Success for Oxford Brookes School of Law in prestigious competitions

A photo from the Commonwealth Student Moot competition
The closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Student Moot competition. From left to right: Robert Watt, J Ockenden, Monusha Nambiar (Indian mooting team), Meera Furtado (CLEA moot coordinator). Rishjvi Singh, Lekhana P (both of the India mooting team), Nafisa Binte Borhan and Fateen Farhan (both of the Bangladesh mooting team). Credit: Monusha Nambiar.

Oxford Brookes University School of Law triumphed in two prestigious competitions in the space of a week, with two of its alumni winning an international contest.

Robert Watt and J Ockenden, both recent graduates of the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) conversion course at Oxford Brookes, won the 23rd annual Commonwealth Student Moot competition while representing the UK in Goa, India, on 8 March. They defeated India in the final.

A few days later on 11 March, current Oxford Brookes students Tom Eyles and Steph Haynes won a national client interviewing competition.

Oxford Brookes School of Law mooting prestige 

Mooting is a practice that provides law students with real-life courtroom experience. The students participate in a mock court appeal hearing, arguing a point of law against an opposing team, with judges deciding the winners.

Robert and J’s victory is the third time in the last 10 years that a team from Oxford Brookes has taken part in the Commonwealth Student Moot, and the second time that an Oxford Brookes team has won it.

The aspiring lawyers earned their place in the international competition after winning the Essex Court Chambers National Mooting Competition in July 2022, the fifth victory for Oxford Brookes in that competition since 2012.

Following Robert and J’s success at the Commonwealth competition, they said in a joint statement: “We would never have imagined when we started the GDL that we would end up winning an international mooting competition in Goa. We are incredibly grateful to Oxford Brookes for giving us the opportunity, and especially to Marc Howe, Richard Benson KC and Felix Levay for their constant support and unparalleled coaching.”

Oxford Brookes students Tom Eyles and Steph Haynes’ success came in the national final of the annual Client Interviewing Competition for England and Wales. The competition, which was hosted by Oxford Brookes, gives law students the chance to take on the role of a solicitor advising their client through role play exercises. Tom and Steph were coached by Marc Howe, Principal Lecturer in Law at Oxford Brookes, and current GDL student Kate Licudi. 

Tom and Steph will now represent England in the International Client Consultation Competition, which takes place at the University of Maastricht, in the Netherlands. This is the third time in recent years that an Oxford Brookes team has won the national competition and  represented England in the international competition. 

In June 2022, Marc Howe, Principal Lecturer in Law at Oxford Brookes, and also coach to the School of Law’s victorious mooting and client interviewing teams, was named Law Teacher of the Year for 2022, a highly prestigious annual prize awarded by Oxford University Press (OUP).

Marc said: “It is a great honour to see the continued success of our current and former students in these prestigious law competitions, on both the national and international stages.

“The success that we are enjoying reflects the hard work and dedication of our students and staff in the School of Law.”