Advocates are reminded that the Annual General Meeting will be held at 10.30 at the Palace Best Western on 16th January 2015. Formal Notice of the meeting and AGM packs have been distributed (and uploaded to the website). If you have not received yours and cannot access the Members’ pages please contact us. Please reserve your table for lunch with Jacky as soon as you are able.


Merry Christmas!

The Isle of Man Law Society wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Our offices will close on 22nd December and re-open on 2nd January 2015


IOM Law Society Deemster Kerruish Endeavour Award



IOM Law Society Deemster Kerruish Endeavour Award


Former Society President, Jonathan Wild, was today the very proud recipient of the Society’s Deemster Kerruish Endeavour Award. President Kevin O’Riordan said that he felt that the award was for the Society’s unsung heros and that Jonathan had never courted publicity for the work he had undertaken on behalf of the Society. This was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate his work for the Society and the fund raising he continued to do for charity.

Mike Kerruish’s widow, Marianne Kerruish, was moved to hear Jonathan’s fond recollection of the Deemster and particularly touched by his reading of a comment, made after His Honour’s death: “There are great men, who can make every man feel small. But the truly great man, is the man that makes every man feel great.” All present felt this sum up precisely, the Deemster’s character.

The award panel comprised His Honour Judge of Appeal Geoffrey Tattersall QC; Marianne Kerruish and Kevin O’Riordan all of whom deliberated on the nominations made by the Society to determine which Advocate best deserved the honour.

Jonathan was presented with a beautiful, personalised illuminated Certificate created by local artist Colleen Corlett, which bears on its obverse, a picture of the late Deemster and some of the many positive eulogies delivered in 2010 after Deemster Kerruish’s untimely death.  


Picture: Marianne Kerruish; Jonathan Wild and Kevin O’Riordan (President of the Law Society)





Law Society holds Experts in Legal Proceedings advocacy course

Duo_BSC1152 (Medium)Law Society holds Experts in Legal Proceedings advocacy course

 The Isle of Man Law Society’s latest advocacy training programme brought together two eminent legal practitioners to deliver a course on the use of experts in legal proceedings.

 Retired QC Adrian Whitfield has appeared in many landmark clinical negligence and healthcare cases. He is a former head of advocacy at MiddleTemple and holds the AvMA (Action against Medical Accidents) 25th Anniversary award for outstanding contribution in the fields of patient safety and justice.

 Barrister Richard Samuel is a commercial law barrister and specialist in international arbitration and professional negligence. A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators he trains lawyers in arbitration advocacy around the world including Dubai, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Milan, Venice and Switzerland.

 Between them they  have considerable experience of examining and cross-examining expert witnesses.

 The programme included lectures, group exercises, demonstrations and a closing Q and A session. A wide range of expert evidence-themed issues was covered, from posing the question ‘Why do we need experts?’ to discussing differences between descriptive and opinion-based evidence, exploring the concept of a ‘lead’ expert and observing shifts in attitudes towards expert witnesses over the last 10 years.

 Mr Whitfield said: ‘In very many categories of litigation, expert evidence is required to provide information which is likely to be outside the experience and knowledge of a judge or jury, and to provide reliable opinion within the specialist field of the expert, so as  to help the judge or jury in arriving at a just conclusion. This requirement imposes a challenge on the advocate, who may well have no relevant expertise.

 ‘First, the issues upon which expert assistance is required must be identified, and then the expert or experts appropriate to the case must be found and instructed. With expert help, the advocate must then work up the case to such an extent that he understands what the expert is saying, and is able to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the case.  He should be sufficiently on top of it to be able to advise on the need, if any, for further evidence, and to formulate the case well in advance of litigation. If the matter goes to court the advocate should be able to present his own case clearly, to cross examine opposing experts effectively, and to present the argument to the judge or jury persuasively and succinctly.

  ‘With our different professional backgrounds all of us have experience of training advocates outside the United Kingdom, and during the course explored the extent to which our own experience might be helpful to those practising in the Isle of Man. It was our aim to work with and develop the existing skills of delegates, to increase their confidence and further their understanding of the essential but demanding art of presenting expert evidence.’

