LLS Students compete on the UK’s biggest legal “stage”!

4 Lancashire Law School students headed down to London in April for this year’s William Bramwell Mooting Competition, held for the first time ever at the Supreme Court and judged by none other than President of the Supreme Court Lord Neuberger!

The teams comprised of Josiah Raphael and Sophie Piper against Alkesh Pratap Singh and Ben Whittingham and were required to present submissions on a fictional criminal scenario based on the defences of duress and automatism.

Sophie, who was declared the winner alongside teammate Josiah, said that mooting in front of Lord Neuberger was an incredible opportunity. For her, the final is one of the most significant memories of her UCLan experience: “I think we were all nervous when we first arrived, however as soon as we got to work finalising our bundles, my nerves disappeared… until I was on my feet about to address the President of the Supreme Court.

Lord Neuberger, was extremely personable to us and was nice enough to give us all individual and team feedback. This was the most memorable part of the day. It was such an invaluable experience, to have a constructive conversation with the highest judge in the U.K. Whom was commenting on our submissions, strengths and giving one to one advice.”

Josiah adds that as a law student you know that you are about to enter arguably the most competitive profession in the country, aware that you need more than just good grades to stand out. He comments: “It was amazing to be able to go out and prove ourselves on the biggest stage in the UK legal system. It is not every day you are dubbed ‘charming’ by the President of the Supreme Court! I absolutely loved the opportunity … I was privileged to be working with an extremely talented partner and the chemistry lined up perfectly. I feel like we demonstrated the importance of embracing your personal strengths and how you can emphasise them even further by working together in the right team; it’s a learning curve for sure…”

A number of Lancashire Law School students were able to watch this exciting moot and cheer on the competitors following a fascinating guided tour of the Supreme Court. Very many congratulations to all of the students who participated in the competition and were able to benefit from this unique experience.

competitors in the mooting competition



Insolvency Lawyers Association Academic Forum – competition winner 2017 – Dr John Wood

As an academic who specialises in corporate insolvency, I was thrilled to be selected as the winner of the 2017 Insolvency Lawyers Association (ILA) prize. As such, I was invited to present my paper at the Academic Forum, as the early academic competition winner for 2017. This was for the prestigious ILA Academic Forum and Annual Conference in London, which took place at the Royal College of Physicians, on the 31st March 2017. See: http://www.ilauk.org/.

The ILA which was founded in 1989, provides a forum for lawyers and academics practicing in the fields of insolvency law and restructuring practice to co-operate on matters of professional interest, to network, to share know-how, and to represent the ILA’s view to Government and to other professional bodies having an interest in insolvency law and restructuring practice. Through its objectives, it is considered one of the leading professional bodies in insolvency law.

The paper I delivered was titled, ‘Painting over the cracks: is the UK’s regulatory framework efficient in identifying and deterring opportunistic behaviour within administration?’

The paper explored how the UK, in recent years, has sought to significantly revise its approach to how Insolvency Practitioners (“IPs”) are regulated by the Recognised Professional Bodies (“RPBs”). Specifically, it examined whether the recent legislative measures are effective in dealing with the concerns regarding high professional fees and whether the existing regulatory powers are adequate to ensure that IPs act within the remit of the Insolvency Acts, SIPs, and in the spirit of the Code of Ethics. Ultimately, it questioned whether the existing regulatory framework is efficient in its purpose to identify and deter opportunistic behaviour within administration.

The ILA forum was an excellent opportunity to discuss research and to enhance my own knowledge within the field. I have since written an article based on the presentation which I hope to have published soon.


Tuition fee deja vu?

On hearing the latest Labour pledge to end tuition fees I couldn’t help thinking both “What perfect timing, but also haven’t we been here before?” Guardian http://bit.ly/2pbN2D5

The effect of invoking this particular ‘vote catcher’ can be a double-edged sword: Nick Clegg’s 2012 confession pops into mind.  Not raising fees was “a promise we were not absolutely sure we could deliver… and ‘the pledge of abolishing tuition fees overnight was not affordable’ (He felt it would take two parliaments). The subsequent negative effect on his popularity would be hard to understate. Could this be Labour’s debacle?

Equally, despite all the Labour proclamations of helping the poor, and the young, self-interest cannot be ruled out – ‘… an incentive for the young to register to vote?’ ITV News  http://bit.ly/2rSAult

The Tories said more poorer students than ever were (already) going to university. (UCAS states that in 2015 application rates for 18-year-olds living in disadvantaged areas in all countries of the UK actually “increased to the highest levels recorded.”) UCAS http://bit.ly/2s3406G

The Lib Dems said better-off students would gain most from ending fees (as has been evidenced in Scotland) Guardian http://bit.ly/2raL0ld

Call me cynical if you wish, but the more politicians evoke change, the more things stay the same. (Except the number of voters).

