Cliff specialises in corporate governance and constitutional advice in the establishment and running of co-operative, mutual and membership based organisations. He has a special interest in the development of new ownership structures for public services and public or community assets.
For more than ten years, he has advised the leading retail co-operative societies. He has written the new constitution for the Co-operative Group, advised on the movement’s largest mergers, and acted as legal advisor to Co-operatives UK, the apex organisation for the UK movement. He has worked extensively with the Co-operative Party and Mutuo in the legislative process of modernising mutual society law, including advising on the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 2002.
For a number of years, Cliff has worked on the development of a new model of local or community ownership, based on co-operative democracy and a commitment to trading for the public good. This model has been used in a variety of sectors, including healthcare, social housing, children’s services, leisure services, and is the model used in Supporters Trusts. Cliff also contributed to the establishment of NHS Foundation Trusts as mutual organisations.
He works extensively with Mutuo, the mutual sector think-tank and publisher, and has contributed to a number of Mutuo publications. He is a member of the UK Society for Co-operative Studies and a contributor to its Journal, and was a member of the Department of Health’s External Reference Group for Foundation Trusts.