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Clifford Chance outstrips rivals in bid to field most charity walkers

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Law firms can’t resist competing with each other — even over charity events, as a league table currently being updated on social media graphically illustrates

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London’s streets are soon to be flooded with Clifford Chance lawyers and staff as the global firm is miles ahead in the race to dominate a leading legal profession charity event.

The Canary Wharf giant has already signed up 192 souls for next month’s London Legal Walk, more than double the second place law firm — and well ahead of its magic circle rivals.

The event’s organising team — at the London Legal Support Trust — has been posting regular updates on Twitter, detailing the number of walkers and the amount of cash that has been donated. Trailing in second in terms of law firm participants so far is blue-stocking practice Farrer & Co. As of the end of this week, that firm had 91 walkers limbering up.

But it is not known whether partner Mark Bridges — the private solicitor to Her Maj since 2002 — will be among those trudging along the route. The 10k course passes by his client’s London gaff, but he probably sees enough of that in his day job.

Rounding out the law firm top five are Allen & Overy with 87 walkers listed, DLA Piper (84) and Mishcon de Reya (78).

The only other magic circle player to feature in the current top 10 is Anglo-German giant Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which is currently fielding 74 walkers.

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Barristers’ chambers are understandably unable to compete at anything approaching those numbers. The top outfit is mid-tier Chancery and commercial set Outer Temple Chambers, which has so far rallied 23 walkers.

Close behind is criminal and family specialist set in the Temple, Goldsmith Chambers with 21. Rounding out the bar top five are 1 Chancery Lane with 16 participants so far, 4 Paper Buildings and Carmelite Chambers (each on 15).

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Two legal sector publishing rivals are battling for top of the non-law firm and non-chambers league table — and so far LexisNexis is streets ahead of Thomson Reuters. LN has signed up 111 staff for the slog, while TR has so far press-ganged only 71 into donning a silly t-shirt.

Rounding out that category’s top five are the Government Legal Service (59), the in-house legal team at Barclays Bank and the Crown Prosecution Service (both 57).

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Organisers maintain that the numbers of teams and individuals signed up so far has already outpaced last year’s participation.

Fundraising is on a par with 12 months ago — so far, slightly more than £90,000 has been raised for the London Legal Support Trust, a charity raising cash for free legal services in capital and the southeast.

Last year, some 8,000 walkers from more than 500 teams slogged round central London, irritating grumpy commuters in their daily bid to get trains and buses home. But it was all for a good cause as ultimately the 2014 walk raised £560,000.

The walkers will hit the pavement on the evening of 18 May. Legal Cheek is one of the sponsors and for more information, click here.