Amid all the dire predictions about imminent job losses in criminal defence, there remains one quiet constant for solicitors in every area of practice. SBA The Solicitors’ Charity has been working at the heart of the profession for over 150 years and its vision remains unchanged: no solicitor should be unsupported in times of need or crisis.

Market contraction means that SBA is now regularly contacted by solicitors affected by redundancy and shorter hours. Many people wait until they are in extremis before reaching out for help, so it is critically important for practitioners to think clearly and honestly about what preparing for the worst really means, both professionally and personally.

The next few years are likely to be tough for many, but do not forget that SBA is your charity. We are here to help.

Michael Gillman, chairman, SBA The Solicitors’ Charity, London SW12