Students' courtroom takeover

(Bottom row) Students Lee Rushby and Abigail Alexander with Chris Hall from 11 South Square and (top row) Rose Smalley and Samantha Lucas from Walker Morris

Students from Notre Dame Sixth Form College in Leeds became lawyers and barristers for the day when they participated in a mock trial run by Walker Morris and 11 South Square.

The mock trial was part of a week's work experience programme designed to offer the students a realistic insight into careers in law. The 10 students spent 5 days at Walker Morris as part of the work that the law firm is running with PRIME, an organisation committed to providing work experience in the legal profession to students from less privileged backgrounds.

The week culminated with the mock trial, which was run in conjunction with 11 South Square. The students were given just over a day to study the evidence and prepare for the trial, based on a legal scenario of an intellectual property claim relating to 'copy cat branding' involving complex passing off and commercial issues. The trial was kept as true to life as possible complete with wigs, gowns and witnesses. Students had to present their legal arguments to barrister Chris Hall from 11 South Square who was presiding over the case as the trial Judge.

The students were assisted by a team of Intellectual Property lawyers and trademark attorneys from Walker Morris including Amy Galloway, Alan Harper, Rachael Hearson, Chris Hoole, Samantha Lucas, Rose Smalley and Helen Thomas-Peter.

Samantha Lucas intellectual property associate at Walker Morris said:

"This the third year we have run the scheme and we are always impressed by how well and enthusiastically the students engage with the opportunity. It’s an intensive week which provides invaluable experience in legal departments, as well as gaining advice on different entry routes into the profession.

The mock trial is always the highlight and whilst it's designed to be enjoyable, we do challenge the students and provide them with a real insight into a career in law."

Students from Notre Dame


Chris Hall from 11 South Square said:

"The students had to get to grips with some very tricky points of intellectual property law, and in a very short time. In tandem, they had to learn how to present a case in court. It was an extremely challenging task, and the students were under immense pressure. They rose to the challenge, presented their cases with clarity and enthusiasm, and carried out some skilful (and at times fierce!) cross-examination. They did a fantastic job, and the day was a tremendous success. I’m not sure whether the students or the judge enjoyed it more!”

Terry Coen, Principal of Notre Dame Sixth Form College added:

"Law is one of the most popular career choices for our students and events such as this are of tremendous benefit in giving students a realistic understanding of what a career in law involves. The strong links we have firms such as Walker Morris help us to ensure that our students not only gain top academic qualifications, but are also well prepared for the world of work."

"It was an amazing experience of which every aspiring lawyer should try to be a part of." Qamar Usman, student, Notre Dame Sixth Form College.

Students from Notre Dame Sixth Form College preparing for mock trial at Walker Morris



Walker Morris reinforces Competition Team with new appointment

Photo: Competition specialist, Shaukat Ali takes up appointment as a Director

Walker Morris has bolstered its nationally recognised Competition Team with the appointment of Shaukat Ali as a Director.

The appointment is in response to a rise in client demand for competition law advice and follows a number of senior appointments to the team over the last 18 months including Head of Competition, Trudy Feaster-Gee and Regulatory Director, Ray Watson (formerly Head of Consumer Credit at the Office of Fair Trading).

Prior to joining the firm, Shaukat worked in the competition group at several city and national practices (in London, Brussels and Leeds), where he specialised in all aspects of UK and EU competition law, including merger control, cartels / restrictive agreements, and abuse of market power.

Shaukat has acted before the UK and EU competition authorities in a wide variety of sectors such as financial services, retail, transport and construction including a secondment with Diageo plc.

Head of Competition, Trudy Feaster-Gee said:

"Shaukat is a well regarded and experienced competition specialist and we are delighted that he has joined us. His appointment continues the Firm's investment in a significantly augmented group of dedicated competition and regulatory law specialists. He is probably one of the most experienced lawyers in the country on the competition issues arising from building society mergers, and shares a focus on competition in the food and drink sectors."

In 2013 Trudy Feaster-Gee was appointed as Head of the Competition Team to work alongside Consultant, Jeremy Scholes and provide additional resource in this specialist area. Trudy comes with substantial experience including secondments with European and national competition authorities as well as in-house placements with Volkswagen UK and Lloyds Banking Group.