 Arranged by the Isle of Man Law Society, the course formed part of the Society’s career development programme designed to expose advocates to specialist legal expertise. The next training course in November will cover the responsibilities of duty advocates whilst acting as duty advocates in the police station and at the courts


Society Visits Law Society of Scotland

The President and CEO of the Isle of Man Law Society were delighted to be included in the guest list of the Law Society of Scotland at their recent post-referendum conference. The conference was attended by Scottish solicitors; politicians and representatives of  law societies from other jurisdictions. With a profession of 11,000 the volume of matters handled by the Scottish law society is considerably greater than that dealt with by our Society but the issues remain the same: professional standards; public interest and professional education and training.

We enjoy a close working relationship with the Scottish Society as we do with the Solicitors Regulation Authority in England and Wales and the Law Societies of Ireland and N. Ireland.


2014 Caroline Weatherill Lecture -QC unearths wealth of experience

Caroline Weatherill Memorial Lecture

The legal complexities of exhumation, the hanging of the Manchester Martyrs in 1867 and the crimes of serial killer Dr Harold Shipman provided much of the material for the 2014 Caroline Weatherill Memorial Lecture given by the Isle of Man Judge of Appeal, Geoffrey Tattersall QC.


His Honour first paid tribute to Caroline Weatherill who tragically died at an early age in 2006, leaving husband Lawrence, a practising advocate, and four children, describing her as ‘a very doughty advocate’ who had enjoyed the respect of her clients and colleagues.


The audience at the ManxMuseum then heard His Honour, a self-confessed ‘serial collector of part-time jobs’ draw on his wealth of experience in ecclesiastical law, personal injury and clinical negligence and as Chancellor of the Dioceses of Manchester and Carlisle to deliver a talk he had titled ‘A litany of exhumations’.


Coffins unearthed in Cumbria through flooding, a skeleton in a Bolton cellar, riots at HM Prison Manchester (Strangeways), the public hanging of the Manchester Martyrs and his involvement in the four-year Harold Shipman enquiry made for an insightful and absorbing lecture.


His Honour closed by saying how much he enjoyed his visits to the Isle of Man. It was, however, an enjoyment tempered with some reservations. ‘I’m not keen on fairies, cats and motorbikes, though,’ he said.


The evening concluded with a vote of thanks from Isle of Man Law Society President Kevin O’Riordan who presented His Honour with a set of cufflinks of a design specially commissioned by the Society and given in appreciation to each Caroline Weatherill Memorial Lecture male speaker.


The Caroline Weatherill Memorial Lecture was organised by the Isle of Man Law Society and generously sponsored by Conister Bank and advocates’ practices Appleby (Isle of Man) LLC and Cains.




George Johnson Law Prize

George Johnson Law Prize

The Society is delighted to report that Andrew Newton of Appleby  has been awarded the 2014 George Johnson Law Prize for his essay on the importance of the Rule of Law on economic development.  This essay can be read on the Law Society website. 

A presentation was made by His Honour Deemster Doyle at The Isle of Man Law Society.



2014 Caroline Weatherhill Memorial Lecture

The Isle of Man Law Society is delighted to announce that the Isle of Man Judge of Appeal, Geoffrey Tattersall QC, is to give the 2014 Caroline Weatherhill Memorial Lecture. A leading barrister in England and Wales, His Honour is an expert in personal injury and clinical negligence. In addition, he practices in the field of ecclesiastical law and holds the offices of Chancellor of the Dioceses of Manchester and Carlisle; it is from these areas of his professional life that he will draw inspiration for his lecture. While the lecture is organised by the Isle of Man Law Society, it is again generously sponsored by Conister Bank and advocates’ practices Appleby (Isle of Man) LLC and Cains. The event will take place on Thursday October 16th at 6pm at the Manx Museum, to be preceded by a reception from 5pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend. Admission is free but only upon reservation and places are limited. Bookings must be made by no later than October 1st. To reserve a place contact Jacky Lloyd,


Women in law: Isle of Man Law Society reflects on career progression and work/life balance

Issues surrounding career progression, the ‘equity gap’ and work/life balance were discussed during an informal female advocates’ business (FAB) lunch at the Isle of Man Law Society. FAB lunches are being regularly held to promote diversity at the Manx Bar, the composition of which has changed dramatically in recent years.

