The Tod Endowment Trust &

The Scottish Solicitors’ Benevolent Fund 

 

THE TOD ENDOWMENT TRUST &

THE SCOTTISH SOLICITORS’ BENEVOLENT FUND

THE TOD ENDOWMENT TRUST

 

The Trust is registered with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator under number SC010046.  It was created in 1929 and its trust purposes were varied by an interlocutor of the Court of Session in 2006.  The income of the trust is distributed equally to the Church of Scotland, The Royal Medical Benevolent Fund, the Scottish Artists’ Benevolent Funds and the Scottish Solicitors’ Benevolent Fund.  

The Tod Trust purposes provide that the portion of its funds administered by the SSBF (of which see below) are to be used to fund short holiday respite breaks in Scotland for solicitors and their dependents.  Assistance is also provided for carers and companions where reasonably required.  In addition, it is possible for the funds to finance locum cover to enable solicitors to benefit from a short “staycation”, something that may well be of particular importance during the Coronavirus lockdown.

Applications should be made to the Secretary. These are treated in confidence. 

 

THE SCOTTISH SOLICITORS’ BENEVOLENT FUND

 

Quite separate from the Tod Endowment Fund, the Benevolent Fund was created in 2002 upon the amalgamation of the Law Society of Scotland Benevolent Fund and the Scottish Law Agent’s Society Benevolent Fund.  It is administered by trustees from both organisations and its trust purposes are wider than those of Tod. It is intended to provide financial assistance to solicitors, their spouses or partners, widows, widowers and deceased partners and any dependants who find themselves in straitened circumstances.

Again, applications should be made to the Secretary, and these are treated in confidence. 

Q&A

As well as being Secretary of the Scottish Law Agents’ Society Andrew is Secretary to the Committee of the Trustees of the Scottish Solicitors Benevolent Fund.

 

What does the Fund do?

A. Broadly speaking, it makes grants of money to solicitors in Scotland or the dependents of such solicitors. Grants from the Fund can be paid out only in accordance with the purposes of one of the two separate Trusts under which it is held.

What are these Trusts?

A. Firstly, there is the general Scottish Solicitors Benevolent Fund. It was established in 1961 by a Deed of Declaration of Trust, The trust purposes are very broad indeed; its funds shall be held “for any purpose which the Trustees may consider to be for the benefit of such of the Beneficiaries as may… be in necessitous circumstances”. The beneficiaries are solicitors in Scotland or their dependents. 

How does someone apply?

A. The application has to be supported by a solicitor, and we ask for the names and addresses of a couple of references; they don’t have to be solicitors. We have a form which has to be completed and sent to us. All the information is treated confidentially. The form asks about the applicant’s personal and financial circumstances. Most of the people who apply at the moment are in poor health, but that isn’t a prerequisite for making an application. All that matters is that there are “necessitous circumstances”.

Does an applicant have to say what he or she wants?

A. No. We simply decide whether the applicant should be given a grant of money. If we think that he or she should be given a grant we then decide how much to pay, and we pay it. The applicant does not have to account for how the grant has been used.

What is the second Trust?

A. It is named the Tod Endowment Trust. It distributes money for the purpose of providing holidays in Scotland. Grants are made to provide rest, a change of air and recuperation in Scotland. The Trust gives sums of money to the Scottish Solicitors Benevolent Fund so that we can administer it and distribute it in accordance with the purposes of the Tod Endowment Trust ie “to defray the cost of obtaining rest or recuperation in Scotland”.

Who is entitled to apply?

Those who have been in practice as solicitors in Scotland for at least two years before application together with their spouses, partners and dependents. 

How do they apply?

A. Again, we have a form which has to be completed and sent to us, and all information is treated confidentially. The form does not ask about the applicant’s personal or financial circumstances. 

Does an applicant have to say what he or she wants?

A. Yes. We ask the applicant to say how much is sought and the purpose and reason for the application. We look for vouching eg a quotation from a hotel or other evidence of travel costs. In addition, we would expect to see evidence that the money has been spent for its intended purposes. 

 

Does the application need to be supported by a solicitor and do you ask for the names and addresses of references?

A. No. 

What is the effect of the Coronavirus Lockdown?

A. As we know, the 2020 Regulations create rules about travel and they create criminal offences for breaches of those rules. Non-essential travel is prohibited and the trustees cannot facilitate a breach of the Regulations in any way whatsoever. However, the situation is continually evolving, every application will be judged on its own merits rather than under any blanket policy and the lockdown is not indefinite. 

Who are the trustees of the Scottish Solicitors Benevolent Fund?

A. The present trustees of the SSBF are the President and Vice President of both the Scottish Law Agents Society and the Law Society of Scotland together with several other senior officers. 

Where can applicants get application forms or further information?

A.  Forms are available from scottishlawagentssociety@gmail.com or by writing to the

The Secretary

Scottish Law Agents Society,

14 The Firs, Millholm Road

Cathcart

G44 3YB.

Specific enquiries should be directed there too. Both the Trusts that I’ve mentioned are registered with OSCR, and general information can be found on its Website.