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Law School students named runners up in prestigious national competition

29th June 2015

Two top law students at Northumbria University have been named runners up at the prestigious National Mooting Competition in London’s Royal Courts of Justice.

Thomas Sweeney and Laura Nelson, who are in their third year of an M Law BPTC degree, represented the University at the English Speaking Union (ESU) Grand Final, which took place on June 23.

Mooting is the oral presentation of a legal issue or problem against an opposing counsel and before a judge. It is perhaps the closest experience that a student can have while at university to appearing in court.

Thomas and Laura, both 21, were coached by barrister and senior lecturer at Northumbria University Ross Fletcher. They were presented with the Scarman Shield and were given £750 each as runners-up.

Ross Fletcher, mooting coordinator at Northumbria University Law School, said: “This is a very proud achievement for the University and the Law School, and deservedly recognises the extraordinary commitment invested by Thomas and Laura in this competition throughout the course of the academic year.”

Nicole Kapu and Duncan Graves, representing Oxford Brookes University, were crowned winners and were awarded £1,000 each as well as being presented with the prestigious Silver Mace.

All finalists were offered a mini-pupillage at Essex Court Chambers. Further cash prizes, generously donated by Essex Court Chambers, were presented to the finalists’ educational establishments, with £500 going to the University.

Mrs Justice Andrews chaired the panel of judges alongside Stewart Boyd CBE QC and Martin Griffiths QC of Essex Court Chambers. Mrs Justice Andrews praised the high standard of performance of all four mooters and emphasised that it was a difficult decision to make.

Now commencing its 44th Year, this mooting competition is one of the most established in the UK. Rounds were conducted over the winter and spring, culminating in the semi-finals at the ESU’s headquarters at Dartmouth House, Mayfair.

The National Mooting Competition is the largest and oldest of its kind in the country, receiving entries from teams from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Founded in 1972 as the Observer Moot, the competition has traditionally attracted the brightest legal minds.

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