Hosting the lunch was the Society’s chief executive Jane O’Rourke who was joined by Kathryn Clough and Laura Monk (Callin Wild); Helen Gough (Gough Law); Sally Bolton, Nicky Merritt and Penny Rogerson (Corlett Bolton); Irini Newby (Simcocks) and Liz Parkes (Gelling Johnson Farrant).  Also at the lunch was trainee advocate Georgina Li on work placement with the Society. The second-year Edinburgh University law student said she was motivated to become an advocate, ‘because the law is the basis of how society functions.’

While the Manx Bar is changing, albeit slowly, and women now make up approx 43 per cent of the profession, there is still a tendency to speak in terms of female ‘firsts’. Clare Faulds was the ‘first’ woman to be admitted to the Manx Bar in 1973, Dr Sharon Roberts the ‘first’ female Deemster and the ‘first’ female President of the Isle of Man Law Society, appointed in 2007, while Jayne Hughes became the ‘first’ female Deputy High Bailiff in 2011.

Jane O’Rourke observed: ‘It’s become a profession where young women properly have every expectation that they will succeed in the same measure as their male counterparts. Previous perceptions were that the Bar was not particularly inclusive but we have seen a strong emergence of women in the legal profession in the Isle of Man.’

Helen Gough said: ‘When I qualified 13 years ago there were very few female advocates but that’s no longer the case.’

Kathryn Clough commented that she felt this to be particularly interesting given that this has been achieved without the imposition of positive discrimination or minimum quota policies. ‘It’s been a natural evolution,’ she said.

Although the words ‘glass ceiling’ were not mentioned, Irini Newby spoke for all those present when she said: ‘You see in law firms how there’s roughly a 50-50 male-female split until you look at the top, where there tend to be far fewer women at partner level.’ Female partner under-representation was caused in the main, she felt, ‘because many women feel they have to make a work-life choice. It’s a management challenge and a difficult choice, but that diversity, having women and men on the board, brings an important balance to a firm.’

Greater diversity at partner level could help shape practice culture. Women have been recognised in other sectors as being particularly skilful at cultivating and, importantly, sustaining long-term client relationships, observed Jane O’Rourke. ‘And women have an aptitude for seeing the bigger the picture,’ added Irini Newby. ‘Simply put,’ said Kathryn Clough, ‘Men and women bring different skills to a practice. Both are valuable and it’s the combination which benefits the client.’

‘And it’s important that clients find the right lawyer – male or female – to whom they can relate best,’ said Jane O’Rourke.

It’s never too late for women to take up a career in law. Former teacher Nicky Merritt qualified as an advocate in 2011 and, as her colleague Sally Bolton (a former librarian) observed: ‘I would always recommend anyone considering the law to get a background in another discipline first.’

‘At Simcocks, none of our trainees have had previous legal experience; I believe that brings an added dimension to the practice,’ agreed Irini Newby.

Sally Bolton summed up the mood around the table: ‘In the past I think many of us felt that in the legal profession you had “to do it better” simply because you were a woman. Things are changing, more women are entering the profession and we’re witnessing a welcome shift in the culture. Watch this space.’

– See more at:


Accountants Work with Advocates

Local accountancy practice Crowe Clark Whitehill is to deliver a workshop to Advocates on 19th May on the Accounts Rules which advocates’ practices are obliged to follow. The Society is delighted to be working with fellow professionals in this area. Members of the Society and any of their staff wishing to attend should contact the Society in the usual way.


Liz Parkes to sit on Council

Council was sorry to say farewell to Amy Jolly last week, who takes up a new post at KPMG. She leaves with the Society’s best wishes and thanks for her hard work as a Council Member particularly in the sphere of education reform. She is to be replaced by experienced Advocate Liz Parkes who has been co-opted to join Council. Council meets to determine Society business on a monthly basis and operates with the assistance of sub-committees.


Legal Aid: Proposals For Change

If you are interested in Legal Aid and access to justice you should be aware of the work of the Legal Aid Committee. This Committee has been formed to look at the policies relating to Legal Aid in both civil and criminal matters.

New proposals for change have just been issued and your views are sought. See the following link for a summary and details of the change.

Use your voice and let the Legal Aid Committee know your views. In England and Wales many people who previously had access to legal aid no longer have it. Whilst there are no similar proposals being made by the Committee at present, if you think legal aid should be protected as a valuable tool for securing access to justice make your views known now!