In November 2018, Peter Lyons delivered a Higher Rights programme for practitioners from Slaughter and May, Cleary Gottlieb, MacFarlanes and Eversheds. There was also a candidate who flew from the Cayman Islands to attend. She was the second candidate we have had from Mourant Ozannes.

There were PSC Advocacy courses for Womble Bond Dickinson and Hill Dickinson.

Chris Taylor delivered a 4-day Basic Litigation Skills course to Keltie and Peter Lyons returned to Frankfurt to teach advocacy in the financial sector.

In December, there was another 3-day PSC course in London and the annual Advanced Advocacy Programme for senior patent attorneys.

* * *

In early January 2019, Peter Lyons flew to Belfast to teach for Queen’s University for a week. He then taught Higher Rights to Bird & Bird and PSC Advocacy to Mayer Brown in London.

Meanwhile, Chris Taylor delivered a further litigation course to patent attorneys at Edwards Vacuum in Clevedon, Somerset.

There was then a 3-day PSC Advocacy course in Bristol and an intensive 2-day advocacy course for Eversheds in London, which received great feedback from the lawyers who attended.

Peter Lyons was called to Cologne in February to teach advocacy to CMS’s lawyers and then delivered a 2-day coaching programme to mooting students at the Universities of Bonn and Cologne, where he is a guest lecturer.

When he returned he delivered a 2-day Higher Rights course to Mayer Brown and a 2-day advocacy course to Carpmaels & Ransford, the leading patent attorney firm.

* * *

March and April were very busy months for CPD Training. We conducted our second Higher Rights programme in Singapore, this time at the offices of CMS. Lawyers from different firms attended and were assessed a few weeks after the training. As well as candidates based in Singapore, we also had attendees from Hong Kong and Tokyo. We intend to repeat the programme next year.

Chris Taylor delivered the Basic Litigation Skills course and assessment to JA Kemp in London and then to a group of patent attorneys in Munich, at the offices of Hoffmann Eitle. The Munich course was open to external candidates and attracted attorneys from Dehns, Dentons, Grünecker, Meissner Bolte and Withers & Rogers.

One candidate said: “after 15 years of experience, the course was extremely useful to me in my continued work, and I think it had exactly the right level of detail for an ‘introduction’ - I am much more confident talking to clients now about UK enforcement and (important for our German business) the comparisons between UK and German litigation. I also very much enjoyed the course, and thought it was a good mix of information and practical role-play”.

Chris then also ran the PSC Negotiation Skills programme for Law South in Bath and London. Over 4 days he trained 56 trainee solicitors.  The courses were well-received, with one delegate commenting, “The presenter, Chris Taylor, was excellent. He ran an introduction to litigation course and was equally as great then. He is passionate, clearly experienced and he made the class fun and interactive. One of the best Law South courses I have attended, largely due to Chris's leadership”.

* * *

On to Tasmania, where Peter Lyons conducted 2 well-attended advocacy courses in Hobart and one in Devonport. He was joined by internationally-renowned wife and husband team Carol Sowers and Judge Mark Drummond. Mark and Carol greatly enjoyed their time in the Apple Isle and visited a number of top-quality restaurants.

Peter Lyons was particularly encouraged by the response of the big firms: Butler, McIntyre & Butler; Murdoch Clarke; and Wallace, Wilkinson & Webster all sent sizeable contingents to the training.

But the courses were also for the smaller practitioners, who said they had derived some real benefits and learned new skills.

The CPD team also taught the DPP and Solicitor-General’s offices for 2 days. One of the participants, Emily Stone, described the course as beneficial and engaging.

Fiona Donnelly arrived in Tasmania early in April to teach the Tasmanian Legal Practice Course with Peter Lyons. We were really fortunate to have guest judges: Justice Helen Wood, Justice Robert Pearce, Justice Gregory Geason, Commissioner Robert Webster, Magistrate Peter Dixon and the retiring President of the Legislative Council, Jim Wilkinson.

Suzanne Harris, one of the trainees, said “I absolutely loved the programme and it definitely gave me a taste for the advocacy side of things”.

Fiona Donnelly also delivered her much-praised course on Handling Children & Vulnerable Witnesses, which concentrated on developments in Europe and the skills needed to cross-examine such witnesses according to special considerations. The course was run in Hobart and Devonport.

* * *

Peter Lyons’s book Advocacy: A Practical Guide was published in the first week of March and is selling 50 copies a week. More information here >>

AuthorNicolas Gruszka

In October 2018, Peter Lyons was appointed as a Visiting Lecturer at the Center for Transnational Law (CENTRAL) at the University of Cologne. The Center was founded over 20 years ago by the highly-respected Professor Klaus Peter Berger.

In the same month Peter Lyons was again honoured to be made a guest lecturer at the University of Bonn by Professor Matthias Lehmann of the Fachbereich Rechtswissenschaft (Faculty of Law). 

AuthorNicolas Gruszka

Latest News – April 2018

The year began with a trip to Belfast and Queen’s University for the annual advocacy training at the Institute of Legal Practice.

