Posts belonging to Category News

Public Defenders’ Scheme

The President of the Isle of Man Law Society raises concerns about the proposed introduction of a Public Defenders’ Scheme.

Please see link for full Press Release .

The Law Society must promote the interests of the public in relation to legal matters as laid down in the Advocates Acts 1995.  The Council of the Law Society are very concerned about the proposal for a Public Defenders’ Scheme and outlined their concerns to Tynwald in a briefing paper.  Please see attached link for a copy of the paper that was sent to all members of Tynwald and details the concerns of the Society. Briefing Note .

The President speaks out:  The President of the Law Society raises concerns about the proposed Public Defenders Scheme on Manx Radio.  Please see attached link to full interview and Mannin Line broadcast.  &  


Law Society AGM 2017

Law Society AGM 2017

The Law Society held its Annual General Meeting on the 13th January 2017 at the Palace Hotel. A packed agenda led to lively debates on a number of issues. It was good to see such a large turnout with many of the Society’s members taking part in the discussions.

This year Mr Simon Cain stepped down after serving two years as President and many years on Council. Simon was replaced as President by current Vice President Jane Gray. Irini Newby was elected as Vice President and for the first time both positions are held by women. Jane is only the second female President in the Society’s history. Completing the changes, Mr Tim Swift was unanimously elected to Council. Congratulations to Jane, Irini and Tim.

The AGM was followed by lunch and drinks where members were able to meet with colleagues in an informal setting.

The Society should like to thank Simon and Council for all the hard work of the past year.

The first meeting of the new Council will take place on the first Thursday in February. Should members have issues to raise please contact Jacky or Juan at the Society who will present your communication to Council.


2016 Law Society Biennial Dinner

Law Society Biennial Dinner 

The Law Society held its Biennial Dinner on the 7th October at the Palace Hotel.  Invited guests, including his Excellency the Lieutenant Governor and the Isle of Man Judiciary, joined the Island’s advocates in an evening celebrating the work of the Society over the past two years.  The President, Simon Cain, spoke eloquently of the work undertaken by Council and was able to proudly refer to his father, Deemster Cain, a past President of the Law Society.


The evening was rounded off with comedy guest speaker Rob Woodward entertaining all.


2016 Sir Michael Birt Caroline Weatherill Memorial Lecture


Sir Michael Birt Presents the Caroline Weatherill Memorial Lecture


The Isle of Man Law Society was pleased to welcome Sir Michael Birt as its guest speaker on the 13 October 2016.   Sir Michael was appointed Attorney General of Jersey in 1994 before being sworn in as Deputy Bailiff in 2000 and Bailiff in July 2009.   Sir Michael met His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor, the Isle of Man Judiciary, advocates and members of the public for canapés and drinks before presenting his lecture on the power of the UK to legislate for the Crown Dependencies without consent – fact or fiction.  The lecture was very well received by a packed Manx Museum lecture theatre and was followed by a questions from the audience ending with a rapturous round of applause.


Click here to read the lecture:  2016 Sir Michael Birt



George Johnson Law Prize 2016

img_8720_edited-1Congratulations to Alexander Armstrong on being awarded the 2016 George Johnson Law Prize.  The Award was presented by His Honour Deemster Doyle to Mr Armstrong who was accompanied by colleagues from Callin Wild.


His Honour Deemster Doyle said “Before I make the formal award of the George Johnson Law Prize for 2016 I would like to say a few words about the history of the prize.


The prize was established in 1943 in memory of George Sayle Johnson, a former President of the Isle of Man Law Society, with the objective of encouraging the study of law.  The prize has a long and distinguished history.  It is a great honour to win it.  There was a lot of first class competition for the prize this year.


The prize this year goes to Alexander John Armstrong for his thought-provoking essay on “Will advocates and judges be replaced by computer-based services in the future?”  which persuasively argued that human judges and advocates have a future – that’s a relief.  We must all make proper use of modern technology but it would appear that human beings, giving advice as advocates and making decisions as judges, will be around for some time.


The essay shows that the author has indeed studied the relevant subject in detail and that the objective of the prize has been satisfied.


Congratulations Mr Armstrong.”


Click here to read the winning entry 2016 Alexander Armstrong.



Social Committee/YLA

Congratulations to the Social Committee who took part in the KPMG Relay on Friday 24 June in support of Wish Upon A Dream. The team finished in an impressive 9th place out of 84 Teams.  Meanwhile the Young Lawyers took part in the Children’s Centre Rounders Championship.  Whilst we do not have statistics on their performance, a lot of fun was had raising money for this good cause.


Kevin O’Loughlin pens winning essay

Congratulations to Kevin O’Loughlin on being awarded the 2015 George Johnson Law Prize.

Presenting the award His Honour Deemster Doyle said Mr O’Loughlin’s submission dealt with a difficult subject “in a mature way” and went on to say, “the author had studied the relevant law in details and the objective of the prize had been satisfied.”

The winning essay was called Is insolvency different? A discussion of the decisions of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Singularis Holdings Limited v PwC.

Founded in 1943 in memory of George Sayle Johnson, a former president of the Isle of Man Law Society, the award seeks to encourage the study of law and establish a bank of authoritative Manx jurisprudence through the submission of an academic paper.

Kevin said “The essay topics were very interesting this year, and I am very pleased to have been selected for this award.”

With so many entrants for this award, and given the high standards, Kevin’s achievement is very well earned.  It is pleasing to see this competition growing from strength to strength and I now look forward to the 2016 George Johnson Law Prize.

Click here to read the winning entry 2015 Kevin O’Loughlin


New Council Members

We are pleased to announce that following elections on Thursday 6th August 2015 Vicki Unsworth and Colin Bird were elected to Council.

