Primarily my civil experience has been Personal Injury, specifically RTA. I have experience in acting for both Claimant and Defendant.
This has involved me as case worker advising client in relation to the law and assessing a matter for prospect of success.
I have regularly been required to draft Claim Form, Particulars of Claim, Schedule of Special Damages, witness statements, Reply to Defence, interim applications and Part 8 infant approval court packs. I have also regularly drafted proposed directions, Direction Questionnaires and Part 18 questions etc.
In relation to Defence work I have drafted Defences and Part 20 Counterclaims.
I have relevant experience in Fast Track timetable and sanctions for non-compliance with court direction.
I have instructed experts such as engineering, medical and forensic in relation to these matters.
I have retained conduct of cases up to conclusion.
In terms of own advocacy I have undertaken;
I.CMC – Fast Track
II.Small Claims Trial
III.Part 8 Infant Approval hearings
IV.Part 8 TOLATA claim
In relation to TOLATA I have appeared before High Court with rights of audience granted on an interim application. I have also attended DJ Chambers on other TOLATA matters.
I have attended conferences and court with counsel in relation to Fast Track trial and contested TOLATA matters.
Quadrant Law September 2013 to March 2014
In 2013 I was approached by the director of Barrington Lewis Ltd t/a Quadrant Law to assist in the formation of a Newcastle upon Tyne office. This subsequently lead to me assisting in the incorporation of Carmichael & Heathfield Solicitors within Quadrant Law. I was employed as a Fee Earner and lead the civil litigation department. I would attend court as own advocate in relation to my civil law case load, on average between four to six times per month. I dealt with on average two infant approval settlements per month, which included me as file handler drafting all necessary court papers, instructing medical experts and obtaining counsels advice on quantum. My caseload included Fast Track and Multi Track claims involving complex areas of law such as credit hire and fraud.
In relation to family matters, the company is contracted with the Legal Aid Agency and in consequence I dealt with a family law case load which included child care matters, domestic violence cases, divorce and ancillary relief and private law children matters as case worker and advocate, both on a publically and privately funded basis. In addition the company also deals with a number of protection from harassment cases upon referral by the legal aid agency and other law firms in the locality.
Kingstons Solicitors August 2010-August 2011 (part time) August 2011 – September 2013 (full time)
In 2010 I was approached by one of the partners of Kingstons Solicitors to join their team as a family law consultant. In August 2011 I joined Kingstons on a full time basis as head of the family department, undertaking work as principal caseworker in respect of divorce & ancillary relief, private and public law children matters and injunctive relief on a privately funded basis. My duties included undertaking means assessment for funding purposes, identifying and advising on legal issues and drafting necessary applications and/or witness statements, attending court as own advocate in respect of District Judges appointments for both applicant and respondent work to include ex parte applications. I also undertook work as a caseworker in respect of contentious civil litigation primarily dealing with personal injury matters for both claimant and defendant/part 20 claimant. My duties included assessing credibility of client/witness and determining prospects of success, drafting claim form, particulars of claim, witness statements and other court documents, attending court as own advocate for case management conferences, infant settlement approval hearings and interim applications, briefing counsel, attending conferences and trial with counsel. I also have experience in quantifying damages using JSB Guidelines and Kemp & Kemp. I have conducted Small Claim Track trials on behalf of both claimant and defendant. I also have experience in dealing with TOLATA 1996 matters.
Carmichael & Heathfield Solicitors 2001-2011 (Full Time) 2011 – to September 2013 (Part Time)
From 2001 to 2004 I primarily undertook work as an administrative assistant maintaining office systems and records. My responsibilities also included the attendance at accident locus, taking of photographs, witness statements and plans etc. From 2004 to 2013 I progressed to a caseworker. My responsibilities included case managing criminal matters up to and including Crown Court Trial, (including those offences concerning; sexual offences against children, offences against the person, theft, fraud, robbery, high profile/value (£1m) drug conspiracy and burglary). My duties included undertaking means assessment for funding purposes, identifying and advising on legal issues and drafting necessary applications and/or witness statements, attending court as own advocate in respect of District Judges appointments for both applicant and respondent work to include ex parte applications. I have appeared before Circuit Judge and High Court Judge Chancery Division with rights of audience granted. I have also attended court and dealt with housing possession matters and benefit fraud interviews.
Territorial Army 2002-2005
In 2002 I joined the 6th Regiment of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. I was attached to the Reconnaissance Platoon with Z Company. This opportunity enabled me to experience a wide and varied range of tasks and challenges often at times under difficult situations and environments.
Internship: Regional Public Defenders Office for Capital Cases
In October - December 2012 I undertook an internship with the Regional Public Defenders Office for Capital Cases in Texas, USA. My work included assisting Defence Attorney’s preparing cases for capital murder trial, attending upon clients at County Jail and reviewing state evidence. I was also assigned cold casework to review as part of a State-wide Arson Review focusing on incorrect forensic techniques being relied upon resulting in unsafe convictions. It is envisaged that the outcome of the review would result in the exoneration and freeing of those convicted through use of “junk science”.
Inter Provider Mock Trial Competition
In May 2011 I was selected by my university to represent the Law School as part of a team of six in the annual BPTC Inter Provider Mock Trial Competition in London. This required me to prepare a criminal brief for trial and undertake cross-examination of prosecution witnesses.
Mini Pupillage Experience
February 2011 - New Court Chambers
I have spent time with Mr Roger Moore observing various Crown Court hearings to include PCMH, Sentencing and Mentions.
September 2010 - New Court Chambers
I have spent time with Mr Philip Cordery who is the only practising family law barrister at New Court. My time with Mr Cordery included attending conference, a final hearing concerning an application for a Non Molestation Order, and an application for a Declaration of Paternity.
Marshalling: March 2011 – Newcastle Crown Court, HHJ Milford
Professional & academic
July 2015: Direct Access Qualification
April 2014 to January 2015: Pupillage
Northumbria University 2011-2012: LLM – Advanced Legal Practice: Distance Learning
I Graduated in December 2012 with a Masters degree in Advanced Legal Practice. The course was studied by way of distance learning and my thesis focused on the implications of pre-nuptial agreements in ancillary relief proceedings.
Northumbria University 2010 – 2011: BPTC – Very Competent
I graduated in July 2011 attaining an average of 76%. In addition to the core subjects that I was required to undertake I elected to study Criminal Practice and Family Practice as my nominated chosen subjects.
Northumbria University 2006-2010: LLB (Hons) Law
I graduated in July 2010 having studied modules including Criminal Law, Contract Law, English Legal System, European Law, Tort, Public Law, Family Law, Employment Law, Land Law and Equity.
In September 2013 I obtained Fellowship status (F.Cilex) from the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and currently hold a practising certificate qualifying me as a Grade C Fee Earner.