19 September 2023
President commends Solicitors’ Benevolent Association
I was privileged to host a meeting on behalf of the Law Society of Northern Ireland in September for a meeting of the Solicitor’s Benevolent Association.
This body operates
on an all island basis and is one of the oldest charities in Ireland with a
vintage of over 150 years.
The Association is governed by a voluntary board of Solicitors which consists
of 24 members,3 of whom are nominated by the Law Society of Northern Ireland.
The SBA makes financial provision to Solicitors and their family members
including surviving spouses who are experiencing economic hardship.
support is not time limited but continued grants will be regularly reviewed to
ensure they meet the Association’s criteria. It is a very worthy organisation
whose sole aim is to assist members of the Legal Profession and their families
in difficult times.
Anyone can find themselves subject to the vissitudes of life and even modest
help can make a big difference.
Some of the applications considered today at the meeting came from colleagues
who I have personally known through almost 30 years in practice. The members of
the Association discussed each case with compassion and empathy while ensuring
rigor in applying the rules. All applications considered today were approved.
The SBA depends on donations from each Solicitor in legal practice paying £100
annually when they are renewing their Practicing Certificates. Unfortunately,
only 50% of Solicitors in NI make the payments. Indeed the net position is that
the profession in the North receives over £100k more in grants compared to the
level of donations paid to the Association. This is not the position in the
Republic of Ireland.
Consequently, in January 2024 when you are renewing your Practisng Certificate
or even if you are a newly qualified Solicitor please pay the £100 donation or
ensure your firm/organisation does.
Individual donations can be made at any
time and are as always tax deductible.Remember it is helping your colleagues
and their families in hard times and some day you may need a helping hand.