A Wrexham Crime solicitor has become one of the first publicly funded advocates in the region to complete new training ahead of it being made compulsory by the Ministry of Justice.
Crown court advocate, Henry Hills, who is based at the Wrexham head office of leading North Wales law firm, GHP Legal, completed ‘Advocacy and the Vulnerable Training’ in April this year.
Henry specialises in cases that involve defendants and witnesses with vulnerabilities; such as young witnesses, mental health issues, the learning disabled, and very traumatised individuals.
The training course, which was developed by the Law Society in conjunction with the Bar Council, involves a three-step programme incorporating on-line study, face-to-face training and reflective consolidation. It aims to help advocates to employ developmentally appropriate language as part of their questioning techniques, both examination in chief and cross examination, in order to obtain ‘best evidence’ from a vulnerable witness, which includes defendants.
Stephen Edwards, partner and head of Crime at GHP Legal, said: “It is widely thought that the Ministry of Justice will eventually make this training compulsory for all publicly-funded advocates before they can act in serious sexual offence cases. It is typical of Henry to want to be ahead of the game and complete it as soon as it was made available.
“An experienced trial Advocate in a wide range of cases from serious violence, drugs and sexual offences to robbery and burglary, Henry maintains a high success rate across the board and is utterly committed to achieving justice and ensuring people’s rights and liberties are safeguarded.”
(Article published 16/05/2017)