SBA The Solicitors’ Charity has appointed Christl Hughes as its Chairman. A former High St solicitor, specialising in contentious business, Christl is an Association of Women Solicitors, London committee member and a committee member and past President of Leicestershire Law Society. She is also a trustee of the Gender Identity Research & Education Society, a charity offering support to transgender individuals.
Christl is the sixth woman in SBA’s 160-year history to take the chair; Lady (Barbara) Littlewood, solicitor and magistrate, was the first in 1979 and she was followed by some remarkable women lawyers, including the irrepressible Fay Landau MBE, Eila Rochfort, currently Senior Partner at Neale Turke Rochford, Eva Crawley, who did so much to further the cause of women in the profession, and Sally Williams, now retired from her consultant role with Russell Cooke. Christl now leads a Board of Trustees which includes six women, all recruited in the last two years.
SBA’s core object is to relieve the financial hardship of solicitors, former solicitors and their families. In 2014, SBA applied over £1,000,000 in outright grants and interest-free loans (usually secured). Despite being one of the best known of the legal charities, general awareness of what SBA can do to help, especially amongst younger members of the profession and HR professionals is still quite low.
“Many lawyers have known about the charity since the day they were admitted”, says Christl, “but for others, news that the profession has its own benevolent fund, run by and for solicitors and their families is a real surprise. SBA has made great progress in the last few years in modernizing its governance and services. Our attention for the next period now needs to turn to generating better awareness.”
Christl concludes, “At a time of ongoing turbulence in legal services, it’s critical for the profession’s own charity to reach out to the people who most need help. SBA wants to do all it can to ensure that no solicitor is unsupported in times of need or crisis.”
To find out more, visit www.sba.org.uk, telephone 020 8675 6440 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.