The North East’s leading independent law firm for businesses, Muckle LLP, has won a national award for its significant contributions to voluntary legal work, worthy causes and charitable organisations.

Muckle won ‘Best contribution by a firm with a Regional Head Office’ in the LawWorks Annual Pro Bono Awards 2017 at the Law Society, London, in recognition for the breadth and range of its pro bono activity.

In the last 12 months, Muckle has provided pro-bono advice worth over £77,000 and over 50 charities have benefited from its legal expertise.

Muckle won the award in recognition of its work and strong links in the North East communities and charities sector, and was the only North East law firm to be nominated for any LawWorks awards in 2017.

The awards celebrate achievement in legal pro bono work and the commitment of the legal sector in enabling access to justice and supporting individuals, communities and not for profit organisations.

Alasdair Douglas, Chair of the LawWorks Board of Trustees, said: ‘The LawWorks Pro Bono Awards are an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the commitment of law firms, in-house teams and the many individuals who volunteer their time and expertise to improve the lives of others. “

Senior Partner Hugh Welch was presented with the LawWorks Award from Hilarie Bass, President of the American Bar Association and one of the most recognised female attorneys in the United States. Hilarie is Co-President of international law firm Greenberg Traurig and a prolific trial attorney with a highly successful career spanning more than 30 years.

Hugh said: “As a responsible business and employer our pro bono activities are an integral part of our wider CSR activities. There are unacceptable levels of deprivation in the North East of England and as a leading business in the region, we feel that we should not operate in isolation from the broader community and its many challenges. It is this commitment to our region that has driven the development of our CSR and wider community activities.

“Over the last 15 years we have achieved a considerable amount, but there is always more that we can do. This is why, over the last two years we have embarked on more initiatives to further extend our work and volunteer our support.

“We have entered into an arrangement with Skillsbridge, a local project which links charities with businesses. We asked them to focus on the West End of Newcastle and we are now helping three local projects there, including Success4All and JET.”

A recent independent report conducted by Goodlabs Consulting has also revealed the extent and breadth of Muckle’s commitment to giving back to the community it serves and the good causes in the region that it has supported over the last two years.

The report revealed the full spectrum of CSR work being undertaken by Muckle – not just for its extensive pro bono work but also for its commitment to helping the environment, financial grant-giving, staff volunteering and supporting young people’s journeys from education to employment. The comprehensive review revealed three impress ingredients to Muckle’s success: ambition, breadth and consistency.

The Goodlabs report states: “Within the legal sector, Muckle LLP occupies a position of leadership in the area of corporate social responsibility. The firm’s integrity and commitment has been demonstrated over two decades. There is a special sense of CSR vocation within the Muckle culture that is translated into leadership both within and beyond its moorings in the legal sector.”