Centre for the Study of Legal Professional Practice
  1. Advocacy Forum
  2. Alternative Dispute Resolution Forum
  3. Civil Litigation Forum
  4. Criminal Litigation Forum
  5. Evidence and Proof Forum
  6. Legal Education Forum
  7. Legal Ethics Forum
  8. Events
Legal Professional Practice


Upcoming events

Collaborating to shape the future of sentencing research – Innovation and impact

7th November, Atkin Building

Past events

Family Arbitration - The First Five Years and its Future

The City Law School hosted a guest lecture by His Honour Judge Cryan (Hon) LLD on the genesis of formal Family Arbitration in this country, including the pivotal role of City, University of London’s Centre for Child and Family Law Reform. The lecture will explain how it was possible to establish an entirely new mode of binding alternative dispute resolution by innovation and consensus and without additional legislation. The jurisprudential basis of binding family arbitration in financial case and now in children’s disputes will be considered. The practical implications for family arbitration expanding in such a way that it will ease the burden on the courts and in many cases provide a swifter, cheaper, private and more appropriate way of resolving family disputes.

The performance of child witnesses with and without Autism Spectrum Disorders

11th May, 6.00 pm- 7.15 pm

Speaker: Dr Rachel Wilcock BSc (hons) PhD CPsychol CSci AFBPsS FHEA

Dr Wilcock is Head of the Psychology Department at the University of Winchester. Her main research interests focus on improving methods of eliciting accurate evidence from eyewitnesses, particularly those deemed to be vulnerable including children, elderly, those with intellectual disability and autistic spectrum disorder. She has published widely including an authored book, Witness identification in criminal cases.

She is currently a co-investigator on a large three-year ESRC-funded research project ‘Access to justice for children with autism’ (read the latest project newsletter) and her talk will draw on this work.

Perceptions of Wellbeing in Law Teachers and Students

Tuesday 5th April, 10.00am

The Society of Legal Scholars, The City Law School and the University of Portsmouth present a workshop hosted by the Professional Ethics Forum and Legal Education Forum of City’s Centre for the Study of Legal Professional Practice.


  • Professor Paula Baron, La Trobe University, Australia
  • Professor Nigel Duncan, City, University of London, UK
  • Dr Colin James, Australia National University
  • Caroline Strevens, University of Portsmouth, UK
  • Dr Clare Wilson, University of Portsmouth, UK

The aim of this workshop is to bring together academics from UK and Australia with research expertise in wellbeing, professional identity and ethics to evaluate and discuss the most recent research findings on wellbeing in both legal academics and law students. Australia is ahead of the UK in recognising the need to discuss, research and address mental health of staff and students using principles of positive psychology (Baron, 2007; Field, Duffy, and Huggins, 2015). Legal academics should understand and manage their own psychological wellbeing if they are to support wellbeing in their students.

Events archive

Past events in 2016

ADR: a platform for party autonomy or the privatisation of justice?

Monday 31st October 2016 6pm

Lecture Theatre, Atkin Building, Gray’s Inn

The use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is growing rapidly. Based on the principles of contract law, options such as arbitration and mediation allow parties to control the process through which a civil dispute is resolved in a flexible way. Party autonomy is highly valued, not only in relation to resolving commercial disputes, but across a range of legal areas. In the modern world there may be attractions in shifting from an adversarial system towards one that gives more control to those who are involved in disputes, and contractual principles provide a sound basis for this.

However, problems with the shift towards ADR have been identified by a range of commentators, for example as regards the need to protect the public development of precedent in the common law system. This lecture raises further questions about the interface between litigation and ADR – how can we best balance party autonomy and the development of an effective framework of legal rights as we move towards a world where legal disputes may increasingly be resolved online, while higher value disputes may be settled by private agreement?

About the speaker:

Professor Susan Blake is an Associate Dean (Education) at The City Law School. Her writing and research focus on Civil Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution, and she teaches primarily on the Bar Professional Training Course (the BPTC) and the LLM (Master of laws).

Watch Susan Blake's lecture

Read the paper ADR - Party Autonomy or the Privatisation of Justice.

