ILEX supports Its not peanuts

ILEX proud to support “It’s Not Peanuts” campaign

The Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) is proud to support the launch of a new Access to Justice Foundation campaign that could see unclaimed client money used to support free legal assistance in communities.

The ’It’s not just peanuts’ campaign takes advantage of a 2008 rule change and asks law firms to donate all unclaimed client amounts of £50 or less to the Access to Justice Foundation.

Attending the launch last night (12 January 2011), ILEX Chief Executive, Diane Burleigh, said: “In a time when the entire country is facing economic pressures, a campaign like this makes total sense. We are going to see an increase in public need for help from the voluntary legal advice sector. Releasing funds that may have been sitting in a client account for many years will help provide valuable, and often vital, legal assistance to those that really need it.”

The campaign also asks the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to make it easier for law firms to donate sums over £50 to the “Access to Justice Foundation”. At present these sums require firms to apply to the SRA on a case-by-case basis. Even if the original owner does return to claim the money the sum involved is covered by an indemnity and so they do not lose out.

Diane added: “While there does need to be appropriate processes in place for donating large sums of money the current method can go someway to preventing a lawyer from donating anything over £50. ILEX would welcome any changes that would allow more unclaimed client money to be donated to those that need it.”

Posted 13.01.11