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