Vicki is Manx born and bred and qualified as a Manx Advocate in March 2007.  In November 2012 Vicki set up Advocates Smith Taubitz Unsworth Ltd, with Hazel Smith and Darren Taubitz, a specialist Litigation Practice; Vicki specialises in Civil and Commercial Litigation.  Vicki has served on the education committee where she has put in a lot of work assisting the students in their studies and training.  Vicki is a former Island Games medallist in gymnastics, is married and has three pet tortoises.

Colin works for Maitland where he has been a partner since 2005 having joined in 1998. He is experienced in the establishment and restructuring of offshore investment funds, commercial transactions, and trust and company law. He acts as the representative of corporate trustee companies and is an experienced director having served on the boards of mining and natural resource companies, e-commerce companies, investment holding companies, intellectual property holding companies and investment funds. Colin is also involved with transactions in works of art held in private collections.  Colin is a member of the Law societies in South Africa, England and Wales, an associate member of the Isle of Man law society and a member of the Institute of Directors, England.  Colin previously served on Council for 11 years from 2001 – 2012.

Vicki and Colin bring a wealth of experience to council which will be of a great benefit to the society.




New C.E.O. Appointed

Council is pleased to announce that Juan Moore will take up the full time role of Isle of Man Law Society Chief Executive Officer on Monday June 1.

Juan, who is from Douglas, holds a Law and Accountancy degree, is a member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators and has in excess of 20 years administrative and accounting experience working primarily in the fiduciary sector, managing complex structures for high net worth clients sitting on the board of a number of client companies. He also has had two spells in our own profession in an accounting function although at the start of his career he was with the civil service and for those who can remember the days of manuscript markings one of his earliest jobs was at the Attorney General’s Chambers where he used to mark up legislation with hand-written amendments!

In making this appointment Council was conscious of the fact the Society has evolved in recent years. We have listened to what Members want from their Society and considered the needs of the profession.

The principal purpose of the CEO role will be to implement the decisions of Council. In consequence, Council members and the President in particular, will have a raised public profile in representing the face of the profession externally.

Juan will be building on the strong foundations laid over the past five years, which have seen the Society recognised as an effective and credible regulator and supporter of the profession. As we move forward in the context of increased external scrutiny, we continue to be confident that the Society has embraced sound principles of governance and a framework of proportionate regulatory standards.


Geoff Karran MBE Recommended for Tynwald Honour

Congratulations To Geoff Karran MBE!

The Society’s congratulations go to former IOM Law Society President Geoff Karran for the recognition of his outstanding contribution to Manx life. The Tynwald Honours Committee has recommended that he be awarded the prestigious Tynwald Honour on 6th July 2015.
For more details of the extraordinarily long list of his achievements please see Tynwald Honours Committee – First Report for the Session 2014-2015 [PP No 2015/0041]


Congratulations! Gough Law achieves Lexcel Accreditation

Congratulations go to Gough Law who have achieved Lexcel accreditation from the Law Society of England and Wales. This is the first Manx practice to achieve this arduous certification.

Lexcel is a legal practice quality mark for excellence in legal practice management and excellence in client care. To acquire and maintain accreditation, practices must develop consistent operational efficiencies and client services, manage risk effectively, reduce costs and promote profitability.

Seven different areas are subject to scrutiny and assessment: structure and strategy, financial management, information management, people management, risk management, client care, file and case management.

Alan Gough, Director, explained that the process of obtaining accreditation was robust and the exercise was of significant value to the practice.


Panel Deemster List Extended

The Society was delighted to be advised that senior Advocate Hazel Smith has been appointed a Panel Deemster. Ms Smith has considerable experience in the field of family law, which will greatly contribute to the work of the Courts and those they serve. She joins the ranks of other practising Manx Advocates who also serve as Panel Deemsters, called upon when needed to assist the work of the permanent judiciary. This creates a body of valuable, local judicial experience within the profession.


Society Joint Training Initiative

On  2nd February the Society is hosting multi-agency training to address the new Public Law Protocol introduced by Deemster Roberts in respect of family matters.

Judges, court staff and social workers will attend together with Advocates.

The Society is delighted to welcome UK Barrister, Clive Baker of 7 Harrington Street Liverpool who is also the Chair of Merseyside Family Justice Council.




New President & Council Elected

At the Society’s 2015 AGM, Advocate Simon Cain of Appleby was appointed as the incoming President, replacing retiring President Kevin O’Riordan of Kelly Luft.

Other new appointees included Jane Gray of Dickinson Cruickshank (Ramsey) who was appointed as Vice-president in place of retiring Vice-President Paul Kerruish of Kerruish Law.

The new look Council has the following members:

Terence McDonald of Carter Jones McDonald

Peter Clucas of Cains

Walter Wannenburgh of Dougherty Quinn

Andrew Bridson of  Bridson Halsall

Kathryn Clough of  Callin Wild

Irini Newby of Simcocks

Andrew Johnston (Associate Member) of Hansard

Chris Webb remains as the Society’s Treasurer  and Gillian Christian remains as Honorary Secretary.

Internal Auditor Alan Gough of Gough Law remains in office and retiring Internal Auditor Tom Maher was replaced by Stephen Dougherty of Dougherty Quinn.

New Trustees for the Society’s Charity People In Need were appointed with Robert Jelski of Dickinson Cruickshank (Ramsey) and Mark Humphrey of Long and Humphrey stepping in to replace retiring Trustees Walter Wannenburgh and Peter Clucas.

Thanks were extended to all retiring from office who have worked so enthusiastically on behalf of the profession.




Happy New Year!

The Isle of Man Law Society wishes you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015. Our offices are open on 2nd January until 4pm and normal working hours are resumed on January 5th



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!



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’.