About the Higher Rights course (training and assessment)

CPD Training (UK) Limited offers a one day assessment for Higher Rights of Audience (Civil) which comprises a written examination (90 minutes); an interim application (8 minutes), a trial speech or submission (8 minutes) and an exercise in witness handling such as cross-examination or examination-in-chief (15 minutes).

The SRA no longer requires candidates to have advocacy experience or training. We strongly recommend that law firms send their delegates on our 2 day training course which not only teaches them advocacy, civil litigation and professional conduct skills; it readies them for the assessment.

The training and assessment are mainly offered privately to law firms, patent attorneys and other organisations like local authorities. We have skilled and highly experienced trainers and assessors.

CPD Training is adept at assisting candidates with special needs.

We work with our clients to ensure that the training is best suited to their needs. The SRA sets very high standards but we work hard to ensure that candidates are fully trained to meet those standards.

The training is intensive, up-to-date and highly relevant to modern civil practice. It covers such subjects as case analysis, drafting, examination-in-chief, cross-examination, trial speeches, evidence and proof, submissions on the law, diversity awareness and professional conduct.

Candidates who pass the assessment must then apply to the Solicitors Regulation Authority for the grant of the Higher Courts (Civil Advocacy) Qualification, which will enable them to appear as advocates in the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court in civil matters.

Our standard price for courses we run in the UK is £1,560 plus VAT per candidate for 2 days of training and the assessment. We need at least 6 candidates to make a course financially viable. Some firms join forces. We offer discounts for larger numbers.

Higher Rights - 2019 and 2020

Please contact Peter Lyons at peter.lyons@cpdtraining.net if you are interested in booking a place.

Venue / Training dates / Assessment date / Status

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London / 18-19 November 2019 / 29 November 2019 / Places available

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London / 17-18 February 2020 / 28 February 2020 / Places available

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London / 18-19 May 2020 / 29 May 2020 / Places available

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London / 14-15 September 2020 / 25 September 2020 / Places available

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London / 9-10 November 2020 / 20 November 2020 / Places available

This is what some of our clients have said about the training and assessment

Sarah Grenfell / Partner & Solicitor Advocate, CMS LLP

"I undertook my Higher Rights of Audience training with Peter Lyons in late 2016 and highly recommend both Peter and his team at CPD training. Peter is a truly gifted teacher and a fount of knowledge on the topic of advocacy. Straightforward, enthusiastic and generous in his approach, he is an absolute pleasure to learn from. Peter’s training will appeal to anybody keen to sharpen their advocacy skills."

Ian Winrow / Solicitor & Lecturer in Law, Bangor University

"I undertook my Higher Rights (Civil) training and assessment with CPD Training in late 2016. Having an arthritic hand and reduced hearing I was worried I would not be able to cope with the training and assessment. I had nothing to fear. CPD made the reasonable adjustments I needed. I work for a small practice but was treated just the same as the other delegates that were mainly from large city firms. I did not feel out of place. Peter Lyons is not just an excellent teacher but he knows advocacy from practical experience. He passes on the essentials in an easily understandable way. This is an excellent course and I would highly recommend it."

2015 candidate

"Excellent teaching. I would like to stress the importance to have an expert teacher, especially for a non-native speaker. I am Italian. There was very good support every time I needed it."

Cleary Gottlieb candidate

"Peter has a great way with students – very useful critiques."

Matthew O’Flynn / Novo Nordisk

"An absolutely excellent course and thoroughly enjoyable, with a great case study. Seamless organisation."

2015 candidate

"The course leader identified my learning requirements and was sensitive to my hearing difficulties, which were accommodated tactfully."

Dominic Harris / Partner, CMS LLP

"As well as teaching practical advocacy skills and guiding me through the assessment, Peter also succeeded in making the course relevant to my own pensions practice.  I would have no hesitation in recommending the course to anyone – providing, as it does, skills that can be used both inside and outside the courtroom."

