Johannesburg: Struggling lawyers in practice who have been hard-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic will receive a share of R15 million from the Legal Practice Council’s (LPC’s) legal practitioners benevolent scheme.
The council has announced that eligible legal practitioners will receive a R5 000 grant per applicant, which they can apply for on a first-come, first-served basis from August 18 until September 18.
According to the council, once the full R15m has been disbursed to eligible applicants, no further applications will be processed.
Eligible legal practitioners include those registered and in good standing with the LPC (they must be in possession of a current Fidelity Fund Certificate and must be up to date with all payments, including subscriptions and fines), must not be subject to an application for suspension or striking from the roll, and have a net income of less than R30 000 per month.
“As the council, we acknowledge that the legal profession is experiencing difficulties during this time, and we are hoping that this limited support will assist practitioners who have been severely affected by this pandemic. Our profession has a number of practitioners who have limited access to funding from commercial institutions,” said LPC chairperson Kathleen Matolo-Dlepu.
Matolo-Dlepu also urged legal practitioners who had not been financially affected by the pandemic and who could donate to the benevolent scheme in support of their colleagues to do so by contacting the LPC.
Qualifying legal practitioners will also need to satisfy the council that the financial difficulties that give rise to the application for benefits arose directly from the Covid-19-enforced national lockdown and indicate whether or not they have sought and received any temporary relief from the Unemployment Insurance Fund, the Solidarity Fund and a bar council.
The LPC will require personal bank statements for the period between January and April 2020, or a letter from the legal practitioners’ firm confirming the period for which remuneration has not been paid and making disclosure of any assistance applied for or received. | Political Bureau