News

The best social media snaps from the London Legal Walk

By on
69

15,000 walkers go the distance for charity

Lawyers from across the country poured into the capital yesterday afternoon for this year’s London Legal Walk.

Judges, barristers, solicitors, students, apprentices, clerks and journalists were among the 15,000 walkers raising cash for free legal advice charities and pro bono agencies across London and the South East.

Leaving from Law Society’s Chancery Lane HQ, walkers were treated to a scenic route of London’s gems: passing the river Thames, Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and the Royal Courts on the way.

Of those taking part in the 10k walkathon was legal legend, Lady Hale, president of the Supreme Court, who donned a sash celebrating the first 100 years of women in law.

Also joining was Attorney General, Geoffrey Cox QC MP, and Solicitor General, Lucy Frazer QC MP, who were backed up by the rest of the Attorney General’s office.

The Legal Cheek clan, too, limbered up with the LawCare team, a mental health and wellbeing charity, who alone raised nearly £7,000.

Blessed with blue skies and sunny weather, the Supreme Court squad celebrated with a cheeky ice cream break along the way.

Some walkers came prepared with proper footwear, gym gear and repped the legal merch…

… while other determined walkers appeared to come straight from the office.

Then there were those who seemingly strolled the route with their eyes shut.

Upon reaching the finishing line back at Chancery Lane, walkers were rewarded with a refreshing bevvy, a range of street food and an upbeat samba band.

Although, there were a couple of stilted bobbies on overwatch to ensure the street party was kept in order.

The celebration catered for all participants, as shown by Hardwicke’s joint head of chambers, PJ Kirby, and his four-legged friend who made use of the dog bar.

It’s not too late to sponsor the LawCare/Legal Cheek team, who finished the 10km legal loop around 7pm last night. You can donate here.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek's careers events:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub

69 Comments

Anonymous

Some of us prefer to call them people.

(15)(56)

RG Grad

Although I disagree with your comment as I believe overall legal aid is a good thing, it should not be spent on illegals. They broke the law and should be deported immediately.

(31)(8)

Anon

Isn’t the point of having legal representation to test whether someone is an ‘illegal’ or do we just accept everything that the state says as gospel?

(17)(39)

Anonymous

Left wing Marxist loony alert!!

(31)(4)

Anonymous

Why has a crazy troll factory descended on this website today?

(1)(5)

Anonymous

People are allowed to hold different opinions from you.

That does not make them ‘Nazis’, ‘trolls’ or ‘crazy’.

Anonymous

U so cray

Anonymous

Cretin

Anonymous

A lot of these “charities” pay their senior staff upwards of £150k…

(126)(5)

Anonymous

It’s a total scandal

Limit wages to the median where funded +50% by donations

(54)(2)

Anon

£45k+ for senior staff at FRU and a four day working week finishing at 6pm. Used to be £60k+.

Yeah, no.

(27)(6)

Bob

Not sure what charities you’re talking about Anon but an experienced solicitor in a Law Centre in London is lucky to get past £35k p.a. and the CEO of a Law Centre not much more.

(3)(3)

Barrister

I am totally against the legal walk and legal charities. I represented a landlord a few months ago who was trying to evict his tenant who damaged his property and would not leave. Legal fees for my client reached £80,000 as defendant kept appealing and prolonging the hearing. Tenant was advised by a legal charity and when she lost the case and was ordered to pay legal costs, she claimed to have no money and my client lost out.

Legal charities need to be scrapped unless you can prove funding and have money set aside to pay legal costs for both parties.

(125)(10)

Anonymous

Agreed. These “charities” are often staffed by political extremists who push their agendas through these cases. Costs orders should extend to them if an unreasonable argument has been pushed.

(108)(6)

Anonymous

FRU once had a CEO earning £50k+ who previously stood as Mayor of London representing the ‘Independent Working Class Association’.

You couldn’t make it up, could you?

(90)(5)

Anonymous

According to Wikipedia, the Independent Working Class Association was founded primarily by Red Action.

(58)(3)

Anonymous

This is from an interview that former FRU CEO gave to Workers Liberty as a candidate for London Mayor –

“The big distortion of what we are calling for is that this is all about refugees coming in. No, this is about everybody not having any resources.

Not to tackle it is to pretend it is not happening. It seems that to discuss
this somehow makes you racist or anti-asylum seeker.

More and more people are being squeezed into a smaller and smaller space. If you are living in overcrowded conditions and have been waiting to be rehoused
and you see other families, newly arrived, getting housed, it causes resentment.