Peter Lyons assisted Fiona Donnelly in teaching 120 trainees – always a challenge but great fun because the students are so cheerful and keen. It’s compulsory in Northern Ireland to have a legal job before one joins the course. At least it prevents the trainees from being heavily in debt with no employment when they finish the LPC.

*  *  *

Fiona Donnelly taught Higher Rights of Audience at K&L Gates. Each candidate rated the course as excellent and everyone was full of praise for Fiona’s patience and helpful teaching style.

One candidate from Dechert described Fiona after the assessment as being the best teacher she had ever had.

Higher Rights of Audience training continues to be popular. Peter Lyons taught 2 senior practitioners in Singapore by Skype, which was followed by an assessment at their offices. There was also a course for CMS in London and the annual Higher Rights course for Dentons.

*  *  *

Chris Taylor taught CPD’s Basic Litigation Skills Course for Patent Attorneys to Unilever in Port Sunlight, Merseyside. One candidate described the course as ‘absolutely first class’, whilst another said Chris was ‘very impressive’ and an excellent presenter.

He also delivered a public course in London, with candidates from a range of different backgrounds travelling from as far afield as Hong Kong and The Netherlands. One said afterwards, ‘thank you for an excellent course – by far the most engaging professional skills course I have attended’.

Chris also travelled to London and Bath to deliver 4 days in total of PSC negotiation skills training for Law South Group. The delegates said the structure of the course was very engaging, well-structured and the level of participation was excellent.

Chris has been in demand for personal drafting skills training, running a number of workshops for junior lawyers. One delegate at a City firm said she had drafted a letter for her boss and followed Chris’s advice. For the first time, it came back with ‘just one small amendment’. 

*  *  *

Travel featured prominently in CPD’s diary in the first few months of the year. Peter Lyons taught negotiation skills for the University of Edinburgh and PSC Advocacy for Womble Bond Dickinson in Bristol.

He also taught Submissions of Law at the premises of CMS Hasche Sigle in Cologne. The students were mooters from the Universities of Cologne and Bonn.

One of the coaches, a very promising and impressive young lawyer called David Böckenförde, wrote to tell us that one of the students had finished third out of 200 speakers in a moot in Kuala Lumpur. He added, ‘I think your input played a huge role in that. So I just wanted to thank you again for the valuable lessons you taught us’.

Peter then spent 2 days teaching advocacy to the legal officers of a very large bank in Frankfurt. 

*  *  *

In April, he travelled to Tasmania to deliver a one-day course to family law practitioners. The President of the Law Society reported that the course was ‘a resounding success, with the participants stating they want more’.

The next week Peter delivered 4 days of advocacy training to 54 Tasmanian Legal Practice Course students. He was greatly assisted by Jim Wilkinson, who taught the students how to speak to juries. Jim, who is President of Tasmania’s Legislative Council (Upper House), has appeared in over 250 jury trials. He suffered the dubious fate of being Peter Lyons’ master when Peter was an apprentice lawyer.

On the last day of the course, which featured 4 simultaneous trials in the morning and afternoon, 3 Supreme Court judges, a distinguished retired Magistrate and Chief Commissioner Webster presided.

The trainees were enthusiastic, hard-working, a little apprehensive, but overwhelmingly happy with the experience when it was over. 

*  *  *

Simon Brown QC delivered an interim advocacy course to US firm Akin Gump LLP at Luton Hoo. The feedback was tremendous. Partner Mark Dawkins said: “We all enjoyed the training very much. The case study was very well put together and the combination of case analysis followed by oral submissions with feedback worked well. Simon delivered it all very smoothly and kept everyone’s attention.”

Peter Lyons also delivered 2 x 1.5-day advocacy training courses to the leading patent firm Carpmaels & Ransford in London. 

AuthorNicolas Gruszka

Peter Lyons attended an SRA conference in Birmingham last December. Here is his report.

This article begins with an apology. Sorry for all the acronyms.

Within 2 years a massive change is planned for England and Wales which will affect the training and qualification of solicitors. The traditional routes to qualifying will go and will be replaced by 2 examinations called the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) and a compulsory 2- year period of work experience.

The Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and the Legal Practice Course (LPC) will be history after 2020. The last intake for the traditional route will be August 2020.

From then those wishing to be solicitors must: 1. Have a degree or equivalent; 2. Pass both SQE’s (1 and 2); Have no fewer than 2 years’ work experience and 4. Satisfy the SRA about their character and suitability to practise as a lawyer. 

Candidates may be signed off as satisfactory by the law firm’s compliance officer or another solicitor with requisite knowledge of the candidate.

At this stage there is no requirement that these milestones are passed chronologically though you must pass SQE 1 before you attempt SQE 2.

The SRA will advise candidates that they must acquire substantial work experience before they attempt SQE 2.

A candidate will be permitted to make 3 attempts on passing SQE 1 in 6 years. There will be no more that 2 attempts permitted in a year. 

The SQE’s will test: a. competence; b. knowledge and c. a threshold standard.

SQE 1 will test a candidate’s legal knowledge and some practical legal skills. It may be completed before the university degree is finished.

