New Council Members Appointed

At its AGM on Friday 24 January the Society said farewell to Council Members Mark Dougherty, Lesley Webb and Dalila Ver Elst.

President, Kevin O’Riordan reminded the membership of their hard work and thanked them for their continuing support. The Society is delighted to welcome new Council Members Terence McDonald (Carter Jones McDonald) ; James Quinn (Quinn Legal) and Andrew Johnston (Associate Member, Hansard).

Council meeting dates (every 4 weeks) have been posted on the members’ calendar.

Please note that the Law Society’s office hours are 9.30-3 Monday to Friday.






New Look Conciliation Service

Ian Cochrane, former Industrial Relations adviser on the Island, is now providing the independent Conciliation Service for the Society. The Conciliation scheme has been evolving over the years to provide an effective mechanism, whereby informal service complaints against Advocates can be addressed. Ian brings to the role his considerable mediation skills and experience and is independent of the Society and its advocates. Whilst the service cannot address issues of professional misconduct or assessment of bills it can tackle issues which relate to the manner in which legal services have been delivered. Jane O’Rourke, the Society’s CEO says ” Ian’s contribution to the Conciliation Service will be of immense value. He is noted for his pragmatism and ability to see the core issues. The Society is delighted to be working with him in delivering this important service.”


Society Member works with Manx Deaf Society

Senior Advocate, Paul Beckett of Old Court Chambers has been working on a pro bono basis with the Manx Deaf Society and Gareth Foulkes to identify some of the Human Rights issues affecting disabled persons (and in particular deaf people) on the Isle of Man. Mr Beckett has identified the international human rights instruments which apply here but examines the extent to which they are actually implemented. Noting that the Disability Discrimination Act 2006 has yet to enter into force, he states in a Memorandum prepared for the Deaf Society, that it does not reflect the full range of rights which apply under IOM law by virtue of other instruments. A range of problems experienced by deaf people on the island has been identified relating to employment; education; health; access to justice including the absence of lack of training; sign language interpreters and visual fire alarms. The Deaf Society hopes that wider publicity given to these matters will enable change to be wrought quickly as people understand the barriers faced by disabled people. To read the full text of the Memorandum click here.


Conister Sponsors Advocate Training

Local company Conister is lending its support to Advocates’ Training this coming week; the Claremont Hotel is the venue for Anti-Money Laundering Training for Advocates to be run over 2 days. The Society is delighted to welcome Jonathan Fisher QC to present the training which has become a feature of the compliance programme in which Advocates are required to participate. Compliance Manager Emma Christie will be organising the event and guiding Mr Fisher with regard to any differences in the Manx and English frameworks. Both Emma and John Mitchell, the Society’s Regulatory Executive, are qualified trainers and they will be delivering further training sessions to Advocates in the week following Mr Fisher’s workshops. Advocates also have the opportunity to use the Society’s online training modules to ensure their AML skills are regularly refreshed.


UK’s Most Senior Judge Visits Island

The IOM Law Society,
working in conjunction with the IOM courts, was delighted to welcome Lord
Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, as speaker at
the 2013 Caroline Weatherill Memorial Lecture at the Manx Museum on October 11.

In a united show of true Manx hospitality the Lieutenant Governor, Adam Wood;
the President of Tynwald, Clare Christian; the First Deemster, David Doyle and
Law Society President Kevin O’Riordan entertained Lord Neuberger on his recent
visit to the Island ensuring that he was able to tour the Isle of Man Courts of
Justice buildings; the precincts of Tynwald; dine with the Manx Judiciary and
meet members of the Manx Bar at the evening lecture.

Addressing a full house in the Manx Museum’s lecture theatre, Lord Neuberger
spoke of the role of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) – the
highest Appeal Court for many jurisdictions including the Isle of Man.

In the clearest of language and in a speech full of humour, we learnt that in
2009 the JCPC moved from its home behind a dirty, shabby door at 9 Downing
Street to splendid new premises at the renovated Middlesex Guildhall on
Parliament Square in London.

There, appeals are heard before a small panel of the most senior judges.
During such hearings, the flag of the jurisdiction from whence the Appeal
comes, is displayed and Lord Neuberger spoke of “the evocative and
unmistakable three armoured legs with golden spurs making up the ancient
triseklion in the centre of [the Manx] bright red flag” when Appeals from
the IOM are heard.