Rightly or wrongly it does. It’s partly divide and rule from the authorities.
But still we can’t skirt around the issue, and that is that there is a distinct and definite lack of resources and those resources have to be replaced.”

I will be forever and always grateful to the people of London that this candidate never became Mayor.

Anonymous

Absolutely spot on! Costs orders are not enforceable where one party is from low income/unemployed and in most cases is being represented by a charity. Costs orders should 100% include the charity and defendant.

(53)(2)

Anon

Legal charities are often a hotbed of sexual harassment and bullying.

I’m glad the cult-like mentality of ‘Charity = Angel Hangout’ is starting to be broken apart by lots of evidence to the contrary.

(72)(3)

Anonymous

A lot of staff in legal charities aren’t qualified lawyers either.

Some would not be able to find employment elsewhere as they have criminal records or did not attend university.

(42)(1)

Anonymous

I suppose that contributes to the bullying too, doesn’t it?

The best volunteers get pupillage and will earn three or four times what the older staff do.

You can see why there might be jealousy.

(35)(1)

Anonymous

Simple solution. Don’t charge your client £80k.

(5)(3)

Anonymous

While that’s definitely bad, scraping legal charities is not a good idea. Imagine the reverse case. A poor tenant is in danger of being unfairly evicted by a greedy landlord. In such a case, legal charities could be the only thing that saves them from homelessness. Perhaps reforms are necessary but scraping all of it is too extreme. Personally I think keeping things as it is is the lesser of two evils. Better a rich man unfairly lose money then a poor man unfairly lose their home.

(5)(14)

Anonymous

I would fully support any public inquiry or Charity Commission investigation into the workings of legal charities.

Too many volunteers experience horrible treatment and many barristers treat these charities like personal fiefdoms. I remember one who created the position of ‘Fundraiser’ at a charity where was on the management committee to give his friend from university a job when she moved to London.

This walk seems like a vanity exercise as against the awfulness that volunteers and clients experience daily.

(24)(0)

Pedant in the comments

That looks a lot like current Solicitor General Lucy Frazer, unless Robert Buckland grew his hair out?

(25)(1)

Anonymous

Wow. Didn’t think many of the ‘well-living’ rotund QCs could walk a 10km.

Well done!!!

(63)(2)

Mountain Fort

Why aren’t some of the very top commercial chambers involved in this?

You would think these people have change to spare?

(62)(2)

Commercial tenant

They are (and they regularly raise the most money of any of the organisations taking part).

(2)(16)

Mountain Fort

You certainly don’t have all the top commercial chambers there…

(30)(1)

Anonymous

Maybe the members donate, but are too busy to walk around?

(2)(13)

Anon

Why is almost everyone on this walk White?

(59)(13)

Anonymous

She left you for Jamal and his abs, didn’t she?

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Don’t start mentioning race, a few snowflakes will kick off here…

(17)(17)

Anonymous

A lot of trainees being recruited are black and asian. It’s more diverse than you think! There’s gender equality balance is also great in law. In fact, more female trainees have been hired over males over the last 3 years.

(7)(10)

Anon

Double dare you to tweet the chambers and ask them if that’s why they have only one Asian amidst all the other White barristers.

(8)(0)

L

Wow – the lack of diversity is really stark when you see it in chart form!

(10)(0)

Beebles

White privilege carries with it inherent guilt and responsibilities.

A debt and responsibility to the rest of the world that can never truly be repaid.

Don’t you know anything?

(7)(0)

Bob

Actually the walk was (and always is) incredibly diverse . The photographers choose which pictures to take though.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Because there are no pictures of my firm who walked and ran the Legal Walk.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

The irony is that none of the people on this walk would want anyone from these clients’ socioeconomic background, religion or country of origin as a friend, professional colleague, neighbour or marrying their kids.

(51)(3)

MC NQ

Couldn’t have said it better!

(17)(1)

Anonymous

The clients from the opposite end of the socioeconomic/privilege spectrum weren’t invited to walk too, were they?

That being said, childcare costs, being very likely refused permission to take the afternoon off, the need to study for undergraduate exams to make a better life, the chance to earn an extra £20 for turning up at work or walking 10km for ‘access to justice’ and ‘making the world better’?

Almost cringeworthy how little some people seem to know of the world outside of their office.

