Burges Salmon talk about their charity event 'I'm a partner ... get me out of here!'

Each year, Burges Salmon selects a charity to be the firm's 'Charity of the Year'. This year, the firm selected local charity Julian House, which supports the homeless through a range of services: support for those suffering domestic violence, addiction recovery, support for individuals with learning difficulties, work experience and training.

Burges Salmon organises a number of events throughout the year that raise money for the Charity of the Year. These events are co-ordinated by the Charity Committee, which I opted to be part of at the beginning of my training contract. One of the staple dates in the charity calendar is the biennial trainee event, where a sub-committee of trainees get together and have free reign to plan and organise a fundraiser.

Insects, treacle and gunge...

I was part of the team of first and second year trainees who organised this year’s event: 'I'm a Partner... Get me out of here!'. Attendees were treated to a three course meal in Glassworks, our in-house restaurant, whilst the partners took part in gruesome bushtucker trials.

The day started off at lunchtime, when the trainees revealed the results of a firmwide vote: the partner who had raised the most money for charity was to be gunged in a gunge pool. Five nervous partners stood in gunge suits awaiting the result (with the exception of Head of Real Estate, Colin Ligman, who stayed fully suited!). Corporate tax partner Nigel Popplewell won the vote. However not all of the other partners were safe; we then took to the floor with an auction to bid for a second gunging. Managing partner, Peter Morris bid competitively and chose to gunge disputes partner David Hall.

In the evening, attendees from the firm sat down to tuck into their three course meal, served by the trainees. After the first course, however, was an extra-special treat for the partners who were challenged to eat jelly packed with dried insects, maggots, and other tasty creepy crawlies... the first five competitors to finish their jelly (plus Nigel Popplewell who had won immunity to the final at the lunchtime gunging), proceeded to the next round which involved finding stars in a bucket of disgusting leftovers. The first five partners to find four stars proceeded to the finale.

During the evening there was an auction of promises. The prizes, donated by the trainees, included hotly fought for lots such as a personal shopper for the day, a murder mystery evening and self-defence classes.

The final round was an obstacle course split into four stages, which included creating a ‘trial bundle', popping water balloons in an ice bath, sifting through treacle and yet more gunge!

After the event, I showed some of the photos to friends who work at other firms. One of them said "you would never get the partners at my firm to do that!" I am particularly proud to work at a firm that has such a collaborative culture and that encourages its employees to support charities and take time to plan events such as this. 

Not only did everyone have a great time, we also raised over £4,500 for Julian House, which was a fantastic result.

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