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Mallesons makes moot point

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Cite as: (2008) 82(9) LIJ, p. 24

For some in the profession it remains a radical development, but Andrew Grech believes the public listing of Slater & Gordon will ultimately benefit the legal profession.

Young lawyers are still keen to make their mark in a 10-year courtroom competition.

The advocacy skills of two teams of young lawyers were put to the test recently, before the team from Mallesons Stephen Jaques emerged as the winner in the 10th annual LIV and Hanover Welfare Services Mooting Competition.

Sixty-four young lawyers from 16 firms took part in the competition, with the Mallesons team of Roslyn Kaye, Kim Anderson, Andrew Rodger and Mike Crawford taking on the Arnold Bloch Leibler team of Ben Hayward, Ed Russell, Jason Blankfield and Catherine Macrae in the 17 July grand final at the Banco Court.

The competition, where young lawyers advocate a legal case in front of Supreme Court judges, this year raised a record $46,800 for Hanover, a charity which provides a wide range of services to people experiencing homelessness or housing crisis. 

The young lawyers put their case to Court of Appeal president Justice Chris Maxwell, Court of Appeal Justice Geoffrey Nettle and Supreme Court Justice Ross Robson.

David Seeman from Deacons was judged the most outstanding advocate.

Roslyn Kaye, a barrister on the Mallesons team, described the competition as a challenging yet “most enjoyable experience”.

“The moot problem allowed us to address, and to think deeply and creatively about how to overcome, some fairly settled case law
in the context of a contractual dispute,” she told the LIJ.

“The team really enjoyed that challenge, and it was good to work together to prepare our arguments.”

Her co-counsel Kim Anderson said while the prospect of appearing before judges of the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court was “somewhat nerve-wracking”, it was also a motivating factor in ensuring the team was thoroughly prepared for each moot.

“The competition was great fun, and 
afforded us a rare opportunity to develop our advocacy skills in a courtroom environment,” he said.

“I would certainly recommend to other junior lawyers that they participate in future years.”

The annual mooting competition, organised by the LIV Young Lawyers’ Section, is designed to further develop individual and team skills in the courtroom.

Hanover chief executive Tony Keenan said the moot was a great opportunity to raise, among young lawyers and also among school children who were in the audience, awareness of homelessness.

“We have a very important relationship with the legal community and this is a very valuable fundraiser,” he said.

“The money raised will be used for education expenses such as excursions and books. We work hard to ensure the children in homeless families stay in school.”

LIV president Tony Burke praised those involved, saying in the 10 years the competition has been run, almost $410,000 has been raised for Hanover’s work with the homeless.

For more on Hanover, see http://www.hanover.org.au.

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