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Insolvency Law

Expert guidance on all aspects of corporate and personal insolvency

15 FEB 2011

Funding - Debbie Phillips Memorial Bursary for students/junior lawyers

The Insolvency Lawyers Association (ILA) has a marvelous bursary which you may wish to apply for. Here are the details:

"Introduction -  Debbie Phillips Memorial Bursary
Debbie Phillips was a talented lawyer who received a first class honours degree at Bristol and subsequently spent six years as an associate solicitor at Freshfields. She was the spouse of Mark Phillips QC.  Mark was the very first member of the bar who held office as ILA President. Debbie, in her own right, and through Mark, was known to very many of those in the legal profession and, in particular, the insolvency world.
One of the long standing objectives of the ILA Council has been to find ways to encourage lawyers into the insolvency profession. For some time, there has been consideration of the possibility of bursaries or rather some forms of honorarium which might be awarded to individuals pursuing the profession from difficult circumstances or backgrounds.
The Council has decided as a lasting memorial to Debbie Phillips to establish a discretionary bursary. The inspiration for the bursary is to recognise an individual or individuals who have had to battle adversity to achieve their goals, in recognition of the great spirit with which Debbie, with the support of her family and Mark in particular, battled her illness.

Terms of Reference

The following will be the key terms of reference.

The bursary would be a single award payable to a young lawyer (either student or making their way through the profession) who has had to overcome adversity and is of limited financial means. The bursary may be awarded on an annual basis and could be repeated for the same individual but is likely to be a single award. It is not necessarily the case that an award would be made every year: it would depend upon the eligibility of applicants from year to year.

"Adversity" can mean many things. It may, and certainly would, include those battling or who have recovered from serious illness.  It would, however, extend to any individual whose circumstances merited consideration.

Means Testing
It is likely that most applicants will be individuals who are of limited means, although this is not necessarily a fundamental requirement for eligibility. This would be a matter for the discretion of the Council in determining an award.

Involvement in the Law
It is likely that any successful applicant will have demonstrated some active interest or aspiration to be involved in the insolvency profession. This, however, would not be an absolute barrier in circumstances where a young person entering the profession was an applicant. Again, this would be a matter for the discretion of the Council.

Seeking Out Candidates
Applications would be by way of referee. Any applicant would have to be referred by at least one individual of good standing who makes the application on behalf of that individual. The Council might choose to interview such individual and their referee before making any award.

The existence of the bursary would be made public through the ILA's website and some form of bulletin to its membership.

Determination of Award
An award would be made by Council following receipt of applications and determination, if appropriate following an interview, at Council meetings.

The bursary would be awarded at the Council's annual dinner.

Financial Implications
It is proposed that an award be in the region of £5,000. It is also proposed that any award be discretionary. In other words, there is no financial provision in the Association's accounts since it will always be a matter of the discretion of the Council to make an award. Equally, in appropriate circumstances, Council could make a smaller or larger award, depending upon the individual circumstances. This would leave open the possibility of the particular individual being "sponsored" for a period of time if that was felt to be particularly appropriate.

Applications should be made to: bursary@ilauk.com. All applications to be submitted by 30 June 2011."

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