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.

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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.

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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’. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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