The subject areas for legal knowledge are: a. Conduct, public and administrative law and knowledge of Welsh and English legal systems; b. dispute resolution in contract and/or tort; c. property law and practice; d. business law and practice; e. wills and estates; f. criminal law and practice.

SQE 2, practical legal skills, are similar to the current Professional Skills Course and its electives.

The subject areas are: a. client interviewing; b. advocacy and persuasive oral communication; c. Case and matter analysis); d. legal research and written advice and e. written communications (legal drafting).

The assessments will be conducted by a single provider (probably a law school) but we will be able to train you for the assessments.

CPD Training already delivers intensive and popular in-house courses on all the subjects in SQE 2.

AuthorNicolas Gruszka

The weeks October through to December 2017 were some of the busiest we have experienced.

Chris Taylor taught a full-house in London for the 4-day Basic Litigation course. The course was run at the Royal Institute of British Architects and received glowing reviews from the delegates.

He also taught the 4-day course, which was staggered over different periods for our clients’ convenience and run at places like Manchester, Oxford, London and Leeds, to a range of leading firms such as Appleyard Lees, Boult Wade Tennant, Mathys & Squire and Dehns.

Peter Lyons taught the 5-day Higher Rights Advocacy course at Herbert Smith Freehills.

CPD Training also ran a Higher Rights Training and Assessment programme at K & L Gates in London. It was attended by candidates from Debevoise and Plimpton, Skadden Arps and Bird & Bird. 

One candidate, a partner from Simmons & Simmons, flew twice from Dubai to attend the training and assessment.

There were regular PSC Advocacy & Communications courses run for Hill Dickinson and the newly-merged international law firm of Womble Bond Dickinson.

Ciaran Moynagh from Belfast taught the Womble Bond Dickinson course with Peter Lyons when it was held in Newcastle. He received high praise from the delegates for his practical knowledge and skill.

Towards the end of October, Peter Lyons attended a meeting of Higher Rights of Audience civil assessment providers which was chaired by Pat Mulvihill of the SRA in Birmingham.

The rules will be changed from about mid-2018. Candidates will be required to obtain a score of at least 60% in both the written and oral parts of the assessment.

CPD Training’s authorisation was extended till December 2018 by the SRA.

Other courses in the period before Christmas were a course on Advanced Cross-examination for Senior Patent Attorneys with Higher Rights of Audience and a Cross-examination of Experts course run for senior lawyers at Dentons in London.

The experts course was notable because the engineers were played brilliantly by 2 accomplished actors: Sarah Durham and Shane Armstrong. Litigation lawyers are a tough audience, but they had nothing but plaudits for Sarah and Shane.

We would like to say a special thank you to the freelance actors, Sarah, Shane and Rebecca Peyton who submit themselves to withering cross-examinations by our Higher Rights candidates.

Shane and Rebecca were singled out by the SRA’s external examiner, who is a judge, for the professional way that they played their roles in the Higher Rights assessments.

We are also grateful to them for being invigilators on some of our assessments this year together with the legendary Mrs Jean Bunn of Nottingham Law School fame. 

We would also like to thank our stalwart assessors, Glenda Fontaine, Fiona Donnelly and Simon Brown QC for their independence, experience and skill.

Finally, Peter Lyons was made an Adjunct Professor at the University of Tasmania.

Chris Taylor’s name was printed in gold on the latest edition of the civil litigation bible for practitioners: Blackstone’s Civil Practice.

AuthorNicolas Gruszka

CPD Training's Basic Litigation Skills Course for patent and trade mark attorneys continues to generate considerable interest.

Led by Chris Taylor, the programme has been run mainly in London but there have been in-house courses in Bath, Bristol, Glasgow and Munich and there are due to be courses in Manchester, Leeds and Oxford.

One patent attorney who attended the public course in London last month spoke of what had impressed him.

"The course covered key principles of litigation (e.g. case theory, disclosure and privilege etc.), but was largely practical in nature and involved a case study which was developed throughout the week. The interactive nature of the course proved to be an enjoyable way to reinforce the legal principles.

The course was delivered by Chris Taylor of CPD Training who was very knowledgeable but equally importantly delivered the material clearly and in an approachable, friendly manner. I have subsequently found the knowledge gained on the course to be very useful in my everyday practice.

I would have no hesitation in recommending this course for obtaining the Intellectual Property Litigation Certificate


Peter Lyons has been to Frankfurt twice in the past few months. 

The first time was to teach CMS Hasche Sigle. He was joined by Maria Danaher, a leading Pittsburgh attorney and advocacy teacher; and Judge Mark Drummond and his wife Carol Sowers.

Maria flew via Boston and Iceland to be there. After hours, Maria delivered her self-defence course for lawyers called "Fight Like a Girl."

It was very well received.

CMS was extremely happy with the advocacy training.

Peter Lyons returned to Frankfurt to teach a large financial institution.

In September, he taught a week-long course in Belfast for the Northern Ireland Law Society and then he flew to Zurich to train the talented lawyers at Gabriel Arbitration.


