Boys & Maughan University of Kent Law School Civil Advocacy Competition

Matt Champ, a non-practising barrister and Chartered Litigator and Advocate at Boys & Maughan, organises the Civil Advocacy competition which started in November 2017.

Elliot Simmonds won the 2021 Kent Law School Boys and Maughan Solicitors Civil Advocacy competition. Elliot, centre of the photo below, was complimented on his exceptional case preparation and faced strong competition from fellow finalist Morton Thornton, bottom right of the picture, who continued to be eloquent under pressure in the final which took place on 26 March 2021.

Elliot and Morton coped extremely well with the challenges of mooting via Zoom, which was necessary due to the country being in lockdown, before Boys & Maughan litigation partner Matt Champ and barristers Ben Leb, Stuart Snow and Dr Thomas Richardson of Stour Chambers. 

Ebun Adeniran won the inaugural Boys & Maughan Solicitors Civil Advocacy Competition at the University of Kent’s Law School Mooting Chamber on 18 January 2018.

Ebun was in her final year of study at the University and demonstrated considerable composure and persuasiveness before a mock Court of Appeal with Lord Justices Champ, Austin and Laleng sitting.

The 2019 competition winner was Matthew Thomson. Matthew faced strong competition from fellow finalist Peteche Bethell. 

Ebun’s opponent in the 2018 final, which took place on 17 January 2019, was Stanislaw Braminski who also mooted exceptionally well.

The 2020 winner was Gintare Baranauskaite (second left in the picture below). Gintare narrowly beat fellow finalist Zoe Salisbury.

In the final and qualifying rounds each student has 15 minutes to address the court and an opportunity for a five minute reply.

With fierce competition for pupillages and training contracts, mooting is an essential experience, particularly for students who want to become barristers or solicitor advocates.

In addition to the courtroom experience Boys & Maughan arranges for a number of its experienced lawyers and recruitment decision makers to be present at the final each year, so the students can network, pitch for jobs and seek careers advice.

Matt Champ explains: 

"Law students are told one thing regardless of the path they choose. It is hard, it is competitive and you have to want it more than anything. Unfortunately, you do not appreciate the true extent of that until you actually get to the stage of applying for training contracts and pupilages.

"The key is to demonstrate that you are different from your peers and you have the grounding on which to expand the skills that are needed to becoming a lawyer who is worth their salt.

"I designed this competition to give some of the brightest students in Kent, the opportunity to see what sort of thing they are going to be doing when they get on their feet once they have qualified. Traditional mooting has its place but it is nothing like what happens in a court room.

"Students are exposed to the Civil Procedure Rules (“CPR”) for the first time which is certainly not within their comfort zone or anything taught on their degree, and asked to think on their feet. They are questioned by experienced legal practitioners including litigators, barristers and retired judges to get them thinking about the broader legal picture in a way that traditional mooting simply cannot replicate.

"To be able to say that a student has won a competition designed by one of the largest regional law firms on applications contained within the CPR and to have persuaded seasoned practitioners will be invaluable. This is the only competition of its kind in Kent and will go some way to making the students stand out.

"I should also mention, we have a great deal of fun in the process."

2021 final (above)

2020 final (above)

2019 final (above)

2018 final

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.