As many of you will know, the new Panel of Solicitors (‘the Panel’) has been running for six months and we are seeing positive results for Managing Trustees in their transactions already. TMCP and the Connexional Team continue to encourage you all to instruct the Panel due to the quality of their advice in transactions as well as the time they continue to invest in understanding the characteristics and requirements of the Methodist Church. Since the introduction of the Panel we have witnessed the clear impact that the Panel’s knowledge has brought to transactions and TMCP have already seen improvements in the way matters are being dealt with.
TMCP are continuing to receive excellent feedback from the Managing Trustees who have instructed the firms on the Panel and we have produced a feedback form which will be issued to Managing Trustees at the end of transactions starting in the New Year. Your feedback is important to TMCP and the Connexional Team because we see the use of the Panel as a benefit to the whole Methodist Connexion. We work closely with the Panel to ensure that the service Managing Trustees receive is maximised and where we identify areas for improvement then we act quickly as a partnership to improve the services we provide together.
Please do continue to give us your feedback so as a Church we can move towards more streamlined legal services for Managing Trustees. This feedback will also be considered by TMCP and the Connexional Team when we are working on how to deliver legal and property services and advice to Managing Trustees.
Training and interaction with Managing Trustees
For information TMCP and the Connexional Team held another training day with the Panel on 29th November 2018 which was beneficial for all involved. We will meet with the Panel again in the New Year to discuss how we can continue to improve the service we all provide to the Methodist Connexion.
The Panel also attended the recent District Property Secretaries meeting where they had the opportunity to speak with your DPS about the services they provide. If you are considering using the Panel then as well as speaking with TMCP please do have a conversation with your DPS who will be able to discuss the benefits of using the Panel with you.
Reasons to use the Panel
For those managing trustee bodies that have yet to instruct the Panel we would like to remind you of the benefits in doing so. There are already a number of transactions where involvement of the Panel has helped Managing Trustees get up and running exciting missional opportunities. We will be publishing articles about such transactions in the new year.
The Panel have a great deal of experience in working with charities and other Christian denominations covering a wide variety of transactions and their experience is reflected in the positive feedback we continue to receive.
The firms on the Panel were selected following a rigorous tender exercise can advise in all types of property transactions, employment law, charity governance and litigation, to name a few. The benefit to Managing Trustees in using the firms on the Panel is that they are familiar with Methodist law, policy and the procedural requirements which must be complied with in transactions.
Further details on each of the panel firms can be found on the TMCP website at https://www.tmcp.org.uk/property/panel-solicitors. You can also obtain a PDF copy of our Panel Solicitors contact sheet here and to the Panel Promotional Booklet which provides the background to how the panel were selected and why as well as giving information on each of the firms. Please note that the firms are listed in alphabetical order only and not in order of preference.
We would also ask you to keep in mind that you do not need to have a solicitor who is based locally. Although transactions can these days be largely dealt with by phone or email without the need for face to face contact, the Panel are going out and meeting with Managing Trustees to introduce themselves and develop a relationship with those people who are looking to instruct them. The Panel recognise that it can be important to Managing Trustees to meet the individual they are working with and ensure that the firm understand their requirements. Building relationships is also important to TMCP and the Connexional Team because we are all working towards the same goal; being the Mission of the Methodist Church.
If you have any queries in relation to the guidance in this document please contact TMCP Legal for further assistance.