CPD Training has run a number of Higher Rights of Audience assessments for large City firms in the past few weeks.

The firms include Skadden Arps, Denton, CMS, Three Crowns and Watson Farley & Williams.

Chris Taylor has delivered a successful litigation training course twice for Law South.

CPD Training has run its regular PSC Advocacy Training courses for Hill Dickinson, Mayer Brown and Bond Dickinson.

AuthorNicolas Gruszka

Chris Taylor taught the public 4-day Basic Litigation Skills course in the first week of March. 

Dentons ran its annual Higher Rights of Audience programme and Peter Lyons attended a celebration in honour of David Kavanagh QC at Spencer House in London.

Kirkland & Ellis hired CPD Training for an advocacy course at their offices in the Gherkin in late March and Chris Taylor taught 2 leading patent firms, Reddie & Grose and JA Kemp. Chris also delivered an Introduction to Litigation course in London to trainee solicitors from the Law South group.

Peter Lyons was welcomed to the Law Faculty of the University of Tasmania by the Dean, Professor Marg Otlowski, and Dr Brendan Gogarty. He taught advocacy and interviewing skills to 3 classes of keen and talented undergraduates.

He also presented a one day course to leading Hobart law firm Ogilvie Jennings. The firm reported that the lawyers had learned a lot and enjoyed the training.

On 21 and 22 April, Peter Lyons taught advocacy to 10 prosecutors and counsel from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Solicitor-General in Tasmania.

The DPP, Daryl Coates described it as a “great success.”

Between 26 and 28 April, Peter Lyons taught 60 trainees at the Tasmanian Legal Practice Course. It is something he has been delivering for the past 7 years. He was lucky enough to be assisted by Acting Justice David Porter and Leigh Sealy SC.

On returning to England, Peter taught the 5-day Herbert Smith Freehills Higher Rights advocacy course with Caroline Tuckwell and Chris Taylor delivered the public 4-day Basic Litigation Skills course in London.

In May, Peter Lyons delivered 2 more Higher Rights of Audience courses in-house and a 3-day PSC Advocacy course for Mayer Brown International in London.

Fiona Donnelly taught a one day advocacy course on Interim Applications for Gordons in Leeds which received very high praise from the students and the course organiser. Fiona made a quick trip home to Belfast before flying back to London to conduct her second Higher Rights assessment in a week.

In early June Chris Taylor travelled twice to Glasgow to teach the Basic Litigation Skills course to patent attorneys from Marks & Clerk’s offices across Scotland.

AuthorNicolas Gruszka

We are pleased to report that two senior solicitors we trained and assessed in Higher Rights of Audience have recently been made Queen’s Counsel. We pass on our congratulations to David Kavanagh QC of Skadden Arps and Jonathan Taylor QC of Bird & Bird.

Autumn 2016 was a busy time for CPD Training. Chris Taylor ran two fully-booked public basic litigation skills courses at the Royal Institute of British Architects in Portland Place, Marylebone. We also delivered in-house litigation courses for leading patent firms Carpmaels & Ransford, Marks & Clerk, Boult Wade Tennant, Kilburn & Strode, AA Thornton and Keltie.

Peter Lyons once again spent early September 2016 in Belfast, as a member of faculty of the annual advocacy skills training course run by the Law Society of Northern Ireland and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.

Our Higher Rights of Audience programme continues to be popular, with courses being held at K&L Gates, Reed Smith and CMS Cameron McKenna in October and November 2016. Peter Lyons also taught Higher Rights of Audience at Herbert Smith Freehills from 10 to 14 October.

Peter taught PSC Advocacy & Communications Skills to Hill Dickinson in Liverpool and London in October and Bond Dickinson in Newcastle in November. In February he delivered the course for Bond Dickinson in Bristol and Mayer Brown in London.

Having trained and assessed a group of senior patent attorneys in Higher Rights of Audience in 2013, we continue to provide annual CPD advocacy training for them, and are delighted to see them make use regular use of their skills in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court and the Patents Court.

In December 2016 Peter Lyons was honoured to be invited to take up a Visiting Scholarship at the University of Tasmania during 2017. He will spend an extended period in Tasmania this year teaching advocacy and contributing to a number of academic projects.

In January 2017 Peter spent a week with students at Queen’s University Belfast teaching advocacy. He also worked with the University of Edinburgh to deliver a training course in negotiation skills to its legal practice course students.

Chris Taylor was invited to teach litigation skills to a consortium of patent firms in Munich in January. The course was hosted by Hoffmann Eitle and was also attended by delegates from Maiwald, Forresters and Manitz Finsterwald.

We have a busy Spring programme with Higher Rights courses at K&L Gates, Dentons and Reed Smith; public and in-house basic litigation courses; and advocacy and public speaking courses for patent attorneys.

AuthorNicolas Gruszka


The Basic Litigation Skills course for patent attorneys continues to attract significant interest.

The 4-day programme is highly interactive and includes a number of challenging but enjoyable exercises in subjects such as Case Management, Costing and Negotiation.

The beauty of the course is that we bring it to you. As a firm, you can choose how the 4 days of training is arranged.