Lord Neuberger advised that visitors can attend hearings of the JCPC and
painted such an attractive and inviting picture that it seems certain that some
of the audience will do so.  Noting that there may have been resistance in
some communities to important judicial decisions being taken outside their own
jurisdiction, he observed that the composition of the JCPC had begun to change
and included, on occasion, judges from outside the UK. In 2001, Dame Sian Elias
of New Zealand became the first female judge to sit on the JCPC.

With regard to decisions relating to the Isle of Man, Lord Neuberger stated
that it is in fact the Queen who formally makes the decisions on the advice of
the JCPC, although in practice it is unthinkable that the Queen would dissent
from such advice. The effect however, is that in legal terms the decision is
made by the head of the territory (in Isle of Man terms the Queen as Lord of
Man) which has both “constitutional and symbolic significance”.

In 1716 it was clearly established that appeals from the IOM could be
heard by the Privy Council although the first written reference to an appeal to
the Privy Council from the Isle of Man was in 1522 and is reported in the Manx
Law Reports 1522-1920 at page 1. Since that time a range of issues has been
decided including the denial of the Crown’s entitlement to clay and sand
in Manx inheritance estates, the appropriateness of statements of the Bishop
and a ruling on the nature of pre-nuptial agreements. More recently however,
appeals tend to have an international commercial basis with some having
“landmark” status.

The Law Society thanked its sponsors Conister Bank and Advocates’ practices
Appleby and Cains and presented Lord Neuberger with gold cufflinks. The cufflinks,
designed by the late Deemster Kerruish bear a Manx Celtic motif and are
presented to speakers of the Caroline Weatherill lecture and members of the
judiciary from time to time (a pair was presented to Deemster Kerruish shortly
before his untimely death).

Those wishing to view the full text of Lord Neuberger’s speech can do so on the
IOM Courts’ website:


Isle of Man Law Society Advocacy Training

The Society is set to welcome VIP visitors this week. Leading barristers Bernard Richmond and Simon Monty QCs will be on island to provide Advocacy Workshops to a range of Advocates and trainees. The theme for this year’s training is the potential “vulnerability” of those in the justice system. Bernard operates in the sphere of criminal law whilst Simon is a civil practitioner. Both have experience sitting as Recorders in the UK. We are delighted that they will be working with representatives from the police; prison escort service; courts and IOM Victim support. In addition Baroness Newlove, the UK’s Victims’ Commissioner will be with us to share her experiences and perspective. CEO of the Law Society, Jane O’Rourke, has welcomed this collaborative approach to training saying “Those who work in the legal system are aware that it can be more effective if we work together. Advocates have a duty to protect the interests of their clients whether that’s in the criminal courts, divorce proceedings or negotiating commercial transactions. Being aware of the needs of those in the justice system doesn’t prevent an Advocate doing his/her job to the best of their ability – it enhances their understanding.” The course will run from Thursday until Sunday. Members who wish to reserve a place should contact the Law Society.OK


New IOM Law Society Website

We are very pleased to announce the launch of our new website; along with a new look we have included some features that we hope will make visiting the site a quicker, easier and more interactive experience.  There are still some pages ‘under construction’ but we hope you can find what you are looking for!

You can always contact us direct by visiting our contact page and sending us an email.




Law Society holds deaf awareness presentation

Communications support for the deaf and their access to justice was the topic for a ‘lunch and learn’ session organised by the Isle of Man Law Society and given by the Island’s deaf champion Gareth Foulkes of the UK charity Deafway.
Central to the presentation were findings from ‘A Life Less Equal’, a research report led by Mr Foulkes and commissioned by the Manx Deaf Society.



IOM Law Society holds employment tribunal training workshop

The complexities of the employment tribunal process were explored by Deemster Sharon Roberts in a training workshop organised by the Isle of Man Law Society.

Against the background of challenging economic times and a rise in employment dispute cases the society was grateful to Deemster Roberts for sharing her extensive knowledge of tribunal hearing procedures with more than 40 members of the Manx Bar, including trainees.



IOM Law Society provides IP refresher training

Dr Who, Bacardi Breezer and Ferrari were among the references employed by solicitor Patricia Barclay of Edinburgh-based firm Bonaccord when she gave two seminars on intellectual property (IP) organised by the Isle of Man Law Society.

Drawing on her experience from her years with pharmaceuticals company Pfizer and working with scientists, often in Central Europe, in other commercial sectors, including chemicals and cosmetics, Ms Barclay explained that her seminars were designed to give ‘a flavour’ of the legal implications of trademarks, copyright, patents and licensing. As an example, referring to nostalgia articles featuring old photographs, she said: ‘Just because it’s old, doesn’t mean it’s copyright free’.