Skip to content

B-etter way to do business

Leading regional law firm for business Muckle LLP has become the first legal company across the North East and Cumbria to achieve B Corp status. Here, senior partner Hugh Welch talks about the significance of the accreditation and why the Newcastle- headquartered firm is committed to driving positive change.

Ben & Jerry’s, innocent drinks and Patagonia are just some of the more well-known 8100 B Corps, which sit across 161 industries in 95 countries.

In 2024, leading regional law firm for business Muckle LLP joined the ranks, becoming the first legal firm in the North East and Cumbria to do so.

In a world where it is becoming increasingly important for businesses to play their part in driving societal and environmental change, B Corp certification has become a mark of distinction for companies prioritising purpose alongside profitability.

Started by the non-profit B Lab, B Corp accreditation is awarded for social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.

What does it mean in practice?

Rather than focusing on a single goal of delivering a financial return, a B Corp adjusts this position so that employees, suppliers, the environment and the wider community also get a look in alongside profit.  

Muckle’s senior partner Hugh Welch, who heads up the firm’s ESG programme, says: “Becoming a Certified B Corp is a wonderful endorsement of all that we are doing.

“The B Corp business impact analysis tool provides a comprehensive framework that supports continuous improvement.

“Our goal is to increase our initial score by a minimum of ten per cent when we are reassessed in three years’ time.

“This isn’t just a tick-box exercise for us – we started this journey because we want to be held accountable and to continuously improve.”

Hugh says the idea of becoming a B Corp was first discussed some years ago, with the equity partners giving it their full backing in 2021.

He says: “It was key that the equity partners were all completely in favour of this journey – not least because there are legal requirements to the process, such as amendments to our members’ agreement, to instil the B Corp philosophy within our constitution.

“Overall, we needed to change very little to achieve accreditation because running this firm with an eye on supporting the community is what we’ve been about for a long time.

“I wouldn’t say we sailed through the process.

“It was challenging and demanding, but it seemed we had most of the policies and procedures in place in the way we were already doing things.

“Purpose, with a capital P, has been part of this firm for a couple of decades.”

P for Purpose

Muckle has long championed community giving.

The firm’s fund at The Community Foundation was set up in 2002 and has since given almost £700,000 to charities across the North East and Cumbria.

The firm also encourages its people to give their time, with every employee getting two volunteering days a year and providing legal work pro bono.

One of the areas where the firm scored full marks was for the health, wellbeing and safety of its people, mirroring the accolades the firm received in the last 12 months, which have included being named ‘Best Place to Work’ at the North East Business Awards and, most recently, maintaining Better Health at Work Award ‘Excellence’ accreditation.

It was also recognised for its work towards diversity, equality and inclusion – winning ‘Most Inspiring Employer’ at the North East Chamber of Commerce’s Inspiring Female Awards.

A growing community

In March, B Corps of all shapes and sizes will come together to celebrate B Corp month – an annual campaign aimed at raising the profile of the certification, as well as encouraging collaboration and best practices.

Regional B Corps include accountancy firm Robson Laidler, Scott Logic, Just Williams, Sail Creative, UMi, Berghaus and Space Architecture.

Hugh says: “As a business committed to driving positive change, we understand the importance of collective action. It allows us to share knowledge, insights and best practices, and by working together with other regional B Corps, we can hopefully use our influence to encourage and support more businesses in the North East and Cumbria to embrace this standard for sustainable business excellence.

“As a firm, we’re excited about the opportunities being part of the B Corp community will bring.

“Our people are proud to work at Muckle, and that pride comes from seeing there is more to law than just making a profit.

“I also genuinely believe that business can – and should – be a force for good, and I hope that we can continue to be that force through our B Corp accreditation.”

Managing partner Jason Wainwright adds: “Our commitment to becoming a B Corp aligns seamlessly with our longstanding values of trust, teamwork, responsibility and care.

“As a firm deeply rooted in our local community, we recognise the importance of using our platform to drive positive change.

“Becoming a B Corp is a natural progression in our journey toward a more sustainable and responsible legal practice, and we are excited about the possibilities it brings.”

For more information about Muckle LLP, its B Corp accreditation and the range of legal services it provides, visit 

March 6, 2024

  • Promoted

Created by North East Times