Some have run the course in a single week from Monday to Thursday. Others prefer to spread the training over a longer period.

You are trained and assessed in oral advocacy. You are required to sit a 2-hour written examination on a date that is convenient so long as it is not too far away from the final training day.

If you are an individual practitioner, work in-house or your firm only needs to send a few people on the course, we may be able to arrange for you to attend another firm’s course. There are also regular public programmes which you could join.

On the most recent programme which was held for D Young & Co LLP, a practitioner remarked that the course was “fundamentally well-run; interesting and useful.”

Chris Taylor, our Head of Litigation Training, has received high praise for his teaching. A practitioner’s verdict was that “the quality of the training and the trainer’s knowledge was exceptional. Many skills learned were of general applicability outside the litigation scenario.”

Chris has also been commended for organising the training and assessments so as to minimise the hassle for the HR people in the firms.

Karen Genuardi of AA Thornton said, “CPD were very helpful in suggesting ways we might run the course in-house so our busy attorneys would get the most from attending and at the same time enjoy the learning. All the joining instructions and course information was sent out by CPD in advance, which was handled very efficiently. 

“Some of the course places were filled by external candidates; this was a first for us, and it worked extremely well with the mix of participants bringing an added dimension to the group discussions.” 

“CPD exceeded our expectations and we look forward to working with Chris again.”

For more details click here


In a bid to save valuable fee-earning time for busy practitioners, CPD Training has reduced its Higher Rights training programme from 3 days to 2.

The lead trainer, Professor Peter Lyons, said there will be no reduction in the subjects covered or the quality of the training.

“It was becoming increasingly clear that most practitioners were ready to start preparing for the assessment by the end of day 2. It’s just a question of lengthening days 1 and 2 and giving the delegates more practice in the skills,” he said.

“We will continue to meet the high standards set by the SRA in our assessment. The independent assessors are highly-trained and very experienced. Of course, anyone who wishes to be trained for a longer period only has to ask,” he said.

In the past few months we have been very busy running or assisting with Higher Rights training and assessments for Dentons, CMS, K&L Gates and Herbert Smith Freehills.

For more details click here



There has been a noticeable demand for advocacy training among some of the top patent attorney firms in the UK. Over the past few months 3 large firms have taken a 2 day course, some on multiple occasions.

The training is important for giving those who appear in court and before panels a thorough grounding in presentation skills, structuring and delivering submissions and learning how to persuade the decision maker. There is also some practice in handling an opponent at a hearing.

Most who have done the course said it has increased their confidence. 

For more details click here



In May, Peter Lyons made his annual pilgrimage to Australia to teach advocacy for the Legal Practice Course in Hobart.

He was assisted on the 3-day course by Leigh Sealy SC and retired Magistrate Peter Dixon.

Whilst in Hobart, he addressed the teaching faculty of the Law School at the University of Tasmania and spent a few hours coaching mooting students.

Lyons also delivered a 2 day training course for the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Office of the Solicitor General.



As a Visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde, Peter Lyons travelled to Glasgow in early July to deliver a training course for Trainees and Newly Qualified practitioners (TANQ) at the home of the Royal Faculty of Procurators.

He came at the invitation of legendary Glasgow lawyer Charles Hennessy. Over 100 people attended the evening session. The feedback was very positive. Here is a sample of the comments:

“This training was stunning, would recommend a slightly longer session if could be accommodated.

There may be a need to extend some seminars beyond one hour, especially for workshops.

Great seminar.

Practice examples & exercises very helpful.

Seminars offered are always very informative and interesting.

One of the most informative and interesting seminars, excellent presenters.

Great seminar. Useful, practical skills.”

To Peter’s delight, Charles Hennessy described Lyons as “the consummate warm-up man.”


AuthorNicolas Gruszka

Chris Taylor completed teaching the Basic Litigation Course for Kilburn and Strode, the Holborn based patent firm. Those attending were very happy with the training. One delegate said the “trainer was approachable, gave good explanations and answered questions well.”

Another said the course had “excellent material that got important points across in a practical manner.”

A third delegate said the course had “met or exceeded expectations.”


We ran a public course in March which was held at the old courtroom in Lincoln’s Inn so it was appropriate that one delegate, a senior patent attorney said that Chris Taylor had been “very approachable and had a great ability to distil complex legal issues into easy-to-understand lectures.”

Another delegate from Germany said Chris had an easy-going manner and was always on top of things.

Another remarked on his “concise teaching with a great understanding of people and their differences.”


CPD Training delivered 2 Higher Rights of Audience courses in March. They were held at K&L Gates and Dentons in London.

The K&L Gates course was attended by delegates from a number of leading firms and the latest Daniel Simons Scholars: Richard Darby, the 2015 recipient and Ciaran Moynagh, the 2016 recipient.

Richard is a young patent attorney who has thoroughly impressed people with his natural advocacy skill.

Ciaran is a prominent young Belfast solicitor, who is gaining a reputation for his fearless and skilful representation of minority clients.