The Competition Team handles the full range of competition law matters across a broad range of industries including manufacturing, retail and regulated sectors.

Double honours for Wakefield Waste PFI in Partnership Awards

Wakefield Waste PFI shortlisted in two categories at national awards.

Wakefield Waste PFI has been shortlisted for the 'Best Waste/Energy/Water Project' and for 'Best Project Team' in this year's national Partnership Awards. Judged by key figures involved in private public partnerships, these awards are recognised as the highest accolade in the industry.

The nominations were in recognition of best practice in bringing the £750 million highly complex waste management project through to successful completion last year. The 25-year contract will transform the way Wakefield's future waste will be managed and has provided jobs and investment in the area.

The energy efficient solution was successful in securing £33 million in Waste Infrastructure Credits and was the first major project to receive funding from the new Green Investment Bank. The highly innovative solution will utilises a wide range of technologies to maximise the Council's ability to divert from landfill, including a new waste treatment plant at South Kirkby, which will be completely energy-sufficient.

David Kilduff, Head of Commercial at Walker Morris Wakefield Council said:

"The successful completion of the project was testament to the team working and communication between Shanks and the Council's in-house legal team, technical operation team and its external advisers (Walker Morris, AMEC and PwC). The standard of the entries for these awards is extremely high, attracting national and international nominations across a range of industries so it is a great accolade to be shortlisted."

Cllr Maureen Cummings, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment and Communities, commented:

"I am delighted we have been shortlisted for these prestigious national awards. The shortlisting recognises the excellent work we have done to achieve an effective partnership to deliver waste management in the Wakefield district, safeguarding the environment by sending less waste to landfill and creating an energy-efficient new waste treatment plant. It has taken a lot of hand work to get to this stage and being shortlisted in the PFI Partnership Awards is a huge achievement for everyone involved."

Peter Eglinton, Managing Director of Shanks UK added:

"We're delighted that the Wakefield project has been shortlisted for these awards. Our technology will help make more from waste in the District by increasing recycling, generating green energy and producing compost for land remediation and use by residents; creating a genuinely sustainable solution."

Winners will be announced at the awards dinner on 5 June 2014 at the Park Plaza Hotel, London.


Walker Morris advises TEG on acquisition

Walker Morris has advised The TEG Group PLC, the AIM listed green technology, on its acquisition of a composting operation at Hillbarton, near Exeter.

TEG which develops and operates organic composting and energy plants, bought the site from Glendale Recycling, a subsidiary of Parkwood Holdings.

The Hillbarton site is a combined In Vessel and Open Air Windrow composting facility. It has a combined capacity of 34,000 tonnes per annum and is permitted to a capacity of 50,000 tonnes per annum, allowing the potential for future expansion.

TEG were advised by a team of lawyers at Walker Morris including Graham Mackenzie (corporate) and Nick Cannon and Emma Collins (real estate).

Mick Fishwick, CEO of TEG commented:

“We are delighted to have acquired this excellent facility from Glendale. It is a high quality operation, and one that we know well as TEG installed the IVC in 2008. The plant fits well from a geographical perspective, giving the Company an outlet to service the South West of England, and we have identified some exciting opportunities for future growth.”

Jo Ratcliffe wins Women in Law award 2014

Walker Morris pensions partner scoops award in Lawyer Monthly's inaugural awards

Walker Morris Pensions partner, Jo Ratcliffe is a winner in the Lawyer Monthly's annual Women in Law 2014 awards.

The Awards, which are in their first year, celebrate and highlight the achievements of women in the legal profession across the globe.

Jo was selected for the accolade in recognition of her work in the pensions sector including her involvement with significant pensions cases, size of transactions, peer recognition and votes from Lawyer Monthly readers.

Jo is widely recognised for her knowledge of pensions and advises both companies and trustee boards. She is a member of the North East Group of the Association of Pension Lawyers and was formerly chair of the North West Association of Pension Lawyers. Jo has been ranked as a leading pension lawyer in Chambers Guide to the UK Legal Profession and Legal 500 since 2000.

Award recipients will be honoured in the special edition of the Lawyer Monthly Magazine in May 2014.

Jo has also been shortlisted for the Finance Monthly Law Awards in the category of Pensions UK. Winners of these awards will be notified in April.