Pupils Lucy Evanson and James Kapadia share their experiences of their first month ‘on their feet’
2 May 2024

Pupils Lucy Evanson and James Kapadia share their experiences of their first month ‘on their feet’

Lucy Evanson – Civil

Throughout 1st six, my supervisors, Elizabeth Hodgson and Kristian Mills made sure that I observed a wide variety of work in Chambers, whilst providing a good balance of attending court and paper-based work to develop my advocacy and written skills. This was excellent preparation for taking on my own cases in 2nd six and representing clients in my own right. When I am not preparing for a case, Chambers ensure I am still being exposed to engaging, challenging and rewarding work through continuing to shadow other members.

As a 2nd six pupil, every day is different and exciting. My first case of 2nd six was a complex credit hire case. As a preliminary issue, I was instructed to make a strike-out application for the Claimant’s failure to sign a witness statement. This achieved a reduction in the Claimant’s costs at the conclusion of the hearing due to unreasonable behaviour. Never underestimate the power of a small victory! 

An interesting case during my second week was defending an allegation that a refuse collection truck had reversed into a stationary car on a grass verge of a caravan park at night. The case lacked any eye-witness evidence but had camera footage from the truck, albeit in poor weather conditions and without night vision. I used this footage to map out the route taken by the refuse truck and assess whether a collision could be made out from the distance between the bins and the stationary vehicle, proving useful to the Judge. I also enjoyed cross-examining the inconsistencies within this case and developing my style of advocacy in finding what worked for me. Winning this case was a significant milestone and confirmed that this was the career I had always wanted.

Over the past month, I’ve been fortunate in representing clients in matters of infant settlements, road traffic accidents, credit hire and regular hire disputes, and small claims personal injury. Building a precedent file has been instrumental to court successes; having authorities to hand when a new issue arises, or I am asked to draft a court order or write a skeleton, has been the most useful takeaway from 1st six. This was key to a road traffic accident case I defended involving a vehicle emerging from a side road onto a main road, as well as a Stage 3 MOJ case where opposition counsel tried to raise new issues that were not raised at Stage 2.

On my non-court days, I completed paperwork such as quantum advices, merits assessments, liability advices, and schedules of special damages and future losses. Using my judgement and everything I have learnt in first six has been the key to approaching papers that I’m putting my name to, and justifying my reasoning with logic, caselaw, and dare I say, a little bit of experience! 

There is never a dull moment during pupillage, and I’ve seen more of the UK in the past month than I have my whole life; travelling to Teeside, Carlisle, West Cumbria, and further cases planned in Grimsby, Mansfield, and even Cardiff! The opponents I’ve encountered have been testament to the Bar as a collegiate and supportive network who enjoy sharing stories over a coffee after a hearing. 

There is nothing quite like the feeling of being on your feet for the first time, and I’m grateful to my clerks for helping me hit the ground running from the very first day of 2nd six. The adrenaline I felt when coming out of my first case will be a feeling that I expect to chase for the rest of my professional career.

I look forward to receiving further instructions in matters of personal injury, employment, insurance, and Court of Protection. 

James Kapadia - Civil

My first appearance in my second six was representing a Defendant in Telford County Court on an RTA liability matter. I also appeared in various other RTA-related matter. These have included accidents on roundabouts, car parks, and motorways. The disputes between the parties have been in respect of both liability and quantum for repairs and credit hire. I have also appeared in OIC quantum hearings.

One liability trial turned on whether the Defendant, whom I was representing, had attempted to undertake the Claimant, and then cut across them whilst exiting a roundabout. In cross-examination, the Claimant conceded this would have been a ‘mad manoeuvre’ for the Defendant to attempt. I submitted that the madness of the manoeuvre rendered it an unlikely course of action for the Defendant to have taken. The Judge agreed. The claim was dismissed.

As well as seeing Telford, I have enjoyed the opportunity to see different parts of the country whilst attending court hearings. This has included Bradford, Barrow-in-Furness, and Middlesbrough. In May, absent settlement, I will be attending Durham, Blackpool and Harrogate for the first time.

I look forward to continuing to appear in RTA matters, as well as appearing in the Employment Tribunal.

Outside of court, I have completed papers in personal injury and employment law. This has included advising on quantum for infant settlement hearings, advising on prospects of success in personal injury claims for accidents in the workplace, and advising on prospects of success for a claim for sexual harassment in the workplace.

I am keen to continue to develop my practice in these areas and I am accepting instructions in personal injury, clinical negligence, and employment. I remain under the supervision of Gareth Price.