James Carleton

James Carleton

James Carleton is Partner, Farrer & Co. LLP

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Beware the powerful expert

Readers of governance will be familiar with the concept of ‘founder syndrome’. That is to say, where either an individual or corporate body that has been responsible for promoting or setting up a new charity seeks to thwart (whether wittingly or otherwise) the orderly running of its activities and strategic direction by the properly appointed body of trustees... More often than not founder syndrome can be sorted out by a board of trustees taking a grip of the problem and acting collectively. A few years ago however I encountered a more virulent strain of the condition. Indeed, looking back on it, I fear I may have witnessed a dangerous mutation which crossed a nascent Napoleon complex with the founder syndrome to produce what I will name ‘the founder’s expert acolyte’.

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