In response to increasing client demand, five solicitors from Manchester-based Beachcroft LLP are to start an in-house advocacy course. The specialist training will lead to a qualification that enables the solicitors to appear before all Courts in the same way as barristers.
Solicitors Lindsay Bowskill, Alexandra Puddy, David Fildes, Paul Roberts and Kelly Heath are hoping to achieve the Higher Rights of Audience, "All Courts" Qualification by the end of the year. The firm will then have approximately 40 solicitors with the qualification - one of the highest numbers of Solicitor Advocates in the country.
"I deal with road traffic crime as well as defendant insurance litigation, but I currently have to instruct Counsel to handle the preliminary hearings in the Crown Court," says solicitor Alexandra Puddy. "Having this qualification will enable me to prepare cases and then appear at hearings, including trials, resulting in an additional offering to clients."
Commercial litigation partner, Peter Southeran comments: "We are one of a very small number of firms to be accredited by the Law Society to provide the training in-house. This reflects our commitment to this area of practice and means we can supervise the process within our own offices, which we feel produces a better result.
"Solicitors who have this qualification can offer clients real added value, so we are actively encouraging people from across the firm to take part. It ensures we can offer clients a complete service that not only includes advice and preparation, but presenting the case in court. The training also helps develop confidence in our solicitors, as well as a more strategic understanding of cases."
In addition to the five Manchester-based solicitors, seven lawyers from Beachcroft's Leeds office will also take part in the course.
For more information, please contact:
Debbie Garritty/Emily Goehler, Bell Pottinger North
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Tel: 01625 506444
Notes to editor:
Beachcroft LLP (formerly Beachcroft Wansbroughs) is one of the largest national commercial law firms in the UK. With over 1,400 employees, it provides legal advice and litigation services from seven locations in the UK (two in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Winchester) and also in Brussels. From routine insurance claims management to 'trusted adviser' work for major national and international organisations, the firm delivers integrated legal services to clients in six main industry groups: health and public sector; real estate and construction; financial institutions (including the insurance industry); consumer and industrial goods and services and technology and telecommunications.
The firm has received a number of industry accolades in the last year. Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession 2007, recognised 65 Beachcroft partners as leading lawyers, ranking the firm at number 16 in the UK, up from 19 last year. In Legal 500, a guide to the top 500 lawyers in the UK, the firm received a Tier 1 ranking for 17 of its practice areas across the UK. In Legal Week's client satisfaction survey, the firm came second amongst all law firms in the UK. Beachcroft is one of the largest law firms in the country to obtain the 'Investors in People' award across all of its offices.
The Manchester team currently includes 19 partners and 198 staff. Its partners have particular expertise and experience in commercial litigation, commercial property, injury/risk, professional indemnity, corporate/commercial and employment law.
For further information, please visit: www.beachcroft.co.uk