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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.

Their 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.



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