Lyndsay Gough, commercial consultant solicitor for Keystone Law, contributed the following blog about her experience working with CTSI on obtaining chartered status.
In my role as a solicitor at Keystone Law, I’ve been working with the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) for around 11 years now, assisting with various legal matters. The project to obtain a royal charter for the institute, however, has been a ‘first’ for me (and for the institute too). It’s taken around three years’ work, liaising closely with the institute’s team, particularly Finance Director Roy Martin, and the Privy Council.
A royal charter granted by the reigning king/queen on the advice of the Privy Council, date back to 13th century. Originally used for raising the status of a British town to that of a city, royal charters are very rarely granted nowadays, which it makes it a very special accolade for the institute. Charters are normally reserved for professional bodies that work in the public interest, which demonstrate pre-eminence in their particular field and which have fulfilled stringent criteria, as the institute was more than able to do.
The application for a royal charter takes the form of a Petition to HM the Queen via the Privy Council. Following preliminary discussions with the institute and the Privy Council regarding the merits of making an application, we prepared the draft charter and byelaws and created comprehensive new constitutional documents for the institute for the first time since the institute was formed in 1881.
I liaised with the institute’s board, headed by Chief Executive Leon Livermore, and various contacts at the Privy Council Office (including the Office of the Attorney General), resulting in numerous drafts and redrafts to create the approved documents. The wording I used was founded in tradition and somewhat archaic with odd punctuation. For example, the Petition to HM The Queen started with the words ‘TO THE QUEEN’S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY IN COUNCIL The Humble Petition of the Trading Standards Institute Sheweth as follows …’ .
HM The Queen approved the paperwork at a meeting of the Privy Council at Buckingham Palace in October 2014. We then had to wait a few months for the formal charter to be sealed on vellum following its production in a gilded calligraphy format by artists and scribes at the College of Arms. The final version is impressive and it’s the first time that my legal work has ever been reproduced on calfskin in this way (as far as I am aware). I was delighted to be invited to the institute’s celebrations at London’s Millbank Tower to see the charter for the first time in its full glory.
It was a privilege to be part of this prestigious award of chartered status for the Institute, which joins such other illustrious chartered organisations as the British East India Company and the Bank of England.