The scholarship, which is in effect a free place on our Higher Rights programme is awarded annually to candidates whom we judge to have the most potential to be successful advocates.

Daniel Simons was a legendary advocacy trainer and great friend of ours who died too young, 6 years ago.

Both Richard and Ciaran passed the assessment easily.


Fast Track Higher Rights Training for Senior Practitioners

We are offering fast track Higher Rights of Audience training to partners and senior lawyers who do not have a lot of time to spare.

In 3 hours, Professor Peter Lyons will coach you, one-on-one, in the comfort of your own office. You will be taught all the skills and knowledge you require to meet all the SRA’s assessment criteria.

The courses usually run after 5pm at a time to suit our clients.

You will be assessed a few days later by an independent assessor. You should expect the results within 4-6 weeks.

See details on our Fast Track Higher Rights page.


CPD Training ran a day-long negotiation training course in Greenwich for CMS Cameron McKenna. In keeping with the area’s famous naval background the negotiation teams acquired nautical names and won seafaring prizes like precious keyrings and a sailor’s hornpipe.

There were over 40 delegates, some who came from as far as Aberdeen and Glasgow for the course.

AuthorNicolas Gruszka

The Basic Litigation Skills Course for Patent Attorneys continues to attract very strong interest. Chris Taylor taught the 4 day course for AA Thornton in January and Kilburn & Strode in February. Chris, who is a very experienced litigator, has received the highest praise from delegates attending for the quality of his teaching.

The beauty of our courses for patent firms is that we can bring them to you. As long as we have a sufficient number of delegates we can run the courses in-house and set the dates to suit your firm’s convenience.

Upcoming public courses in London are as follows:

June 2016
Training Days: Monday 6th June 2016 to Thursday 9th June 2016 inclusive
Assessment: Friday 10th June 2016

September 2016
Training Days: Monday 5th September 2016 to Thursday 8th September 2016 inclusive
Assessment: Friday 9th September 2016

November 2016
Training Days: Monday 7th November 2016 to Thursday 10th November 2016 inclusive
Assessment: Friday 11th November 2016



Peter Lyons taught a week-long advocacy course for Queen’s University in Belfast in January. He also taught 3 day advocacy courses for Mayer Brown in London and Bond Dickinson in Bristol. One of the Bristol delegates singled out Peter’s diversity awareness for praise. 

AuthorNicolas Gruszka

The last 3 months have been very busy at CPD Training.

In late September, a 4 day Presentation Skills course was held for Covington & Burling, delivered by Peter Lyons.

We also ran training and assessment in Higher Rights of Audience for Barclays Bank at Canary Wharf.

Peter Lyons delivered the Higher Rights Course to a number of firms, including Dechert, Bird & Bird, Goodman Derrick, Cleary Gottlieb and K&L Gates. He was then retained by Herbert Smith Freehills to deliver their week-long Higher Rights of Audience course in London.

Chris Taylor delivered successful 4 day Basic Litigation courses to leading patent attorney firms, Mathys & Squire in London and Potter Clarkson in Nottingham.

We ran PSC advocacy courses for Hill Dickinson in Liverpool and Bond Dickinson in Newcastle. 

Peter Lyons taught cross-examination and expert witnesses for the ICC in Vienna. In November, he delivered a paper on witness preparation to a CMS Kongress in Frankfurt.

AuthorNicolas Gruszka

Peter Lyons delivered a 2 day advocacy course to Local Government Solicitors in Wolverhampton July. Some of those who attended were fulfilling their CPD requirements having obtained Higher Rights of Audience in 2013.


Peter attended a conference in Glasgow run by Charles Hennessy of the University ofStrathclyde Law School.

The subject of the conference was the imminent introduction of judicial case management to the Scottish Courts of Law. There were several excellent speakers including Sheriff Andrew Cubie, the Deputy Director of the Judicial Institute of Scotland; Judge Susan Walker of the Employment Tribunal and Professor Bryan Clark, the Dean of the Law School.

There was much debate about whether the rules were need and how they would work.

Peter Anderson, the managing partner of Simpson & Marwick in Edinburgh concluded the session with the flawless speech of a devil’s advocate. 


In September, Peter Lyons taught at Queen’s University on the 5 day Advanced Advocacy programme run by the Law Society of Northern Ireland.

Alongside him were Michael and Jo-Anne Roake from New Mexico; Whitney Untiedt from Miami; J.C. Lore from New Jersey and Carol Sowers from Illinois.

A number of distinguished practitioners and judges led by Fiona Donnelly assisted with the delivery of the course.

The centrepiece was a day of expert witness training. Several leading Belfast consultant doctors were examined and cross-examined by the course participants.

The week concluded with 6 simultaneous trials in the Belfast High Court. They were presided over by former justice of the Supreme Court of Ireland, Catherine Mc Guinness; English Circuit judge James Patrick and a number of prominent Belfast judges including Judge Patrick Kinney.

For Peter Lyons, who was attending for the 10th year running, the Belfast hospitality was overwhelming generous.

AuthorPeter Lyons

Stephen Dixon and Fiona Donnelly flew to Israel to conduct the assessment in Higher Rights of Audience for Asserson Law Firm.

