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Early Birds and Worms

It was an honour to be part of the JLSLA panel convened to discuss the key issues facing solicitors and clients when considering litigation. Our host was Leigh Callaway of Irwin Mitchell and the seminar was chaired by Caroline Field of Fox Solicitors.


For those not in the know the JLSLA is part of the London Solicitors Litigation Association and was formed to represent the interests of junior civil litigators. It provides a forum for learning and socialising as a way to support career development. As a lapsed member of the Manchester University Geography Society (MUGS!) and former eager participant in the Lloyd’s Under 35 ‘club’, too old now, I know the value of such organisations, or networks, is often overlooked. In talking to the committee members it was fascinating to hear the story of their emergence and ascendency from the senior organisation who probably wanted to hold the reins tight! But it is an advantage for their members to be part of an organisation dedicated to their experience level (c. 5 years PQE or less). So, if you are based in London and are at the start of your career then look them up lsla/junior.


We on the panel were given strict instructions to keep what we said focused on practicalities. The event was informal and the Chair guided us through aspects of our particular subject teasing out what she considered useful to the audience. Jo Box (Brick Court) spoke about the key considerations in respect of jurisdiction (Recast Brussels regs, etc), Leigh Callaway (Irwin Mitchell) discussed solicitors obligations under the SRA Code, David Kearns (Expert Investigations) worked through surveillance and observations, and my gig was a crash course in the Third-Party funding and ATE markets.


Apparently the seminars which focus on practical issues are always very well attended so there was a reciprocal benefit for me because it is useful to be reminded of the issues our solicitor clientele face and how we can best help in respect of the funding market.


Quite an eclectic mix of topics but common themes ran through what we had to say about our respective areas. The title of the event “Well begun is half done – how to get a flying start” was apt in that the panel all agreed that when considering jurisdiction or funding, prepare well and prepare early.


Yes there were drinks afterwards, not too different from MUGS!