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Annual Conference: Achieving Excellence in Advocacy

14th October 2017



General Admission for one: £230.00

Members Admission: £180.00

If you’re a member please login to take advantage of the discounted rate! If you’re not, why not join?

Promoting excellence in advocacy is one of SAHCA’s aims enshrined in the constitution. SAHCA’s 2017 annual conference will provide master classes in different aspects of advocacy relevant to all advocates no matter which court is being addressed.

The SAHCA conference ‘Achieving Excellence in Advocacy’ will have an unprecedented number of judicial speakers drawn from the ranks of solicitor advocates. From the President of SAHCA, Lord Justice Hickinbottom to Circuit Judges and Recorders the contributors are uniquely placed to speak to solicitor advocates based on their own experience and achievements.  These presentations will be complemented by those from outside the law to bring a different perspective and dynamic on how excellence in advocacy can be achieved.  

Continuing Competence – CPD

Attend this conference and declare with confidence that as a solicitor advocate you have received training to maintain and enhance your advocacy skills. Although you are no longer required to complete a prescribed number of CPD hours each year you are required to reflect on your practice and identify training needs to ensure your continuing competency. This conference will address the SRA Advocacy Competencies as follows:

SRA Competency:

Comply with the formalities of the higher courts (SRA Competence Statement B5d)

HHJ Middleton-Roy will give advocates a run down of how to comply with the formalities of the court with his top twenty tips for advocates which apply across all courts. How to prepare, how to behave, how to help your tribunal at the hearing and how this can help to win your case.

SRA Competencies:

Prepare effectively by identifying and mastering relevant facts and legal principles, organise facts to support the argument, identify strengths and weaknesses from different parties’ perspectives (SRA Competence Statement B5a, B5b and B5h)

HHJ Cooper will demonstrate the effectiveness of preparing a Case Theory through case analysis and how this can help win your case.

SRA Competency:

Deal with witnesses appropriately (SRA Competence Statement B5f)

Leslie Cuthbert will provide an introduction to the acceptable approach to questioning vulnerable witnesses by explaining the 20 Principles of Questioning, part of the national training programme on Advocacy and the Vulnerable.

The SRA Competence Statement includes a requirement to:
Undertake effective spoken and written advocacy (in and out of court), including at para B5:

  1. Preparing effectively by identifying and mastering relevant facts and legal principles
  2. Organising facts to support the argument or position
  3. Presenting a reasoned argument in a clear, logical, succinct and persuasive way
  4. Making appropriate reference to legal authority
  5. Complying with formalities
  6. Dealing with witnesses appropriately
  7. Responding effectively to question or opposing arguments
  8. Identifying strengths and weaknesses from different parties’ perspectives

Humour in the Courtroom: Stephanie Davies

Stephanie will investigate humour in the courtroom, looking at successes and failures and unpicking the psychology of how it can be used a tool to engage and shift perspective.  The interactive talk will include views and discussion on the importance of continued learning and will give delegates an understanding of how socially observant humour can help reveal social truths that may diminish power.

Stephanie Davies is the UK’s most influential voice on using humour as a developmental tool. She began her career over 20 years ago in comedy and went on to study the psychology and neuroscience of humour and laughter, completing a master’s degree in behavioural psychology. Today she uses comedy and humour to deliver science-backed, effective interventions to a variety of audiences. Her work assists organisations and individuals to enhance and influence behaviours and communication.

Civil practitioners: District Judge Lethem – Working in partnership – how can the advocate assist the case managing judge? 

This talk  addresses the civil practitioners on steps that might be taken to work with a judge case managing the case to include considerations of expert evidence and skeleton arguments.

District Judge Chris Lethem has been at the forefront the changes to case management.  He is a member of the Civil Procedure Rule Committee and sits on its costs management sub-committee.  As such he has been at the heart of the rule changes that support the costs management regime.  Chris was the Course Director at the Judicial College charged with delivering training in civil law and on the Jackson reforms in 2013 including case managing.  He remains a member of the Judicial College tutor team.  He was a member of Hickinbottom and Asplin working groups on Litigants in Person and McKenzie Friends.  He was a judicial member of the Briggs Hard Working Group which recommended reforms to civil justice.  He writes and lectures extensively on civil procedure.

Criminal Practitioners: Dr L Jane Bloor, forensic expert from Keith Borer Consultants – Streamlined Forensic Reporting 

Sylvia Cohen – voice and body language expert

Sylvia returns to the conference this year to deliver a 45 minute taster session focusing on how to overcome the four main problem areas when communicating in the courtroom and delivering your closing speech. Participants may like to know that this session will be a practical one.

Sylvia’s presentation at the conference last year was described by delegates as :

  • Interesting stuff, and of use practically
  • Brilliant – very very useful tips
  • Really unusual but helpful

Olu Popoola – how to use narrative and story telling in your speech
Olu  is a forensic linguist and expert in the language of investigative interviews and courtroom narrative will deliver a 45 minute taster session on how to use narrative to structure statements, and how to use the six basic elements of storytelling to create the optimum closing speech in the courtroom.  To get the best from this workshop participants may like to bring a recent closing speech.

The cost: £180 for SAHCA members.
SAHCA is committed to providing high quality training and events to members at value for money. The Association is not profit making and delivers events at break even prices. The price for this conference has remained the same for the last three years.

The venue: etc Venues, Prospero House, 241 Borough High St, London SE1 1GA
Delegates will enjoy a dedicated conference venue with lunch and refreshments available throughout the day.


14th October 2017
Event Category:




Prospero House
241 Borough High St
London, SE1 1GA United Kingdom
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