Wolfson College Owls Moot

First year affiliate lawyer, Alex Bradley-Sitch, describes the Wolfson College Owls Moot…

Mooting, to those who have never participated in the exercise, has a shroud of mystique around it: the intricacies and formalities can be intimidating. The apprehension of standing up in front of a judge can make the task of preparing a bundle and a speech seem insurmountable. For those of us who came into law at Cambridge as affiliated students, this truth is all the more frustrating knowing that the beginners’ moots (the ‘Fledglings’) are going to include subjects from Part 1A of the tripos which won’t be studied for another twelve months.

Against such a backdrop, the Wolfson College Owls Moot, kindly sponsored by Fenners Chambers, Cambridge, could not be more welcome. Aimed specifically at mature and affiliated lawyers, and based only on subjects covered in that peculiarly arranged syllabus, the Owls Moot established Wolfson as a centre for mature and affiliate lawyers across the University. Organised by final-year affiliate and Wolfson Law Society President, Stephanie Wickenden (in photo), illustrious Wolfson alumni returned to judge the competition: Chris Buckingham (Barrister Enterprise Chambers, LLM 2012), Millie Polimac (Pupil Barrister Five Paper, LLM 2012) and Emmanuel Sheppard (Pupil Barrister, 3 Verulam Buildings, BA affiliate 2012).

The case presented involved a Mr Schwannhasser, a nostalgic alumnus and rowing star of St Einhorn’s College, Bridgeford University. Following a successful win in a boat race, this excitable claimant joins a group of students in celebrations and finds himself photographing the victors...as they mount a giant steel unicorn statue. However, the celebrations turn sour as Mr Schwannhasser is injured by the toppling statue and legal proceedings are brought against the College. The key points of law involve negligence and the Occupiers’ Liability Acts.

The overall winner, George White (Jesus), balanced rhetorical flourish with finely-honed reasoning, coming first out of some twenty advocates. Group winners, Gavin Bennison (St. Johns’), Karishma Sundara (St. Edmunds’), Richard Wayman (Magdalene) and Jasmine Jimenez (Lucy Cavendish) particularly impressed the judges. Max Kasriel (Wolfson) also received a commendation prize for strong performance and confident presentation.

The opportunity to moot as a student is an invaluable experience for any budding lawyer. The Wolfson Law Society would like to thank Fenners Chambers for their generous sponsorship and welcome contact from alumni interested in involvement with the 2013 Owls Moot and other Law Society events.  Email alumni@wolfson.cam.ac.uk