Donating your firm’s dormant client accounts to the Access to Justice Foundation can make a big difference to the number of free legal advice organisations we are able to support throughout the UK. The sums themselves may seem trivial, ranging from a few pence to a few thousand pounds, but to put it in perspective, in the UK there are an estimated 500,000 unclaimed client accounts worth approximately £500m, so it really does all add up.
In 2019, the Foundation distributed a total of £1,909,822 in grants to support free legal help for those in need, which included funds donated from dormant client accounts. These grants support the not-for-profit legal advice sector which are vital to vulnerable people needing expert legal advice to understand the complexities of the law and exercise their legal rights.
The process of donation is both straightforward and 100% risk free. If you have made reasonable attempts to find the client to return this money, but have not had success, you can donate these funds to charity. The Foundation can provide the relevant indemnity to repay your firm if the client resurfaces, so there is no risk to you or your firm.
Amounts of up to £500 can be donated to charity without the need for approval as long as SRA guidelines are followed. Amounts of £500 and over can also be donated to charity, the Access to Justice Foundation can provide a written indemnity for all unclaimed client account fund donations.
If your client resurfaces you can ask us for the funds back, making your donation completely risk free.
“The ILFM has supported the Access to Justice Foundation’s Unclaimed Client Accounts campaign for over 7 years. The dilemma over how to deal with residual client balances has always been a concern for our members. To be able to redirect these funds to such a great charity and benefit those in need, whilst still meeting compliance regulations is a perfect solution. The ILFM are pleased to be able to partner with the Access to Justice Foundation by promoting their events and charitable causes and sharing their success stories.”
Tim Kidd, Chief Executive, ILFM
The ILFM has been hugely supportive of the Foundation and we would like to say a thank you to the members who have donated their unclaimed client accounts to help this important cause.
Give the gift of unclaimed client accounts this Christmas and help support a society where everyone has access to justice.