Benevolent Association

Assistance in deserving cases

The Barristers’ Benevolent Association of New South Wales was established to set up a scheme whereby financial assistance may be provided to persons who are (or have been) members of the New South Wales Bar and who have practised predominantly in NSW. There are no fixed circumstances in which such assistance may be provided save for it being directed to “necessitous and deserving cases”. It provides a fund for those who are suffering from hardship either in the short term or long term. The funding is an important part of the collegiate life of the Bar and how we look after each other.

BarCare can assist with an application and provide further advice. You can contact Jenny on M: 0427 317 958 or via email:  

Alternatively, you can complete an application for assistance yourself. An application form can be found here.

Who qualifies for assistance?

Section 2 of the Barristers Benevolent Association's rules and regulations sets out who is eligible to receive assistance.  Applications may be made to the Benevolent Association and ought to include the basis on which the application is made together with any supporting documentation. Grants of assistance may extend to:  

  • the member’s spouse (including surviving spouse) 
  • partner in a defacto relationship (both opposite and same sex relationships) (including surviving defacto partner) 
  • children (including adopted children and children of any aforementioned spouse or partner) and 
  • any such other persons that may be determined by the Committee of Management to be dependants.  

Applications are confidential. Applications are assessed on a case by case basis by the Committee of Management of the Benevolent Association, whose decisions are final and conclusive. The committee is comprised of the Bar Council Executive.

Case studies

I was in my first few years at the Bar when I felt a crushing pain in my chest. I was to begin a two week trial the following Monday, and wanted to dismiss the pain as an expression of anxiety, or indigestion. Luckily, my partner persuaded me to call an ambulance. I had suffered a major heart attack. I received great care, but I was unable to work for a significant period of time, and a substantial tax bill was due. A concerned colleague contacted the NSW Bar Association’s Benevolent Fund on my behalf. The Fund provided an unsecured loan which gave me the breathing space I needed to concentrate on my recovery, and the time I need to return to good health.


My 8 year old son suffered a catastrophic accident, which left him requiring full time care. As a result, I had to stop work to care for him full-time over several years. As a result, our family went into substantial debt, and were under significant stress. After several years, I wanted to return to practise but did not have the resources to fund my return. I contacted the NSW Bar Association’s Benevolent Fund. The Fund agreed to make a short-term contribution to the cost of accommodation in chambers, which was enough to allow me to re-establish myself in practice.


For more information about the Benevolent Association, or to request assistance, please contact the director of BarCare: 

Jenny Houen
P:  0427 317 958