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Former Great British Bake Off contestant Sandy Docherty judges Great Legal Bake challenge

Amateur bakers across Ward Hadaway law firm have battled it out in this year's Great Legal Bake to raise some dough for the Access to Justice Foundation.

John Murray, Executive Partner of Ward Hadaway’s Leeds team with Sandy Docherty of the Great British Bake Off and members of the Ward Hadaway team.

Events across all three of Ward Hadaway’s offices in Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester are organised by the firm’s trainees annually.

And there were no sunken cakes allowed as this year’s competition was judged by no other than former Great British Bake Off contestant, Sandy Docherty.

Sandy was delighted to attend an event at Ward Hadaway’s Leeds office in Wellington Place to help judge the entries as members of the team battled it out in the boardroom for a slice of success.

Before entering the Great British Bake Off, she worked as a legal secretary and was already familiar with the charity challenge when she accepted the invitation.

She said: “I am a big believer in helping the people in our community and support many Yorkshire-based charities, including hospitals in Bradford and Outside the Box, a charity cafe run by Ilkley Community Enterprise Ltd. It is brilliant to see so many people from Ward Hadaway coming together to raise money to help those who need it most.”

Sandy Docherty judges the bakes alongside Leeds’ Executive Partner, John Murray.

Hundreds of Great Legal Bakes have taken place up and down the country this month to raise money to help the most vulnerable people access justice via nine Legal Support Trusts across England, Wales and Scotland.

John Murray, Executive Partner for the Leeds office, said: “We really appreciated Sandy Docherty coming to our office this week to judge our annual competition. She was generous with her time, and the home-made cookies she made for us were delicious.  She was also genuinely hilarious – her comments on one of my partner’s efforts were comedy gold.  I couldn’t possibly name him (but you can find the comments on LinkedIn).”

“It was also brilliant to raise awareness of the Yorkshire Legal Support Trust and be part of such a fantastic fundraising venture which distributes all funds raised to support free legal advice services across our region.

“These services are hugely important to people in our local area and heavily rely on donations. There will be more fundraising events to come, so watch this space!”

Sandy with Great Legal Bake winner, Natalie Payne.

Christina Kettlewell, Property associate and chair of the Leeds CSR Committee, agreed: “We’re fortunate in our office to have some great bakers. The Great Legal Bake is a really important cause that promotes access to justice. Baking – and buying – seemed like a great way of helping a cause which is important to the firm.”

After the bake off, everyone taking part got the chance to buy and try slices of cake and other treats for £1 each.

Julie Harrison, Corporate Partner and Head of the CSR Committee at Ward Hadaway, said: “We are delighted to take part in the Great Legal Bake again this year and are proud of the number of people across our three offices who have played a part in raising money for such a worthwhile cause.

“As one of the UK’s Top 100 law firms and the largest independent law firm headquartered in Newcastle, we have a duty to help others in the community as much as possible.”

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