(10)(0)

Areyousirius

Some of these comments are depressing. Access to justice should be a right and not a privilege. Only because legal aid is spread so thin do lawyers, judges and charity workers feel compelled to walk/run this 10k. People talk a lot of rubbish online when sat on the throne of privilege but I guarantee that not one person can positively advance a case that calls for a limitation of access to justice.

(17)(35)

Anonymous

‘Access to justice’ is not a panacea to fix inequality in society. It’s a slogan to divert attention away from the guilt-ridden who’ll never be denied it.

It is in fact the lawyers out walking who sit on a throne of privilege to take time off work and who chose who to throw their weight behind, depending on what’s fashionable this week.

Yemen has had major problems since 1994, but with no social media kudos to be gained, no lawyers started any fundraising campaign back then to alert the world. I don’t know of any barristers from Yemen either practicing in the UK.

Another example is of volunteers who have no legal recourse to a tribunal when sexually harassed at legal charities. Yet you don’t have turkeys voting for Christmas to give them new legal protection. I suspect a number of legal charities would cease to exist because of the costs that would incur.

Wake up.

(60)(6)

Anonymous

Where does Yemen factor into this pray tell?

(3)(0)

MC NQ

I think he/she means that lawyers don’t cry over millions of Yemenis’ dying but they lose their shit over unemployed lazy scum who want free legal representation.

(17)(17)

Anonymous

A group of lawyers started a social media campaign in 2015 to encourage others in the profession to donate to the crisis in Syria. This was by way of promoting internet links to a charity already on the ground. Not by rolling up sleeves and volunteering within the country themselves.

Their attention has now moved on to Yemen. I take a keen interest in the political situation there as one of the very few British people to have visited the country in recent years. I also know Yemenis who have successfully secured political asylum in the UK.

No-one person from this group of lawyers has ever responded to my questions on social media about what they know of the regions of Yemen, Yemenis or their culture. No-one responded when I politely asked them where the Yemeni lawyers are in their chambers or whether or not they ever plan to visit the country in the future.

Yemenis are wonderfully hospitable and incredibly hard-working. It seems to me as if posing on social media is more important to some than getting to know anyone from Yemen. There are many, many examples of similar situations today.

(41)(1)

Anonymous

Ffs you don’t need to visit Yemen or have a detailed knowledge of Yemeni culture to be appalled by the situation there and want to raise money for it. I don’t think any aid charity would thank you for the implication that you need a deep cultural understanding before you donate. Those lawyers ignored your questions because you sounded like a nutter.

Anonymous

You can be appalled by a situation but still make sure everyone’s praise and attention is heaped on you for your rhetoric before actually trying to fix anything. Like politicians do daily – remember?

The children I know of the political asylum seekers here work harder at school than any kids I’ve ever seen because they are determined to make a better life for themselves and their families.

Perhaps they might receive a response if they personally were to ask where the barristers of Yemeni origin are to be found and whether it’s worth bothering to try when they’re older?

I fail to see why that question is an unreasonable one. Embarrassing and uncomfortable to answer, but certainly a question presently borne in the minds of multiple minority communities in the UK.

Anonymous

Only basic criminal defence access should be a right.

(2)(3)

Andon

@Anonymous: Jun 18 2019 6:33pm

Spoken like someone who has no idea how things work. Probably an MC trainee or a bored student cramming for the equity exam hoping to be said trainee one day.

What you may not realise is that legal aid is now set as such a commercially non-viable rate that defendants in the vast criminal proceedings don’t even get a “basic” defence. The scary reality is that unless you are charged with murder, you will get a demoralised, disinterested and largely incompetent solicitor who will delegate most of their work to a overworked and equally incompetent paralegal, who will do almost no work on your case and will merely act as a postbox for passing on stuff to the barrister. The barrister will almost invariably be engaged and competent but demoralised, and as they may well only receive papers the day before your trial, they will do their best but ultimately be unable to do a great deal to undo the failures of the solicitor to discharge even the basic elements of their duties. And you will be convicted, probably unfairly.

(5)(2)

Anonymous

Ohh shut it. What kind of cretin are you that wants taxpayers to fund criminals and housing benefit scums.

(9)(9)

Andon

I am the sort of cretin who will represent you when you say something like that to someone in a pub, and along with getting your teeth kicked in, you get charged with affray.

But, of course, you almost certainly would never have the bottle to call someone a cretin to their face, and so we are unlikely to ever meet. 🙂

Anonymous

Little time for papers?

Perhaps the barrister should spend less time trying to impress others with soliloquies starting with “I ensure access to justice…” , taking selfies on the Legal Walk and tweeting dozens of times a day?

