Brabners and We Love MCR launch social mobility bursary in memory of legal icon

The bursary will help disadvantaged young Mancs to begin a career in law.


We're incredibly honoured today to announce that leading law firm Brabners have joined with us to launch a £30,000 bursary fund, for aspiring legal minds experiencing financial barriers, to be delivered through our Manchester's Rising Stars Fund!


It is named the Maurice Watkins Bursary after Maurice Watkins CBE, former Brabners Partner and Manchester United director, and the firm will initially commit £10,000 in support each year between now and 2025 with the aspiration, if successful, to continue long into the future.


Budding law professionals aged 15-22 living in Manchester can apply for grant money to help cover the cost of essential items including laptops and books for studying, travel costs for internships, or clothing for interviews.


The bursary honours Brabners’ former partner and leading sports lawyer who died last year aged 79. Watkins served on Manchester United’s board for 28 years, and as a partner at Brabners for 15 years.


Watkins’ services to charity saw him made a CBE in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours list, having raised more than £68 million for hospitals as chairman of the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital charity appeals board.


Ged Carter, our Charity Head, said:

“Our partnership with Brabners and the launch of the Maurice Watkins Bursary represents a welcome boost for social mobility in Manchester’s legal sector. Our Manchester’s Rising Stars Fund has helped many disadvantaged young people to seize opportunities that would have otherwise been out of their reach. The generous support from Brabners ensures that we can deliver much more of this important work.”

Nik White, managing partner at Brabners, said:

“Maurice dedicated so much of his life to charitable causes, so the launch of a bursary in his name is a worthy tribute to his achievements.
“Our partnership with We Love MCR will improve access to a career in law for young Mancunians from non-privileged backgrounds. Our commitment to make the difference goes beyond our clients and people to the communities we operate in, and providing equal opportunities will ultimately help to enrich the city’s thriving legal community with a more diverse range of voices and perspectives.”

Sir Alex Ferguson, said:

“The Maurice Watkins Bursary is a fitting legacy for Maurice after a life spent helping others. I’m sure this bursary will be a huge success and a fitting testimony to Maurice’s generosity."

At the We Love MCR Charity team, we now look forward to sharing the positive stories and seeing the futures that have been changed as a result of this bursary. Thanks again to Brabners for their dedication in making a difference!