Health Justice Partnership - Multi-Disciplinary Practices Research Evidencing Working Ethically To Ensure Reach To Those In Most Need & Improve Outcomes

Tuesday 13th September 2016 6pm

Lecture Theatre, Atkin Building, Gray’s Inn

This presentation will examine the emergence of Health Justice Partnerships (HJP) in Australia and will discuss some of the ethical dilemmas and resolutions of these dilemmas that have emerged during my action research evaluations. A Health Justice Partnerships (HJP) sees a partnership between a legal assistance (or legal aid) service and health services (including allied health services).  Empirical research sees unresolved legal problems lead to poor health outcomes. In Australia and the UK those most likely to have multiple legal problems are the poor and disadvantaged and figures say only 13% - 16 % get help. In HJP the focus is on problem solving for client/patients with often complex and multiple problems and solving these in a holistic way through integrating legal and non-legal services to enable client access and seamless assistance. This presentation will also discuss the ethical issues and how these have been resolved due to the holistic client focus of all the professionals in the HJP examined.

About the speaker:

Dr. Liz Curran is Senior Lecturer at the Australian National University and a Visiting Scholar at City Law School.

Watch a video of Liz's lecture

Professor Peter Hungerford-Welch's Inaugural Lecture: "Abuse of Process: An Effective Safeguard in the Criminal Justice System?" - 23 May

Criminal proceedings may be 'stayed' if either it would not be possible for the defendant to receive a fair trial (for example, because of excessive delay) or it would not be fair for the defendant to be tried (for example, because of serious misconduct on the part of the prosecuting authorities).

This lecture will examine some of the ways in which criminal proceedings might amount to an abuse of process. The session will then evaluate whether the power of the court to stay proceedings for this reason (as that power has been interpreted in case law) offers an adequate safeguard against unfairness towards those accused of criminal offences, and what might be done to improve its effectiveness in so doing.

About the speaker:

Professor Peter Hungerford-Welch, is City Law School's Assistant Dean (Head of Professional Programmes), overseeing the Bar Professional Training and Legal Practice courses. Before joining City Law School, Peter practised as a barrister, predominantly in criminal work.

Teaching Legal Ethics UK Workshop - Different learning approaches, Values and Wellbeing - 4 March

This event contained four interactive workshops and an opportunity to consider future activities of this community of practice.

Read the full report of this workshop.

The Real Ethical Dilemmas for new Entrants to Commercial Firms - 19 January

An expert panel discussed  case studies that address the real problems that trainees are likely to encounter in the early years of commercial practice.

Read our top ten tips for trainees.

Past events in 2015

The role of arbitration and mediation, and training as an Arbitrator a talk by The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators

Recording of the lecture.
This talk will guide you through the value of arbitration and mediation in legal practice, and the process and stages of training as an arbitrator. Even if you do not work as an arbitrator, the training can provide substantial insight into appearing as a lawyer in an arbitration case.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Forum
October 2015

“The Trouble with Lawyers”, Misconduct and the failure of regulation of the US legal profession (Lecture)

A lecture by Professor Deborah L Rhode, director of the Center on the Legal Profession, and the director of the Program in Law and Social Entrepreneurship at Stanford University.
Legal Ethics Forum
July 2015

Opening Doors and Removing Glass Ceilings - Widening Participation in the Legal Professions (Conference)

This conference considered a variety of issues related to access to the legal profession for those aspiring to a legal career. The keynote speaker was Paul Johnston, Secretariat Director of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, and participants on Panels included a wide range of stakeholders in the issue.
Legal Education Forum
July 2015

Current Developments in Immigration & Asylum Practice and the Effects of the Legal Aid Cuts

Lecture by S Chelvan, of No 5 Chambers, and Gabriella Bettiga, Head of Immigration Department, Lawrence Lupin Solicitors.
Civil Litigation Forum
April 2015

Teaching Legal Ethics UK Workshop

Workshops during the event included:

  • "Funding the Teaching Legal Ethics Community " with Nigel Duncan and Tony King
  • "Developing the International Forum for Teaching Legal Ethics and Professionalism " with Nigel Duncan
  • "Ethics and the Paralegal: legal education for level 3 students " with Caroline Gibby
  • "Swearing oaths... professionally: Using the judicial oath as a lens for considering oaths for barristers, solicitors and ... law students " with Keren Bright

Anonymous Witnesses in Criminal Trials and Human Rights, comparing English and Italian approaches

A lecture by Marianna Biral, PhD student, University of Trento Faculty of Law, Visiting Scholar, City Law School. Chaired by Professor Adrian Keane, City University London.

Past events in 2014

Anonymous Evidence in Criminal Proceedings

Presented by Marianna Biral, PhD student, University of Trento Faculty of Law, Visiting Scholar, City Law School. Chaired by Professor Adrian Keane, City University London.

Evidence and Proof Forum
December 2014

Access to Justice After the Legal Aid Cuts: A conversation with...