Each of the candidates succeeded admirably.

At the same, Chris Taylor and Kelly Stricklin-Coutinho taught a 4 day Litigation Skills course to the patent attorneys, Williams Powell in London.

Peter Lyons was in Belfast, teaching County Court Drafting and Advocacy for the Law Society of Northern Ireland. 

He then flew to Australia to teach a 3 day course in advocacy to the Legal Practice Course of Tasmania.


Kelly and Chris were praised by Williams Powell candidates for the quality of their teaching. One practitioner, who has been qualified for 22 years, described them as clear, informed and responsive to questions.

Another said they gave clear explanations and allowed plenty of time for questions which were answered clearly.

The senior practitioner said the course had a good structure with good practical exercises and a mixture of information and practice.

CPD Training is still taking bookings for this year’s Basic Litigation Course. Contact if you are interested. We are always available to train you in-house and will adapt the timing of the course to suit your business needs. 


On his return from Australia, Peter Lyons taught 4 Advocacy programmes in Canary Wharf for the leading law firm Skadden Arps. He also delivered a 3 day course for the international law firm Mayer Brown.


Chris Taylor trained the renowned Patent Attorney firm of Withers and Rogers in London. A common theme of the feedback he received was that the course was clear with a broad range of relevant topics.

Chris received praise for being good at delivery, engaging and knowledgeable.


AuthorStephen Dixon

CPD’s expansion into the world of Patent Attorneys continued during February. We ran a 4 day Basic Litigation Skills Course for a leading firm in London. Kelly Stricklin-Coutinho and Peter Lyons taught the course to 14 practitioners and we are pleased to say that everyone passed the oral and written assessments.

We were also asked to deliver a series of advocacy training courses to a leading patent firm. The programmes received excellent feedback from the participants.

CPD Training will be holding its Autumn Basic Litigation Skills Course on consecutive Saturdays in London this coming October. The dates are the 3, 10, 17 and 24 October 2015. Please contact Ann-Marie Saumarez on

The beautiful city of Vienna was host to the CMS Academy in March this year.

CPD Training delivered 3 days of arbitration advocacy courses to 48 arbitration lawyers from a number of European countries including a sizeable contingent from Scotland.

The trainers were led by Professor Peter Lyons and included Judge Mark Drummond, Gene Tanaka, Fiona Donnelly, Janet Munn and presentation skills expert, Carol Sowers.

The Head of the CMS International Arbitration Group thanked Peter and his team for “3 days of a brilliant seminar.”

It wasn’t all work though. Judge Drummond organised dinner for a number of team members at the world famous Steirereck Restaurant while Chris Taylor took Fiona Donnelly and Janet Munn to see Tosca at the Vienna State Opera House.

We have run 2 Higher Rights courses recently. The first was for a consortium of firms (K&L Gates; Bird & Bird; Goodman Derrick and Weil Gotshal) at the beautiful premises of K&L Gates which overlook St Paul’s Cathedral.

The second was for Dentons UKMEA LLP, a long-standing client of our business. Their offices have an inspiring view of the Old Bailey and the Statue of Justice.

In a really interesting development, CPD Training was hired to deliver an advocacy course and assessment in Higher Rights to an English law firm which operates in Israel. Peter Lyons flew to Tel Aviv to deliver the training.

Steve Dixon and Fiona Donnelly will travel to Israel in May to conduct the assessment.

AuthorNicolas Gruszka

When I met Peter Underwood for lunch early in June last year, he was enthusiastic about the prospect of presiding over one of the trials at the Tasmanian Advocacy Convention.

He also offered to host a reception at Government House for the Convention delegates.

Although he had been a distinguished and tireless Governor for 6 years, I think he missed being a judge.

He had been an outstanding advocate himself. His wife Frances said he had an ability, as a cross-examiner, to see into peoples’ souls. As a judge for nearly 24 years he could certainly see into the souls of counsel. Unprepared advocates could expect a demolition. Otherwise, one could learn a tremendous amount from appearing before Justice Underwood.

But as a lawyer, Governor Underwood loved teaching more than anything else. Hugh Murray, the head of the legal practice course said, “Few men in his position would have taken the time, as he did, to give advocacy training to our students. He often 'sat' as a judge in their Supreme Court exercises, and his method of instruction was very effective, and very much appreciated by the students."

He was also a great promoter of women lawyers.

So we decided, with Mrs Underwood’s kind permission, to inaugurate the Peter Underwood Advocacy Award. It was for the student who was judged by the trainers in the trial to have made best use of the skills learned on the course. It is intended to be a perpetual award.

The Convention took place at the Federal Court between the 4th and 6th of December and 35 lawyers signed up. There were practitioners from all branches of the profession; from Canberra and the Northern Territory and different parts of Tasmania. It was really good to see quite a few Legal Aid lawyers and prosecutors from the DPP’s office.

It was organised by CPD Training (UK) and promoted and arranged by Francesca Saturno and her staff.

