Legal awards: ‘Inspiring’ award for charity champions

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IRWIN Mitchell’s Glasgow office has won the award for Fundraising Firm of the Year at the Scott and Co Scottish Legal Awards.

The award recognises the firm’s outstanding support for local charities, such as the Yorkhill Children’s Foundation in Glasgow, as well as for national charities such as Marie Curie Cancer Care, Macmillan Cancer Support and Child Bereavement UK.

As Irwin Mitchell partner Elaine Russell explains, the award is being celebrated by the firm as recognition for all the hard work, enthusiasm and commitment, plus a great deal of firm-wide organisation, which lies behind the firm’s charitable giving. Commenting on the award, Russell says: “Fundraising for charities which are close to all our hearts is a big part of the firm’s social responsibility programme.” She points out that many of the staff make use of the Give As You Earn (GAYE) scheme to make regular contributions to the Irwin Mitchell Charities Foundation (IMCF), which, along with lump-sum donations by partners, has put the firm among the top ten contributors to GAYE in the UK. The IMCF is run both by trustees and by a local committee in each of the firm’s offices.

Each year the offices vote to select the firm’s Charity of the Year. In 2012 it was the turn of the national charity, Help the Hospices, which benefited from 12 months of fund raising, including “dress down” days on the first Friday of each month, bake sales and book sales. In 2012, Irwin Mitchell staff helped raise almost £200,000 for charities across the UK.

“This has been a real team effort and we are thrilled to win the Fundraising Team of the Year award, which I’m sure will inspire us to carry on our charity work in the years ahead,” Russell says.

The Glasgow team was also highly commended in the Litigation Team of the Year award category, and paralegal Fraser Watson was also nominated for the Scottish Paralegal Association
Paralegal of the Year accolade.

Irwin Mitchell Scotland managing partner Craig Marshall adds: “All three nominations reflect the hard work all of our staff put in every day for the most important people in our business, our clients, and it’s great to see our efforts recognised like this.”

The judging panel, chaired by well-known independent MSP Margo MacDonald, met in December last year at Hotel Missoni in Edinburgh to cast their votes.