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/ 20 May 2014

Lawson Moot

Wonu Sanda excels in the Lawson Moot!

Mooting: it sounds like an archaic and vicious “sport”. Mooting is really just a mock appeal, however it can be daunting for the participants who appear as appellant counsel or respondent counsel instructed on a fictitious case known as the “Moot Problem”. Prior to the moot, participants carry out extensive legal research and draft a formal summary of their argument, called a “Skeleton Argument”. During the moot the participants have to present oral arguments on their allocated ground of appeal to the judge, generally a legal practitioner, and also have to respond to judicial questions. Nonetheless, despite being a nerve-racking experience, mooting is also a unique opportunity to practice and develop the research, analysis and advocacy skills which are necessary for appearing in a real court.

We are proud that Wonu Sanda, Bar Professional Training Course graduate and paralegal at Hanne & Co, entered this year’s Lawson Moot. The Lawson Moot is a prestigious and long-running mooting competition named in honour of Charles Lawson QC, a renowned practitioner and judge at the Old Bailey, and is hosted by the Inner Temple Mooting Society.

The competition consisted of five knock out rounds which offered exposure to diverse legal issues, some even corresponding with aspects of the legal services offered by Hanne & Co, including:

– Whether a soap manufacturer could be said to be an employee of a beauty shop that it supplied goods to and whether the beauty shop was accordingly vicariously liable for the manufacturer’s torts (Employment law);
– Whether the Child Abduction Act could be used to prosecute a father for abducting his two children to the US (Criminal law). Although this problem focused on the criminal aspect of child abduction, there is also a civil aspect to Child Abduction which Wonu credited our resident Child Abduction expert, James Dunn, for expertly briefing her on (Child Abduction law);
– Whether a company could be estopped from resilling from a representation it made about a product it sold to a distributor (Commercial Law).

Having successfully scaled through the first four rounds, we are delighted and impressed that Wonu made it to the final. This was adjudged by none other than, Lord Hughes, a Supreme Court Judge, alongside HHJ William Davis QC and Sir David Maddison. Wonu came close to winning and was complemented by Lord Hughes on her advocacy, with His Lordship also noting that she had the most difficult argument to make of all the four competitors. Afterwards Wonu explained that “the whole experience was both enjoyable and invaluable for my professional development. It is not often one gets to make submissions to Lord Hughes on real points of law which he decided!”

Congratulations to Wonu on her mooting prowess!

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