Trainee solicitor Elliott Moulster is through to the final of Nottinghamshire Law Society’s prestigious Hammond Cup advocacy competition following a strong performance in the first round.
The Hammond Cup is an advocacy competition open to any local trainee solicitor, pupil barrister and paralegal. Judges are local practitioners. They look for candidates who show clarity of expression, thoroughness and, of course, persuasiveness in the arguments that they put forward.
49th year of advocacy competition
The competition is in its 49th year so many well known names have taken part in the past. VHS Fletchers and previous firms Varley Hadley Siddall and Fletchers solicitors had a strong tradition of encouraging trainees to take part in the competition.
As a result, several of the staff at VHS Fletchers have taken part. They went on to qualify as criminal defence solicitors. These include Derek Brown, Andrew Wesley, Alex Chapman, David Gittins and Lauren Manuel.
Plea in Mitigation
For the first round, Elliott was asked to present a plea in mitigation for Nelson Muntz, a character from the Simpsons. Poor Nelson found himself before the Court charged with assault by beating.
The exercise was treated like a real Magistrates’ Court hearing and so took place in one of Nottingham Law School’s impressive mock courtrooms. Although the outcome of the sentence was not announced, Elliott clearly mitigated well on behalf of his client.
The argument that he presented was clear, reasoned and sensible. The judges were impressed enough to advance him to the final.
Final to be decided on 13 April 2017
The final takes place at Nottingham Law School on 13th April. Elliott will be tasked with preparing a full mock trial as he faces his fellow finalists. The competition will be strong but we have every faith in him to bring the trophy home!
Good luck Elliott!