance, business development and operational experience
  • Chairing business committees or Boards
  • Understanding of delivery of professional services and preferably the legal services market

Skills and Qualities

  • Understanding of GCC values and social justice ethos, and track record of promoting and implementing these.
  • Ability to engage constructively with senior management and to challenge on difficult issues in a non-confrontational way
  • Ability to quickly grasp and understand company issues including the financial position of GCC, GCC’ s structure, decision-making, business model, business strategy and industry dynamics
  • Demonstrable experience in leading and delivering strategic change preferably in a professional services firm
  • Clear and enthusiastic communicator; verbal and written
  • Strategic thinker and business development orientation
  • Understanding of systems and risk management
  • Good understanding of management accounts and related management information
  • Knowledge of reward and motivation mechanisms
  • 10 years or more experience working within strategic management, business development, HR or finance
  • An MBA, MSc in Finance or MSc in Management would be ideal or alternatively experience in successfully running your own company

Time commitment

The NED would be expected to attend quarterly meetings, an AGM and occasionally be available to meet with the senior management team and/or Heads of Chambers for additional strategy meetings if and when requested. The NED is expected to attend for an orientation at the beginning of their appointment and be available for ad-hoc advice to the Board on an as-needs basis. The total time commitment per annum is estimated as 8 days per year.

Period of appointment

The appointment will initially be for one year, with the option of renewing at the end of this period up to a further 2 years when GCC may seek a fresh appointment.

Conflicts of interest and commercial confidentiality

The NED appointment is made on the basis of trust, a key component of which is to ensure that there are no conflicts of interest between this appointment and posts held elsewhere.

All material provided to the NED by the company should be treated as commercially sensitive, and not disclosed to third parties without the written permission of the GCC Board and should remain confidential for a period of at least 3 years following termination of the contract. (This clause applies to connected persons of the NED).

Fees and expenses

Remuneration will be on a daily rate at a rate of £500 per day, subject to a maximum level to be determined by GCC on a per annum basis. Any additional time spent over the maximum will need to be agreed in advance.

Payment will be made within 14 days of an event, on the basis of receipt of an invoice.

Travel and subsistence expenses, for example attending Board meetings, will be reimbursable in line with GCC’s policy at cost, on submission of evidence in the form of receipts.

Location

GCC is based in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London near the London School of Economics and Holborn tube station. 

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