Barristers donned their walking boots along with senior judges and thousands of lawyers and legal support staff for the seventh annual Legal Walk this month.
In London, the Bar chair, Peter Lodder QC, the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger, and the Attorney-General, Dominic Grieve QC, were among more than 5,000 people stepping out on the ten kilometre walk from the Royal Courts of Justice, past Buckingham Palace and the Serpentine and on to Chancery Lane.
A record total of £460,000 was raised for the London Legal Support Trust, which funds free legal advice centres.
This year’s walk was the largest in the event’s history and raised record funds. Other Legal Walks took place across the UK, in Luxembourg and in five Australian cities.
A clearly delighted Bob Nightingale, chief executive of London Legal Support Trust, said Bar teams have raised more than £100,000. “It’s great to see so many QCs, heads of chambers, judges and senior barristers joining in – it shows they really do care.” Nightingale said. “All the advice agencies need this money, and they are responding to people’s needs. Last year’s walk alone saw the prevention of closure for three important services, increased infrastructure for legal advice agencies and the opening of a new Law Centre in Harrow.”
Peter Lodder QC, Bar chair, said: “We are very pleased to hear that the 2011 London Legal Walk has raised almost £500,000 for free legal advice centres in London and would like to thank the 67 sets of chambers who participated in this year’s event.
“This year’s record turnout highlights the Bar’s strong support of the outstanding work undertaken by the Bar Pro Bono Unit, FRU and other legal charities, particularly at a time when legal aid cuts are putting vulnerable people at risk of going without advice or representation.”
Another legal sponsored walk will take place in Brighton on 21 June to raise funds for advice centres in Sussex.