SRA Raises Donation Threshold for It's Not Just Peanuts Campaign
31 October 2014
31 October 2014 - LONDON, UK – The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has raised the threshold for the amount of money that can be donated from dormant client accounts to the Access to Justice Foundation's 'It's Not Just Peanuts' campaign.
The 'It’s Not Just Peanuts' campaign is being driven by the London Legal Support Trust and involves solicitors donating amounts of money of less than £500 that they have in their client accounts and where they cannot trace the owners. Through a very simple process the money can be donated to the Access to Justice Foundation which then distributes the funds to support free legal advice. Up until now, the amount of money that could be donated had to be less than £50.
Last year the campaign raised more than £59,000 and this year it has nearly quadrupled that figure and has raised over £218,000 to support the provision of free legal advice in the country.
Yasmin Waljee, International Pro Bono Manager at Hogan Lovells, said:
"It's never been more important for firms to free up the money because whilst it's sitting there doing nothing, advice organisations across the country are closing down or struggling to survive. The money really can make a difference to peoples lives."
Ruth Daniel, Chief Executive Officer, at the Access to Justice Foundation, said:
"This lightening of regulation is obviously welcome given the burden that unclaimed balances can place on firms. We also hope that it will increase the amount we can raise for the benefit of the free legal advice charities that we support. We hope that firms will continue to see the natural fit for funds that their clients had earmarked for themselves to access the legal system being used to enable others to access justice."
It is also hoped that unclaimed sums over £500 will be donated. However, these amounts require law firms to get permission of the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. If the original owners of the money do reappear to claim it back then the money will be refunded.
An information pack for law firms can be downloaded from www.ATJF.org.uk/clientbalances
More information on the campaign can be obtained from: clientbalances@ATJF.org.uk
The Access to Justice Foundation will distribute funds raised by Its Not Just Peanuts scheme through the regional trusts and national pro bono organisations.