Emma Zymanczyk / Dentons

"I attended Peter Lyons' Higher Rights Course as a newly qualified solicitor in our dispute resolution team.  As we largely rely on barristers to represent our clients at court, I was not sure that I would have much opportunity to use the skills acquired on this course.   
However, Peter's course was brilliantly targeted so everyone got a lot out of it.  Peter taught us to think like advocates; this is particularly useful when putting together instructions for Counsel, which I often do.  As well as covering the ground work for achieving our Higher Rights qualification, Peter spent time with each of us to focus on our individual needs.  
It is hugely beneficial to have someone with a wealth of experience analyse how you present yourself.  As well as giving us specific things to work on, Peter was able to provide immediate fixes to our 'tics' - we all had at least one!  Since attending the course, I have been better able to provide assistance to Counsel in advance of hearings and I am more confident when articulating myself.  I highly recommend the course to all - whether you’re likely to speak in the Higher Courts or not."

Mona Vaswani / Partner, Allen & Overy LLP

"This is an excellent course that gives you a good amount of practice time and feedback. Peter Lyons is really supportive; gives clear instructions and information and his style is serious but relaxed."

James Fairbairn / Partner, Dentons

"This was an excellent course which had good materials and was very thorough. Peter Lyons was an interesting and informative trainer who delivered the programme at a good pace."

Thomas Shortland / Assistant Solicitor, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

"The course provided a good introduction to a variety of advocacy skills and there were plenty of opportunities to practise those skills. I felt the balance between classroom-style teaching and practical exercises was particularly well-struck.
Overall, the course was not skewed heavily in favour of advocacy in a particular setting (e.g. litigation or arbitration) which was particularly useful for those of us at the junior end who have not yet specialised."

Sunil Gadhia / Commercial Litigation Partner, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

"Peter delivers advocacy training in a very thoughtful, interesting and enjoyable way. I was particularly impressed by his understanding of what different people need and his ability to adjust the pace of the training to suit individual needs and their competing work pressures."


Our Experience

Higher Rights of Audience Training and Assessment

Law Firms
Addleshaw Goddard: 2013
Allen and Overy: 2001-05; 2013
Ashursts: 2007
Asserson, Israel: 2015, 2016
Baker and McKenzie: 2001-07
Bird and Bird: 2002; 2015-19
Burges Salmon: 2005-08
Byrne and Partners: 2005-07
Cleary Gottlieb: 2013-18
Clifford Chance: 2001-05
CMS Cameron McKenna: 2001-2008; 2013-19
Covington & Burling: 2013-14

Debevoise & Plimpton: 2018
Dechert: 2018
Dentons: 2001-2011; 2013-19
DLA Piper: 2002-2004
Eversheds: 2007, 2014, 2017-18
Freshfields: 2002-07
Goodman Derrick: 2015-16
Herbert Smith: 2001-07
Herbert Smith Freehills: 2015-18
Irwin Mitchell: 2005-07
K&L Gates: 2015-19
Linklaters: 2003 then 2005-08
Lovells: 2001-02
O’Melveny and Myers: 2008, 2013
Nicholson Graham and Jones: 2002; 2006
Pinsent Masons: 2005-06
Reed Smith: 2007; 2016-2017
Skadden Arps: 2011, 2016-17
Simmons and Simmons: 2018
Watson Farley Williams: 2007
Weil Gotshal & Manges: 2015
Wragge and Co: 2003

Financial Institutions and Companies
Barclay’s Bank: 2015
BT: 2014, 2017
EWTF Securities: 2015
Novo Nordisk: 2015
PriceWaterhouseCoopers: 2014

Local Authorities
Islington Council: 2012
Wolverhampton City Council: 2013, 2015, 2019

Patent Attorneys
Beresford Crump: 2013-2015
Carpmaels & Ransford: 2016
Filemot Technology Law: 2013, 2014
Infineum UK Ltd: 2013, 2014
Ministry of Defence: 2014
Potter Clarkson: 2013, 2014
Qualcomm: 2013, 2014
Williams Powell: 2013, 2014