SBA awards over £1.1 million to solicitors and their families in times of need
A huge 10 percent were either living with family members or homeless after finding themselves in serious financial need as a result of illness, accident, redundancy or other adversity, before contacting the charity for help.
London was the area where most beneficiaries were based with 19 percent, followed closely by South East England at 15 percent and South West England at 14 percent.
The £1.1m awarded was compiled of £786,000 in grants and £380,500 in interest-free loans.
A key change from 2017 figures to 2018 was the percentage of those with dependent children at home. In 2018, 31 per cent of all beneficiaries have dependant children at home. Half of those are single parents. A rise from 24 percent in 2017, when just over a third were single parents.
Most affected were those who’d been practicing for more than 11 years. The 11-20 years category represented 32 per cent of all beneficiaries, as did those in the 20 years + category. Those working for five years or fewer stood at 22 percent, demonstrating that newly qualified solicitors are not averse to financial hardship.
The research shows that small firms were the most affected at 42 percent. This is an increase since last year of 11 percent and reflects the economic challenges facing SMEs. However, public/in-house legal teams are now the second most affected sector of the profession, taking over from sole practitioners in 2017.
SBA Chair of Trustees, Matthew Robbins said: “Our latest figures continue to demonstrate that solicitors are not untouchable and that a great number of fellow practitioners find themselves in need at any stage in their career. It’s important to remind people that they have support and SBA is here to help. The charity is proud to support the legal profession through thick and thin. We simply want to maximise the chance of people sustaining themselves in the long-term. Whether you’ve got low or no income through redundancy or losing your job, separation, medical issues or needing aids and adaptations in the home, we contribute to the cost of a huge range of situations to make those times easier to cope with.”
Notes to editors
- SBA The Solicitors’ Charity is an independent charity working for solicitors both past and present and their families.
- It financially assists solicitors and their families who are in serious financial need as a result of illness, accident, redundancy or other adversity.
- It determines ‘serious financial need’ by using research produced by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s ‘Minimum Income Standard’.
- Formerly known as The Solicitors Benevolent Association, it has been working at the heart of the legal profession for over 150 years.
- SBA has 15 trustees whose personal profiles can be found here
- It provides grants and interest-free secure loans, support with career transition and access to advice on welfare benefits and managing personal debt.
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