The aim of the appeal is twofold. First, to support barristers who have contracted the corona virus and who are unable to support themselves or their families as a result. Second, to support the many members of the Bar who, due to the pandemic and through no fault of their own, find themselves in great financial difficulties. In particular, much publicly funded work has stopped as a result of the pandemic: for example, the closure of the criminal courts for criminal trials has meant that many criminal barristers find that their work has stopped. Members of other parts of the publicly-funded bar, and indeed of some parts of the privately-funded bar, find themselves in a similar position.
For a substantial number of these individuals, the situation is urgent and they face serious and imminent financial difficulty. At the same time, many of these individuals will not be able to access the assistance offered by the Government, or that access may come too late to enable them to provide for immediate basic needs.
The BBA and Inns are therefore raising funds, by way of this appeal, with a view to providing emergency financial assistance to those in difficulty. The Lord Chief Justice has made clear that he enthusiastically supports the appeal and urges barristers in a position to do so to give generously in support of it.
Combar has made a donation from its funds. A number of individual members have also made personal donations. Combar respectfully encourages all members to donate personally to the appeal if they are able to do so.
Further details about the appeal, including full details of how to make a donation and a Gift Aid declaration form, can be found here.