Cardiff team of advocates triumph at annual mock trial contest

26 November 2017

The Cardiff advocacy team - Ieuan Callaghan, Eleanor Parsons, Phyllida Spackman and Philip Sayce
The Cardiff advocacy team - Ieuan Callaghan, Eleanor Parsons, Phyllida Spackman and Philip Sayce

A team of Law students from a variety of programmes across the School recently competed in this year’s BPP Advocate of the Year (AOTY) competition.

Ieuan Callaghan (Graduate Diploma in Law), Eleanor Parsons (2nd year LLB Law & Criminology), Phyllida Spackman (GDL) and Philip Sayce (GDL) were selected to represent the School at the competition and were supported and advised by Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) lecturer, William Seagrim.

On 11-12 November, the event took place in five locations across the UK and the four students from Cardiff competed in Bristol.

The AOTY competition is a national mock trial contest which is open to all students who are yet to commence a BPTC (or LPC). The competition offers a unique chance to develop ‘real world’ legal skills in lifelike cases in a competitive arena.

The event offers competitors the opportunity to compete over one weekend as part of a team but ultimately as individual competitors in a series of four mini legal trials in an event which involves many of the best law schools in England and Wales and over 80 budding barristers / lawyers.

Each student conducted each aspect of a trial over the course of the weekend and demonstrated their range of skills in client conferencing, examination in chief (questioning their own witness), cross-examination (questioning the other side's witness) and an oral submission to a court.

The Cardiff team performed brilliantly, coming first in the Bristol heat and third overall out of 22 teams that competed nationally.

William Seagrim who supported the team said, “I would like to congratulate each member of the Cardiff team for this great achievement.  This is an excellent opportunity for students to gain experience of what it is like to be involved in a trial and I urge all students to take part if they can in future. A special mention must go to Ieuan Callaghan who came fourth nationally behind the three joint winners after losing out by a single point. All of the team were excellent and I was proud to have supported them in the run up and during the competition.”