The educational emphasis was on achieving individual and team learning in a safe environment. There was correctional but positive feedback from the trainers. Substantial preparation was necessary but so it is for any trial.

Each student received a private coaching session from the acclaimed presentation skills coach, Marsha Hunter. One said that Marsha had “some excellent suggestions for combatting nerves.”

The delegates learned some new techniques for case analysis, examination-in-chief and cross-examination. People were enthralled by U.S. Judge Mark Drummond’s presentation on visual evidence and U.K. Judge Simon Brown’s innovative lecture on trial speeches.

Justice Stephen Estcourt delivered a stimulating masterclass on ethical advocacy. Leigh Sealy spoke eloquently on how to make effective legal submissions.

It was gratifying to see the Convention being supported by so many senior practitioners.

Local counsel, including the Solicitor General, Michael O’Farrell S.C.; Greg Melick S.C.; Peter Dixon, David Barclay and Greg Geason contributed with neat advocacy tips and the benefit of their long experience.

The 8 trials, run on the Saturday, were presided over by Justice Kerr, Chief Justice Blow, Justice Estcourt, Judges Drummond and Brown; Chief Magistrate Hill and Magistrate Rheinberger.

As a tribute to the quality of persuasion, or is to the lottery of litigation, the judges came up with different decisions.

But what did the students think of it?

One said, “I found it brilliant as a younger lawyer to have someone explain exactly how to go about certain tasks. The teaching faculty were amazing: never was I bored nor did I stop listening.”

Another said: “The Tasmanian 2014 Advocacy Convention has been the best training that I have attended. The presenters were all extremely passionate about advocacy, and I learned a great deal from each of them.”

A third spoke to future students saying “I would like to encourage those who chose not to attend through fear of the unknown to attend next time. There is nothing to fear because of the spirit in which everything is done.”

It was not just the students who enjoyed the Convention. The team of international trainers had been before in 2012. They love Tasmania. Judge Mark Drummond, who brought his delightful wife Carol, is a particular fan of Hobart’s restaurants. Judge Brown made discerning but expensive contributions to Tasmania’s retail sector.

The Convention dinner, a lively but happy affair, was held at the Astor Grill. CPD Training’s Stephen Dixon performed magic tricks for the guests.

Chief Justice Blow, in suggesting that people attend the Convention, had written: “Regular advocacy training is very important for lawyers who practise in the courts, but it is important for others too. It ensures better representation for their clients. And, from my point of view, well trained advocates are of great assistance to the courts.”

As acting Governor, the Chief Justice honoured Governor Underwood’s commitment to hold the Government House reception. It was a special occasion and we are grateful to the Government House staff for their stylish efficiency.

Peter Underwood’s spirit was with us all week.

At our lunch, I told him that, for the trial, I had written a new case study based on the Government’s fictitious proposal to construct a high-speed rail link from Launceston and Hobart airport using a tunnel under the Domain. The Governor was relieved when he heard that the building works were a good kilometre from the Botanical Gardens.

His Excellency would also have been pleased to know that the Peter Underwood Advocacy Award went to a young woman practitioner: Jessica Wade from the Office of the DPP.

The Award will be displayed in the Law Society.

If you have any questions or suggestions, I should be happy to hear from you.

AuthorStephen Dixon

CPD Training (UK) Ltd has recently delivered its Basic Litigation Course leading to the qualification of the Intellectual Property Litigation Certificate.

The course and assessment, which has been accredited by IPReg comprises 4 days of intensive training; a short oral examination and a 2 hour written examination.

Delegates described the course as “Challenging but accessible and with relevant targeted content.”

The trainers were praised for their “clear delivery” and having “good practical experience in the relevant areas”

We are currently recording expressions of interest for repeating the course in early 2015.

For more information or to register your interest, please contact Ann-Marie Saumarez at

AuthorStephen Dixon

September and October were busy months for CPD Training. We delivered the following training programmes:


* Litigation drafting to White & Case;

* Advanced advocacy skills to Debevoise & Plimpton;

* The Intellectual Property Civil Litigation Certificate;

* Higher Rights of Audience to Cleary Gottlieb, CMS, the MOD and other organisations;

* PSC Advocacy and Communications Skills course to Bond Dickinson and Hall Dickinson;

* Expert cross-examination to Dentons.

In November and December we shall be delivering advocacy training in Dublin and Hobart, Tasmania.

AuthorStephen Dixon

IPReg's Basic Litigation Skills Course will be run at Birkbeck College in London on the 18th and 19th October and the 1st and 2nd November leading to an examination on 22nd November.

See here for more details

AuthorStephen Dixon

It has been a very busy summer for CPD Training, particularly in the field of arbitration advocacy.

We have run courses for major firms in Warsaw, Vienna and Switzerland. In addition we provided the guest speaker at the ICC Arbitration Conference in Vienna.

The training team in Zurich was Gene Tanaka from California, Fiona Donnelly from Belfast, Judge Mark Drummond from Illinois and Professor Peter Lyons.

Arbitration advocacy training, particularly bespoke courses to suit the needs of our clients, is becoming increasingly popular.

AuthorStephen Dixon