Pro bono contributions to the Leicester community
Shakespeare Martineau consultant Mark Dunkley has been recognised for his pro bono contribution to the Leicestershire community at a prestigious industry award night for the county.
Mark took home the Peter Smith Award for Voluntary Services at the Leicestershire Law Society’s annual legal awards. The newly-introduced category commemorates Peter Smith – a long-serving and much-respected secretary and past president of the law society, who died in December 2019.
Over the years, Mark – who specialises in advising on all aspects of wills, trusts and probate law, as well as capital taxes planning, charity law, and the Court of Protection and deputyship matters – has carried out a multitude of pro bono work in the Leicestershire community.
Currently, he is a trustee of Prostaid and the Leicestershire Historic Churches Trust; chair of governors at Leicester High School Charitable Trust and the Oadby Village Hall Fund; treasurer of the Society of Conservative Lawyers; clerk to the trustees of the Carlton Hayes Mental Health Charity; and long-standing member of the University of Leicester’s development fundraising board.
Mark said: “I am delighted to have accepted the inaugural Peter Smith Award for pro bono contribution to the Leicestershire community and for work done over many years in that regard. In those many roles, I have met and continue to meet many interesting and hard-working people.
“Peter Smith was my dear friend and I am very grateful to the society for perpetuating his name locally by including this award in this year’s ceremony. I had known Peter for 36 years before his sad and untimely death. Those who knew Peter found him always to be fun and engaging company, and you could always rely on having a laugh and an evening of great bonhomie if you sat near him at dinners or events.”
Until recently, Mark was a trustee of the Red Arrows Trust, having retired in March 2021, as well as the Loughborough Students’ Union. He served as chairman of the STEP Worldwide Mental Capacity Global Special Interest Group steering committee. In that role, he contributed to think tanks and policy discussions with the Office of the Public Guardian and the Ministry of Justice, probate registry and HMRC capital taxes.
Mark started his career 39 years ago as an articled clerk at Stone & Simpson at 37 New Walk in Leicester. He joined Shakespeare Martineau as a partner and consultant in 2012.
He is rated band 1, tier 1 in private wealth work by Chambers and Partners and band 1 by the Legal 500. He has also been named as a top 100 private wealth/client lawyer by Citywealth.
Mark said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my career as a solicitor working with many dedicated professionals over the years, principally in Leicester. My star is very much in the descendant now as I plan to retire from practice at the end of April 2022, but this award, named in memory of a good friend who was a big part of my career, has topped it off perfectly.”
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Mark specialises in advising on all aspects of wills, trusts and probate law and capital taxes planning and charity law.