Funny how there’s always time to loudly promote their own interests.

(27)(0)

Anonymous

Criminal trials take far too long and are utterly self-indulgent. Something that should take a week lasts for four weeks. There are easy ways to deal with costs by better time management and procedural reform.

Andon

@Anonymous: Jun 19 2019 9:21am

And you are basing that opinion on what, exactly? I doubt the answer is going to be “experience” (unless you include mini-pupillages)

You may not be aware but most delays in criminal trials are caused by CPS negligence, HMCTS screw ups and jurors and/or prosecution witnesses not turning up on time. If you had ever appeared in front of a Crown Court judge then you would realise that they are significantly less indulgent than their civil counterparts when it comes to delays and adjournments because for one thing, unlike in civil proceedings, parties can’t be effectively punished or compensated via costs. Moreover, unlike in civil matters, one of the witnesses hasn’t usually been traumatised to some degree or other but has managed to gird their loins and screw their courage to the sticking place, and has attended court to face the person who beat/raped/scammed them.

So, things tend to go like this:

D Counsel: I don’t have a proof of evidence, please can I have until lunch to draft one in conference with my client?

HHJ: You can have 15 minutes, and that includes the time it takes you to get in and out of the cells and back here again.

or

D Counsel: The CPS haven’t given us a shred of disclosure yet and I am concerned my client isn’t going to get a fair trial.

HHJ: Pros counsel can sort that out with you during lunch. Jury please.

Etc

Beebles

I thought it was walking to raise £10K- the entire Legal Aid budget for housing cases in a year!

(1)(0)

Landlord

Housing cases cost landlords millions in unpaid legal fees. We need to ban legal charities ASAP.

(13)(1)

Anonny Non

We need to ban landlords and when the Govt abolish s.21 in the near future, it might have a similar effect and you grubby little chisellers will have to find some other way to earn your “passive income”.

Now.I know someone who runs this investment club. It’s not a Ponzi scheme, I promise…….

(3)(3)

Anonymous

Agree. The CPS and Police should be abolished. Along with the Govenment Legal Service. Pay for it yourself or stay at home.

(3)(2)

Ignoramus Rex

Yes!

Back to hue and cry and public hangings and floggings to deter felons!

Far lower cost to the public purse I say!

(5)(0)

Pro Bono Supporter

Whether you agree or not with exactly how the funding is used, or question the motives of the thousands of people that took part in the walk, the fact is that the charities and pro bono advice centres that are supported by the funds raised make a huge positive impact on the lives of the people who turn to them because they cannot otherwise afford legal support.

To borrow a phrase: don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Yes, the legal industry has a long way to go before it will be truly diverse and meritocratic. There is more that we can all do to improve the wealth divide in the UK. There are certainly flaws in the legal aid system that the Government needs to address. But can we not just celebrate that so many people gave their time and money freely with an ultimate goal that was good?

(10)(12)

Anonymous

How much pro bono work each week do you really do?

Be honest here…

(12)(1)

Pro Bono Supporter

I personally do about 1-2 hours a week and have done all through my career (8PQE now). It isn’t a lot in the scheme of things but I hope it is making a positive contribution. And I really appreciate that my firm allows me to spend that time on pro bono projects.

(5)(1)

Pro Bonio Supporter 🐶

Woof woof!

Growl snar!

Whine whimper!

Sausages!

(1)(4)

Andon

@Anonymous: Jun 18 2019 11:07am

“£1million raised to be spent on advising criminals, illegal immigrants, and low-life benefit seekers? What a waste of money.”

Literally laughing out loud as this.

Almost as loud as I laughed (internally) when I had a client in a civil matter expound similar views (“how can you bring yourself to defend criminals”, “no smoke without fire”, “why should my tax money be used to defend scumbags”) only then a while later to find himself charged with a DV assault and having to pay me quite a lot of money to represent him (acquitted in the end, btw).

Thankfully, both I and the court took a more enlightened approach to the workings of the criminal justice system, but he learned the meaning of “there but for the grace of God, go I”

(3)(8)

Ignoramus Rex

Replace criminal trials with lie detector tests. Solve the whole case while still at the police station.

(0)(2)

Anonymous

https://www.apa.org/research/action/polygraph
How about you do some minimal research before acting like you know better than the justice system?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

You are entitled to your opinion – it may differ from most, but I support your right to say it here

(11)(0)

Comments are closed.

Related Stories