Chair of Trustees

Disability Law Service seeks a Deaf or Disabled Person to lead the organisation as Chair of Trustees

Disability Law Service is a unique national organisation providing a free legal advice and representation service for disabled people.   Since 1975 we have been challenging the poverty and inequality faced by people with disabilities by securing equal access to legal rights and entitlements. We are also playing a growing role in commenting on and influencing policy as it relates to disabled people.  We are a Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisation (DDPO), meaning that we are led by those with experience of the issues that we aim to address.  We are a registered charity.

Our current Chair is standing down after three years and we are now looking to recruit someone with the experience and qualities to replace them.  The person that we are looking for will themselves be a deaf or disabled person and be committed to the aims of DLS and to promoting the rights of disabled people.  Some experience of the third sector and/or of being a trustee would be an advantage but is not essential.

They must be able and willing to represent and act as an advocate for the organisation.  They will have links into relevant wider networks, such as the access to justice sector, the private law sector or the wider business world.

The Board meets from 6 – 8pm on a bi-monthly basis.  It is expected that the Chair will be in regular contact with the Chief Executive and, as necessary, with the other Board members.

This is an extremely rewarding but voluntary position and is unremunerated.


If you are interested in an informal discussion, please email the Chief Executive, David Laurence, at to arrange a call with the Chief Executive or a trustee.

Role Description for Chair


Main Tasks:

  1. To ensure that the Trustee Board fulfils its responsibilities for the governance of the organisation.
  2. To work in partnership with the Chief Executive helping him/her achieve the mission of the organisation.
  3. To provide leadership in fulfilling DLS’ role as a Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisation (DDPO)
  4. To ensure there is an effective relationship between the trustee body and DLS staff and volunteers.

Main Duties relating to:

  1. Ensuring the trustee body fulfils its responsibilities:
  • To chair meetings of the trustee body, seeing that it functions effectively and carries out its duties;
  • To ensure that the trustees set overall strategy and policy objectives;
  • To ensure that the business of meetings is dealt with and that decisions, when required, are clearly arrived at and recorded and their implementation monitored.
  • To ensure that the organisation’s financial dealings are prudently and systematically accounted for, audited and publicly available
  • To verify that policies and procedures are in place to ensure regulatory compliance in all professional, financial and organisational matters
  • With the Chief Executive to develop appropriate and relevant agendas for meetings;
  • In close consultation with the Chief Executive to make recommendations on the composition of the trustee body, and future chairs of the trustee body (with a view to succession);
  • To work in consultation with the Chief Executive to recruit trustees with specific/relevant expertise;
  • To ensure that the trustee body annually reviews its structure, role, relationships to staff and implements agreed changes as necessary
  • To define and keep under review selection and performance criteria for trustees;
  • With the Chief Executive to ensure that all trustees receive appropriate advice, training and information relating to their role; and
  • To serve as an additional spokesperson for or promoter of the charity.
  1. Helping the Chief Executive achieve the organisation’s mission:
  • To ensure that the trustees develop a long-term strategy for the organisation together with the Chief Executive
  • To monitor progress of the annual plan and overall strategic plan;
  • To ensure that appropriate resources (personnel, financial, material) are secured with which to achieve agreed goals;
  • To ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place to support, monitor and review the work of the Chief Executive
  • To help promote the organisation to a wider audience of potential donors and beneficiaries.
  1. Optimising the relationship between trustee body and staff/volunteers
  • To ensure that the organisation has appropriate policies and procedures in place to promote staff well-being and development
  • To comply with current employment and equality and diversity legislation and good practice;
  • To advertise, interview and select senior staff;
  • In consultation with the Chief Executive, to agree an annual calendar of the trustees and major events for the organisation; and
  • In conjunction with the Chief Executive to ensure regular formal and informal interaction between the trustee body and staff group.

Note:  some of the duties above maybe delegated to other trustees.

This position is unremunerated but reasonable expenses may be claimed

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