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Solicitors’ charity launches £1 million coronavirus hardship fund

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SBA to help lawyers in serious financial difficulty

A solicitors’ charity has launched a £1,000,000 emergency hardship fund to support members of the profession who find themselves in serious financial difficultly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Solicitors’ Charity (SBA) says it will soon be accepting applications from anyone who is or has been on the roll of solicitors, and has accessible savings within their household of less than £2,500.

The charity, previously known as the Solicitors Benevolent Association, expects applicants to have already taken advantage of available assistance such as mortgage payment holidays and to have started the process of applying for any applicable welfare benefits.

Solicitors will be able to apply for support for reasons including being placed on statutory sick pay due to self-isolation, if they have lost their job and are not supported by the government’s job retention scheme, or if a they are self-employed and unable to practise.

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Nick Gallagher, CEO of The SBA, said:

“The Solicitor’s Charity has been helping solicitors for 160 years and in 2019 we awarded over £986,000 to solicitors in need. The situation many currently find themselves in is unexpected, stressful and many will be feeling that there is no light at the end of the tunnel, so it’s imperative the charity provides as much help as possible for those in need.”

He added: “The creation of this extra fund, initially of £1,000,000, could provide a financial cushion and peace of mind vital to so many at this time.”

Last week Legal Cheek reported that the Inns of Court were gearing up to launch a “package of measures” to support pupil and junior barristers who find themselves in financial hardship during the coronavirus crisis.

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