This is Tees Valley feature: Generous and community-minded aren’t words that typically come to mind when describing lawyers, but leading law firm for business, Muckle LLP, isn’t your typical law firm.
Based in the region for more than 100 years, Muckle is firmly grounded in the local community. Each year it donates one per cent of its annual profits to local causes that support young people, help overcome disadvantages and improve social mobility. In the last 20 years, it has donated almost £800,000 through its Muckle Community Fund with the Community Foundation.
Senior partner Hugh Welch heads up its environmental, social and governance (ESG) programme and has seen the firm’s strategy develop over the years, particularly in terms of making a more meaningful and sustained impact in Teesside.
Hugh says: “Amazing things are happening in Tees Valley, and there’s a real buzz which we’re proud to be a part of, working with organisations such as Teesport, Wilton and Tees Valley Combined Authority.
“We’re committed to providing exceptional social support, so while we help companies with our legal expertise, we’ll also help bolster the region from underneath in terms of community investment. We’ve been working with local charities addressing social issues in the Tees Valley, with grants from our community fund and pro bono legal support.”
Middlesbrough-based Clean Slate Solutions is one of the charities that’s worked closely with Muckle over the past 18 months. The charity, which helps people across Teesside and North Yorkshire with a past conviction get into paid employment, benefited from a £3,000 grant from Muckle’s Community Fund, which helped 22 beneficiaries get into full-time work. Since then, the relationship between the two organisations has grown, with Hugh taking on the role of trustee for the charity.
Richard Brice, founder and head of operations for the charity, said: “Muckle is hugely committed to supporting the community, making an enormous difference to grassroots organisations in the region.
“The unrestricted financial support from Muckle allowed us to concentrate on transforming more lives. Having the backup of a trusted legal organisation we can approach for help and advice has been invaluable.”
Redcar and Cleveland Mind also received a £3,000 grant. Mike Ruiter, its interim director, can’t stress enough the importance of corporate support.
“We rely heavily on donations and grants to fund our activities,” he says. “The cost-of-living crisis means that more people are experiencing worries, which can affect their mental health, while as a charity, our costs have increased significantly in the past 12 months.
“The support from Muckle, alongside our other funders, means we can continue to be there in these difficult times.”
Funding for growth
Muckle plans to increase its funding over the next five years in line with its business growth plan. Hugh explains: “As we look to the future, we expect the needs of our beneficiaries to grow. We want to play our part in helping to meet those needs. In 2022, we launched our five-year strategy, which aims to accelerate our growth further so we can give even more to good causes.
“Giving back is central to our values and culture. We believe all actions, big and small, can move the needle in a positive direction. It’s never just a simple donation. We work hard to maintain and build our relationships with the charities so we can make more of an impact through volunteering and pro bono work.
“Our people tell us they get a lot back from the community work they do. They are provided with paid volunteering leave and a donation-matching programme to support charities that are meaningful to them.
“I genuinely believe that businesses can and should be forces for good, and that’s what drives us forward. Our firm has gained so much over the years from the relationships we’ve built in the community. We’re extremely proud to work alongside these fantastic charities.”
For more information on Muckle’s ESG work visit muckle-llp.com
Editorial from the content of This Is Tees Valley 2023-24, an annual publication from the creators of Tees Business, circulated to the movers and shakers, investors and decision makers across the UK, shouting loud and proud about what makes our region the perfect place to live, work, invest and do business.
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Source: Tees Business 18/09/23