Working at Hanne & Co affords numerous opportunities to become involved in the community and the local Law Society is a particularly significant ingredient to life at the firm. I was therefore delighted to represent the firm at a recent mooting competition organised by the South London Law Society JLD at London South Bank University (LSBU). Mooting is an educating experience for law students, enabling them to employ legal research, teamwork and advocacy skills.
The two teams competing in the moot were students from LSBU and members of the South London Law Society JLD. The Law Society team included solicitor Tom Henry of Anthony Gold, paralegal Kishan Patel of Russell Cooke and myself, a trainee solicitor at Hanne & Co. The event was jointly organised and run by South London Law Society JLD Chair and solicitor Harry Dronfield of Hanne & Co and LSBU Student Law Society President Akim Tejan-Cole. We were delighted that the Honourable Mr Justice Silber accepted our invitation to preside over the event and join us for drinks before and after the moot.
The moot related to a fictitious Supreme Court appeal case involving unlawful act manslaughter resulting from the supply and administration of drugs. This area of law is highly complex due to conflicting case law and answers to legal questions are seldom clear cut. My submissions utilised obiter comments made by their Lordships in a significant House of Lords case. The students performed to a high standard and our team, who practice family, property and immigration law, rose to the challenge of exploring criminal law arguments.
Much groundwork went into the moot, including ample research and the preparation of bundles containing key authorities and skeleton arguments. LSBU represented the Appellant and our team represented the Respondent Crown, responding to appeal grounds. Each team presented submissions of 30 minutes followed by rebuttal and intermittent challenges from the judge.
As the moot was held in a courtroom setting before a High Court judge and alongside real legal practitioners it served to be greatly beneficial to the students’ learning experience. The experience of a mock trial was invaluable, as students were able to practice both advocating submissions and reacting to opponents and questions of the judge. Interesting legal arguments were put forward by both sides, in view of the complex nature of the case at hand.
The moot played out before practitioners and students alike however the star of the show was undoubtedly the Honourable Mr Justice Silber who, exercising his extensive courtroom experience, was not shy of testing the speakers.
The moot was followed by networking drinks where students had the opportunity to speak to us about our experiences. Both participants and observers enjoyed the chance to intermingle and share thoughts on the evening’s events.
Harry Dronfield was thrilled at the outcome of the successful moot, stating “Both teams performed to a high standard and were credited by Mr Justice Silber for the quality of their submissions. Special thanks to the student Law Society at LSBU, the teams and Mr Justice Silber”.
Hanne & Co looks forward to taking part in more exciting Law Society events in the future.