Doing the right thing

Sustainability and ethical behaviour are vitally important to our business. People want to know they are dealing with a good company in the broadest sense – one that makes a positive contribution to society.

We care about people – our clients, our colleagues and their families. We are dedicated to minimising our impact on the environment.

Steadily, we have been shaping our policies to develop a cohesive social responsibility programme that minimises our environmental impact and optimises our pro bono commitments, our charitable giving, our volunteering and educational work. It is constantly evolving and here are some of the highlights of our achievements so far.

Fundraising and volunteering

As key advisors to many charities, we understand the importance of fundraising. Our aim as a fundraiser in our own right is to build on the principles of partnership, dedication and involvement and develop strong links with a nominated charity over a two-year period.

Nominated charities are suggested by members of staff and chosen by ballot. As well as encouraging involvement in fundraising activities, the close links with each supported charity create opportunities for volunteering and many of our staff have made their skills and time really count for the organisations we have helped over the years.

Support in Mind 2021 – 2023

Support in Mind is a national mental health charity that provides support to more than 1,000 people every week. Our team backed the selection of Support in Mind as our latest charitable partnership based on a growing awareness of the importance of mental health services, particularly in the context of the COVID pandemic.

Anthony Nolan 2019 - 2020

Anthony Nolan is a UK blood cancer charity. The £27,000 we raised during our year supporting the charity was enough to add 675 new people to the organisation’s stem cell register.

Down’s Syndrome Scotland (DSS) 2018 - 2019

DSS provides ‘all through life’ support nationally across Scotland to people with Down’s Syndrome, their families and their carers. During the period of our partnership, we raised £18,500 to support their activities.

Children with Cancer & Leukaemia Advice & Support for Parents (CCLASP) 2017 - 2018

The £14,000 we raised for CCLASP helped them to provide practical and emotional support to families affected by childhood cancer.

The Yard 2016 - 2017

The Yard is a Scottish charity that supports disabled children and young people up to the age of 25, and their families, through adventure play. The £13,000 we raised in our first ever charity partnership helped to support their valuable activities.

Giving our expertise

While our highly experienced charity law team works with a wide range of charitable organisations on a commercial basis, we also provide access to our specialist expertise in other ways. Many people around the firm give up their own time to serve as board members and trustees. We also regularly commit to pro bono work across the charity and voluntary sectors, channelling our efforts through partnerships with selected ‘gateway’ organisations.

  • Turcan Connell is the Scottish legal partner for the Institute of Fundraising, providing advice to its members on particular aspects of fundraising law.
  • We are the sole Scottish legal partner of the Institute of Legacy Management, addressing seminars and conferences to promote an understanding of Scots law in relation to legacies and succession.
  • We are members of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations’ pro bono service, delivering governance and charity law advice to members who sign up to the service online.
  • We work closely with the Association of Chief Officers of Scottish Voluntary Organisations, delivering training and providing support in matters relating to charity law, regulation and governance.
  • Turcan Connell is part of the University of Edinburgh Law Clinic, supporting law students who advise charities and charity trustees on a pro bono basis. Our support not only helps the charities, it helps the students to enhance their own education and gives them valuable experience of acting as a solicitor for real clients.

Please note, if you represent a charity or its trustees and want to access Turcan Connell’s pro bono services, you should approach us through the relevant partner organisation’s own scheme to ensure that your request reaches the right person through the right channels.

Teaching and mentoring

Developing talent is very much part of our culture. Many of our team (including the majority of our partners) started here as trainees and have seen their careers flourish. As well as nurturing our own talent, we believe in sharing our expertise, tutoring on degree and postgraduate diploma courses at universities across Scotland.

We regularly offer in-house seminars to the various sectors we work with, often in partnership with other advisers or professional educators. These include renewables forums, charity trustee training seminars and housing and tenancy seminars.

Turcan Connell is a corporate sponsor of the Lawscot Foundation which supports academically talented students from less-advantaged backgrounds in Scotland. Our sponsorship provides university bursaries and mentoring for financially disadvantaged students, directly supporting their legal education and encouraging greater diversity in the legal profession.

We also work closely with the Journey to Success programme from The Robertson Trust which funds undergraduate bursaries for students who have the academic ability but do not have the financial means to take up a university place. We encourage applications from Robertson-funded scholars to our annual internship programme and in 2021, were delighted to welcome our first Robertson scholar as a trainee.

Mitigating our environmental impact

In recent years, our Colleague Engagement Group has sponsored a number of green initiatives as we strive to reduce our environmental impact. It is an important topic for our team and even though the firm’s carbon footprint is relatively small, we have tried to make a difference.

We have reduced our use of paper to an absolute minimum and we have introduced a rigorous framework for reducing and managing waste, for recycling and for conducting business in an energy-efficient manner.

We believe we have scope to be more ambitious and proactive with our environmental initiatives and will continue to do what we can to minimise the impact our business has on the planet.