• York Students Win Mooting Competition

  • 8 April 2011

  • A joint team from The College of Law in York and University of York Law School have demonstrated their advocacy skills by winning the Beachcroft Mooting Shield.

    The team, made up of two students from the College and two from the University of York, triumphed against a team from the College’s Manchester centre in the final on Wednesday (April 6) at Sovereign Chambers in Leeds.

    College students Katharine Fitzpatrick and Robert Cockburn took part in the final showdown while fellow team mates Russell Naglis and Micha Hatfield from York Law School put in winning performances during the group stages of the competition.

    In Wednesday’s final they were up against Gareth Malna and Nick Thornsby from The College of Law in Manchester, who were assisted in the group stages by Naaila Hamid and Vicki Fergusson.

    The contest was run by national law firm Beachcroft and involved 12 teams of law students from across Manchester, Yorkshire and the North East. Other teams taking part were Leeds Metropolitan University, University of Leeds, BPP Leeds, University of Sheffield, University of Bradford, University of Huddersfield, University of Durham, University of Hull, Sheffield Hallam University and University of Newcastle.

    110408 York Students Win Mooting Competition
    Winners of the Beachcroft Mooting Shield Robert Cockburn and Katharine Fitzpatrick from The College of Law in York

    Katharine, aged 24, is currently studying the Graduate Diploma in Law at The College of Law in York while her team mate Robert, aged 28, is taking the Legal Practice Course.

    She said: "Participating in the competition has been invaluable and I have developed as an advocate and as a student. The in-depth research that mooting demands is a fantastic way to explore areas of law that would not otherwise come up in study. The competition was extremely challenging due to the amount of time it demands versus other requirements such as coursework, study, my full-time employment and now pupillage applications. However it has been incredibly rewarding, and I am very grateful to Beachcroft for organising it."

    Mooting tests the advocacy skills of students, who argue a fictitious case and demonstrate use of case law during simulated court proceedings. It demands the ability to think quickly and argue convincingly, and the winner is decided on the merits of how they present their case and apply the law to the particular set of circumstances.

    Beachcroft launched the competition last year to help law students increase their chances of breaking into the legal profession by improving their skills. The teams competed against each other over a six month period with the moots judged by barristers and Beachcroft solicitors. The winners receive a week’s work placement at the law firm along with the prestigious Beachcroft Mooting Shield.

    Paul Aber, director of The College of Law in York, said: “The team performed extremely well against tough competition and we are very proud of them. Although mooting has traditionally been the preserve of prospective barristers, dispute resolution now involves an increasing amount of advocacy and it is an exercise which all law students find useful and of lasting benefit.”

    Professor Stuart Bell, Head of York Law School, added: “This is a tremendous achievement and I congratulate the students on their performances. As well as outstanding individual appearances, Russell, Micha, Katharine and Robert have worked as an extremely effective team. The Moot itself is only the tip of the iceberg and follows many hours of detailed research, careful analysis of case law, and the crafting of clear and persuasive legal arguments. All of the participants have benefited greatly from the experience of preparing and performing in front of experienced legal practitioners. I am sure they have very bright futures ahead of them.”

    Further information from Lucy Wray, Press Officer, The College of Law on 01483 216072 (lucy.wray@lawcol.co.uk)