Visitors to Brindleyplace on Saturday 18th June saw a new, swifter version of doggy paddle as a team of barristers from No5 Chambers competed in the Brindleyplace Dragonboat race event, dressed as Cruella de Vil and some of the 101 Dalmatians.

Team Captain Matthew Brunning says: “No5 Chambers was undefeated in 3 races as it raised money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. All proceeds from the race will be used to help set up the End of Life Care Project, which looks to improve palliative care for life-limited children and employ dedicated staff to work alongside families helping them to talk through their fears, concerns and wishes.” 

The paddling pace was set by Cruella de Vil, aka Michelle Heeley, who pushed the pups to the limit. “This is the second year that No5 Chambers has competed in the Brindleyplace Dragonboat race,” she says. “Last year we raised £3,600 and won the fancy dress contest with me dressed as Willy Wonka and the rest of the crew as Oompa Loompas. I am delighted that we won the fancy dress competition again.”

Victoria Clifford from No5 Chambers, who designed and made the costumes, adds: “We were pleased to defend our crown. Winning the fancy dress competition meant even more this year as the winner was chosen by Callum, a patient at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.” 

No5 Chambers has so far raised £2,585 in sponsorship, much of which is down to the generosity of many of the firms from which it receives instruction. 

Shahaji Begum from Birmingham Children’s Hospital says: “It has been an absolute pleasure working with No. 5 Chambers for the second year running and it was loads of fun taking Callum around to judge the best fancy dress. The detailing of No5’s Dalmatian outfits won Callum over!”

Anyone wishing to add to the funds raised by No5 Chambers should go to – the money goes straight to the BCH charity which can also reclaim the tax. 

To view all of the photos from the event, please click here.