A FORMER Stourport High School and Kidderminster College student has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for his services to law and education.

Marcus Hayes, who was born in Stourport and lived in the town until 1983, now leads an award-winning law firm, Mason Hayes, which has offices in Manchester and London.

A specialist telecoms litigator, Marcus has been involved in a number of leading cases during his career, and recently advised in a £40 million tax dispute in the European Court, and in a £150 million claim between two international telecoms brands.

In 2013, Marcus was one of just 10 solicitors out of 131,000 practising in England and Wales to be shortlisted for Solicitor of the Year at the National Law Society Excellence Awards.

Having carved out a successful career in law, Marcus went on the establish the Mason Hayes Charitable Trust in 2009, focusing on improving the learning experiences of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, or with special needs.

The trust has provided financial and personal development support, including mentoring and work placements, to students at primary schools and universities for more than a decade.

The University of Sussex awarded Marcus a fellowship in 2014 in recognition of his contribution to the university.

Marcus remains a regular visitor to Stourport, and previously ran a series of student workshops at Stourport High School.

He has also worked with the senior leadership team at Stourport Primary School to raise much-needed funds for various literacy initiatives.

His charitable trust has donated more than £15,000 to Stourport Primary School in recent years.

Marcus said: “Nobody achieves anything alone and the success I have enjoyed has been solely down to the contributions made by my family, my friends and by the members of the education and legal professions that I have been very fortunate to work with. They share this honour as much as anyone else.

"The only sad thing about today is that my father did not live long enough to see this award. He would have been simply thrilled to bits by this.”