26th April 2002
High-flying student lawyers from the University of Lincoln have won through to the semi-finals of the prestigious Blackstone’s mooting competition, knocking out the favourites in the process.
Paul Verrico and Peter Ward followed up their success in winning The Negotiation Competition last month by defeating University College London on Wednesday evening.
The pair had beaten the University of Essex and University College Northampton to reach the quarter-finals, where they defeated UCL by a narrow margin.
This is the first year student law teams from the University of Lincoln have entered the national mooting competitions.
Jayne Wilkes, chief prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service in Lincoln, gave the judgement to UCL, but on the overall points scoring she awarded the moot to Lincoln, adding that the Lincoln team had just edged the competition in terms of advocacy skills.
“We were aware that UCL were the competition favourites, and to be honest I never expected to get a result against them,” said Paul Verrico (25), of Kirton-in-Lindsey. “The two advocates they sent really were excellent, and I’m still stunned that we won!
“This victory reinforces the fact that Lincoln is really establishing itself as a centre of excellence for advocacy.”
Peter Ward (24) of Broughton, near Brigg, added: “I wasn’t nervous this time - in the last round the judge gave us a torrid time, and it served as a wake up call to make sure we were really well prepared this time.
“A lot of water has gone under the bridge since our last round, including our victory in The Negotiation Competition, so I had a bit more belief and confidence.”
The Blackstone’s Moot is the most prestigious tournament in the country, with the highest cash prizes.
University of Lincoln (tel: 01522 886042)