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North East lawyer raises over £6,000 for access to justice and records ‘landmark’ time in London Half Marathon

 

Newcastle based lawyer Hugh Welch, senior partner at Muckle LLP, has raised over £6,000 in his continued quest to help raise awareness and much needed funds for voluntary ‘pro bono’ work within the legal profession.

Competing in the second-ever London Landmarks Half Marathon, which attracted over 13,000 runners, Hugh, from Corbridge, recorded a time of 1 hour and 29 minutes at an impressive pace of 6 minutes and 47 seconds per mile.

He came 120th out of all the runners taking part and was 1st in the over 60’s category.

The sponsorship money raised was contributed by clients of Muckle, work colleagues and friends and will go towards helping vulnerable people throughout England and Wales gain vital access to justice.

Speaking about his fundraising and impressive time Hugh said: “It was such a privilege for me to be accepted and to be given the opportunity to run in the London Landmarks Half Marathon.

“To raise over £6,000, which was donated by generous clients of Muckle, colleagues and friends, was very humbling and I was spurred on by their generosity and support.

“It was also very pleasing to record a quick time and complete the course along with other like- minded lawyers raising money for Advocate.

“I am passionate about equality and justice. For me, access to justice is every bit as important within our society as access to education and healthcare. It’s fundamentally wrong that people who can’t afford it are denied access to legal advice and to the court system.

“Also, like many other legal practices, our lawyers at Muckle are very active in doing pro bono work and we see this as a key part of our commitment to this region.”

Advocate encourages and facilitates voluntary work by lawyers and others working in the legal sector in their local communities.

Mary Dobson, Head of Fundraising and Communications, at Advocate said: “We are delighted to have chosen Hugh as one of our 10 participants to represent Advocate in this, the first year we’ve partnered with the London Landmarks Half Marathon.

“We want to say a huge congratulations to all the team runners representing Advocate and we are so grateful for all your support and determination which means so much to those who desperately need access to justice.

“Our ten participants have raised thousands of pounds and much needed awareness for our work getting free legal help for really vulnerable people facing court alone in England and Wales.”

Hugh Welch took up running as a hobby 10 years ago and is senior partner at Newcastle based law firm Muckle LLP.

Already clocking up an impressive list of marathons and ultra-marathons on his journey so far, he was awarded one of ten exclusive national places made available by Advocate, which is the national charity finding free legal help from barristers.

The race started on Pall Mall and finished by Downing Street and took in fabulous views of London’s most iconic buildings including Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral, Nelson’s Column, the Gherkin, the Shard, the Tower of London and the London Eye and of course the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand. If you’d like to follow in Hugh’s footsteps and take on the London Landmarks Half Marathon 2020 to help fight for access to justice, email the Advocate team at communications@weareadvocate.org.uk to register your interest!

Advocate was founded as the Bar Pro Bono Unit by Lord Goldsmith QC in 1996. They are the only pro bono charity to provide legal assistance in every area of law in all courts and tribunals across England and Wales. They work with 4,000 volunteer barristers who donate their time and expertise to help people who cannot afford to pay for legal assistance and who are not eligible for legal aid. The Unit rebranded to become Advocate in October 2018, modernising their brand and service to become more accessible to as many people as possible and to help increase access to justice for all. Read more on their website https://weareadvocate.org.uk

Muckle LLP has a well-established charity and fund raising programme and actively encourages staff to become involved. Over 40% of its staff regularly volunteer for charities and the firm donates 1% of its annual profits to its charitable fund each year. To date, many communities and worthy causes across the North East have benefitted from over £500,000 in grants from the fund.

Hugh Welch has led the business in developing its award winning corporate social responsibility programme. Muckle is a five-time winner of the North East Business Heart of the Community Award (Tyneside and Northumberland) and won national recognition when it scooped ‘Best Contribution by a Firm with a Regional Head Office’ at the 2017 Law Works Pro Bono Awards.