Dr.Kim McGuire, Senior Lecturer in Law, (and previously researcher and lecturer in Politics and Social History.) kmcguire3@uclan.ac.uk

Awards, Uncategorized

Lancashire Law School success at SJ Awards! 🏆

Lancashire Law School wins highly commended prize at prestigious industry awards ceremony

SJ Awards Commended

The University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Law School is celebrating after winning a highly commended prize at a prestigious industry awards ceremony.

The School beat off stiff competition from a host of UK universities to receive the highly commended trophy for the Solicitors Journal Legal Education Provider of the Year.

Jane Anthony, Head of the Lancashire Law School, attended the black tie ceremony, in London, with academics from the University’s undergraduate and postgraduate law courses. She said: “I felt completely delighted, thrilled and incredibly proud when our name was read out. It was a great achievement to make the shortlist of five and so to receive the highly commended award is absolutely wonderful.

“What makes this even better is the external recognition it brings. The sector leading Solicitors Journal is the biggest journal for solicitors in the country so for the University to be winning an award on this professional platform is marvellous.”

She added: “We spend a lot of time asking how can we improve what we offer to our students but this is an award which says we’re doing a fabulous job. It’s just fantastic.”

The criteria for the awards were:

  • Innovated in ‘real time’ and significantly diversified its selection of courses to meet the needs of students and legal businesses following substantial change to routes of entry into the profession;
  • Founded excellent working relationships with legal businesses and enabled vital access to the profession for students;
  • Championed and furthered social mobility/diversity efforts for aspiring lawyers;
  • Facilitated industry-leading vocational-based projects, such as law centres, charities, or pro bono work, which have made improvements to local communities;
  • Offered bespoke legal education services;
  • Shown innovation with pricing of courses.

I felt completely delighted, thrilled and incredibly proud when our name was read out.

The judging panel said: “A clear focus on alternative dispute resolution and mediation demonstrates the School’s understanding of changes within the profession and its gradual shift away from litigation. Its work trying to increase diversity and social mobility was highlighted by the judges, who also commended the launch of its pop-up advice shop and pro bono work programmes.”

The Solicitors Journal Awards are designed to highlight and celebrate solicitors, law firms, barristers, and other legal professionals who are making significant contributions to the legal services’ sector.

It was not the only recognition for the University’s Law School this year. It was recently shortlisted for the Attorney General Student Pro Bono Awards ‘Best Contribution by a Law School’ and Phoebe Dearden, a third year law student, scooped the Best Student Mediator prize at the International Mediation Competition.

SJ Awards


REACT Conference – Tina McKee


It was a great opportunity for me to attend the REACT conference on student engagement at Winchester University earlier in May.  The conference was stimulating and Winchester University was an unexpected pleasure, nestled just up the hill from the beautiful historic city of Winchester.

REACT is a multi-University collaboration working on innovative projects to promote student engagement across the Higher Education sector. There was excellent representation from Universities across Great Britain, with plenty of opportunities to share information and ideas. Many Universities struggle with student engagement, particularly with respect to ‘hard-to-reach’ students (with much debate focussed on what ‘hard-to-reach’ actually means!).  The picture that emerged was that different institutions face different challenges and that student engagement is a very complex and nuanced issue.  However, a core theme was on building capacity within the current student body to support other students and to improve the learning environment.

Continue reading


ALT Conference 2017 💼


Association of Law Teachers’ Annual Conference 2017: Foundations and Futures

Karen Buckley (Solicitor & Senior Lecturer in Law)

When my colleague, Martin Salisbury, suggested back in December that we present a paper at the ALT conference in April this year on our ‘Wills Week’ project, I readily acquiesced.  For one, it seemed a long time ahead and, two; he was willing to write the abstract.  Win Win!  He promptly got his own back on me though by going away on holiday just before the Conference and leaving me with the bulk of the presentation to prepare!   He jetted down to Portsmouth on the morning of the Conference (10 April) and met us as we were walking in to register.  We (Fiona Bledge, Janet Furness, Michael Doherty and I) had driven the five hours from Preston to Portsmouth in our hired 7 seater, affectionately known as the Fun Bus, the day before.  We arrived at 6 pm just in time for a walking tour of the historical sites of Portsmouth, a fish and chip supper and the chance to meet new friends.  For Michael, it was an annual reunion as he has been attending the ALT Conference from the year dot, or so it seems.

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Global Individual Mediator Winner!

A UCLan Student has won the best individual mediator in the International Mediation Competition 2017 for the second year in a row! A lot of hard work from both Phoebe and her tutors paid off as she triumphed against a tough field of competitors from all over the world! We are extremely proud of this fantastic achievement and humbled by Phoebe’s attitude and grace!

Phoebe has written a short post (below) about her experience in Glasgow. Continue reading