A FORMER Stourport High School pupil who heads up a law firm with bases in Manchester and London is to be awarded a university fellowship.

Marcus Hayes is to be awarded the fellowship by the University of Sussex during a commemoration dinner in July.

Fellowships at the university are awarded to people who have rendered "an exceptional contribution" to the university or attained distinction in the arts, literature, science, business or public life.

Mr Hayes, managing director of Mason Hayes Solicitors, was one of only 10 solicitors out of the 131,000 practising solicitors in England and Wales last year to be shortlisted in the category of Solicitor of the Year at the national 2013 Law Society Excellence Awards.

He has also worked closely in recent years with the university through the Mason Hayes Charitable Trust, which he established in 2010. The trust supports students whose parents have not been to university or who are from low-income backgrounds.

That support includes scholarships, mentoring and a work experience programme offering students training opportunities in some of the country’s largest, high-profile companies and organisations.

Mr Hayes said: “Naturally, I am both thrilled and delighted by this award. I was the first person in my family to go to university and in working with Sussex I wanted to give something back.

" Through the Mason Hayes Charitable Trust I look forward to continuing to work with the university for many years to come.”