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LawCare releases 2010 case figures

10 January 2011

LawCare, the health advisory service for lawyers and their staff, opened 517 new case files in 2010, making it the second busiest year in its 13 years of operation. In addition, it fielded over 1,000 calls relating to ongoing cases from earlier years.

During the latter part of 2008 and much of 2009, a large percentage of calls – up to 28% in some months and 26% in 2009 as a whole – related to the economic downturn, with callers reporting emotional distress due to redundancy, business failure or financial issues. In 2010, this eased considerably, with only 18 % of calls relating to these factors.

Stress was behind 74% of calls. The most commonly cited reasons for the stress were disciplinary proceedings against the caller or someone close to them (20%), financial problems (20%), bullying (17%), redundancy (16%), ethical issues (13%), relationship problems (11%) and bereavement (3%).

Only 7% of helpline callers reported difficulties with addiction to alcohol, 1% higher than in 2009. 41% of callers with alcohol related problems were women, 59% men. There were just three cases (0.6%) relating to illegal drugs, though LawCare suspects the stigma of illegality may be masking the true scale of illegal drug use within the profession.

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