Solange Valdez (Ealing Law Centre), Francis FitzGibbon QC (Doughty Street Chambers) & Rachel Marsh (LawWorks). Chaired by Professor Andy Boon (City University).
Legal Ethics Forum
November 2014

The Professional Decision Making of Lawyers Providing Legal Aid in Asylum Procedures: A Comparative Case Study in the Netherlands, England and France.

Presented by Tamara Butter, Ph.D. candidate Institute for Sociology of Law, Radboud Unviersity Nijmegen .
Legal Ethics Forum
November 2014

Voice Coaching

Presented by Debbie Chatting (MA Voice Studies). Debbie trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and specialises in coaching for film and theatre, and Voice for the Lawyer. Exploring tone, pitch, resonance and clarity, this was an introduction to how to look after and optimise your most important communicating device - your voice.

Watch a recording from the event
Advocacy Forum
October 2014

Opinion Writing: What clients want...and what they don't

Presented by Michael Lerego QC (Former Head of Fountain Court Chambers and Recorder in the Crown & County Court). The talk discussed what lay clients and professional clients expect from their barrister's advice, how that advice should be presented on law and fact, and what the advice should not contain.

Watch a recording from the event
Civil Litigation Forum
October 2014

The Collateral Evidence Rule: a Sad Forensic Fable involving a Circus, its Sideshow, Confusion, Vanishing Tricks and Alchemy

Presented by Professor Adrian Keane, City University London.

Watch a recording from the event
Evidence and Proof Forum
October 2014

Training as an Arbitrator

Watch a recording from the event
Alternative Dispute Resolution Forum
October 2014

Sentencing: Academic & Practitioner Perspectives.

Presented by the Centre for the Study of Legal Professional Practice and the Sentencing Council of England and Wales. Discussion of the use of Sentencing Council Guidelines and possible revisions to those Guidelines, for example Reduction in Sentencing for Guilty Pleas, and Sentencing Young Offenders.
Criminal Litigation Forum
July 2014

6th International Legal Ethics Conference - Legal Ethics at a time of Regulatory Change

Presented by The City Law School and the International Association of Legal Ethics. Read more about the conference.
Legal Ethics Forum
July 2014

Judicial Accountability: Finding the Thresholds

A presentation of a paper by Suzanne Le Mire, of the University of Adelaide, on the subject of judicial accountability.
Legal Ethics Forum
July 2014

Trust in the legal adviser: client relationship

Presented by Paul van Reesch, VP Legal, Coca Cola Enterprises.

May 2014

Electronic Disclosure and The Jackson Reforms

Civil Litigation Forum
March 2014

Introduction to Commercial Awareness

Presented by Linda Jotham
Legal Education Forum
March 2014

Street Identifications: Reliability and Effect

Andrew Roberts, University of Mebourne & Dr Josh Davis, University of Greenwich. Chaired by Professor Adrian Keane, City, University of London. The speakers considered research findings relating to street identifications and subsequent Video Identification Procedures and explore whether it is time to rethink belt and braces paternalism.
Watch a video recording from the event
Evidence and Proof Forum
January 2014

Past events in 2013

Current Issues in Litigation in the USA

Criminal Litigation Forum
November 2013

Voice Coaching Lecture

The best advocate needs to understand and use the voice effectively to engage and persuade their audience.
Speaker: Debbie Chatting, (MA Voice Studies) trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and specialises in Voice for the Lawyer.
Advocacy Forum
October 2013

Applied Legal Storytelling Conference

The fourth biennial Applied Legal Storytelling Conference. Applied Legal Storytelling goes beyond traditional Law and Literature concepts to explore the role of narrative in law practice, judging and teaching.
The popular conference series fosters innovative collaboration and invigorating dialogue about the use of story across the spectrum of lawyering skills. It brings together academics, judges, and practitioners to explore the role of narrative in legal practice and to discuss curricular strategies that will prepare students to use story and narrative as they enter the practice of law.
Advocacy Forum
July 2013

The Jackson ADR Handbook Book Launch

Launch of The Jackson ADR Handbook by Susan Blake, Julie Browne and Stuart Sime (Oxford:OUP 2013) was launched at the Royal Courts of Justice.
The launch featured a key note speech by the Right Honourable Lord Dyson, Master of the Rolls.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Forum
May 2013

Civil Justice Reforms 2013

Professor Sime, CPD training for solicitors and barristers
Civil Litigation Forum
May 2013

Publication of Blackstone's Guide to the Civil Justice Reforms 2013

Civil Litigation Forum
March 2013