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This week I have been in London and Norfolk delivering courses for CLT. On Monday I was running an Advocacy course which was thoroughly enjoyable, both for me and the delegates who attended. I'm keen to encourage solicitors to do their own advocacy where they feel able to. Its not that I don't instruct barristers but I do feel that having drafted all the papers in a case, actually read and written all the correspondence and spoken to the client on multiple occasions, i'm pretty well placed to present their interests in court.

I have also been involved in many cases where a frazzled barrister has confided that they picked up the two bundles for the final hearing at 7pm the night before the 1 day final hearing. Or that they have been involved in multiple cases that day and haven't had a chance to meet their client to discuss how to proceed. Or frankly, they just haven't read their brief.

These things unnerve me.

I took the advocacy specialism when I undertook the Resolution accreditation 5 years ago and so its not surprise that I now teach advocacy!

The delegates on the course asked me what other materials I use and so I have listed them below.

  1. Advocacy in Family Proceedings - A practical guide - David Bedingfield ( not to be confused with the singer Daniel, which is something I frequently do when I recommend this book!).  It is a general trot through advocacy but it is a good starting point, more Children focused than Finance focused. Published by Family Law, I see from their website that there is a new edition due in March 2012, I  like the book so much that I'll buy the new edition when it is released!
  2. Advocacy by David Ross QC - whilst not aimed toward the family practitioner but is is very useful to guide the advocate through contested advocacy generally.
  3. Advocacy - Edited by Robert McPeake - Published by the OUP. Brilliant! Written for the City Law School, it will put the average solicitor. ILEX member on the same footing as a new barrister as it was designed for the Bar Vocational Course now the BPTC. Clear and concise.
  4. Golden Rules of Advocacy by Keith Evans. This is a neat little book that could be read in an evening.  It has lots of great tips and traps, I particularly like the chapter entitled "The psychology of advocacy".

These aren't the only books available on advocacy, just the ones I like, have read and would go back to if I needed to do so.


This was a bespoke course on the FPR 2010, 6 hours of fun looking through the new rules. I found it amazing how unique the local court is in this area. It seems that the Judges  "like to do things their own way". At almost every turn of the page, the practitioners would tell me their local court's take on what we were discussing! Bundles should be copied on both sides of the paper (contrary to PD22A), no documents should be served on the court in paper format, only via email. The list was endless, beware anyone moving to Norfolk, don't start practising family law until you've had a good chat to a local solicitor as otherwise you just won't know what the court expects!


In House Course Testimonial

‘Mena Ruparel is a knowledgeable,  authoritative and engaging  Lecturer who encouraged the delegates to interact with her; ‘Hot Topics in Family Finance’ contained a wealth [excuse the pun] of useful information for Family Lawyers’

Paralegal Testimonial

I first met Mena whilst studying for my undergraduate law degree during my placement year at Goodhand and Forsyth, where she was engaged as a consultant solicitor in the firm’s family department. I was initially interviewed for my position at Goodhand and Forsyth by Mena and she later became my training supervisor.

Teaching testimonial

"I first met Mena a few years ago, just a couple of years after I started practicing family law.  Mena was lecturing near Regent Street and I remember it being all about matrimonial finance for family lawyers.  I was immediately struck by her warmth and she engaged straightaway with me and was interested in what I had to say.

Consultant Testimonial

 "Mena Ruparel is one of those disarming persons who mixes her knowledge, skill and experience with a generous personality and good natured practicality.

Her vast competence is reflected in her position as a senior matrimonial practitioner, lecturer, trainer and arbitrator.

Best testimonial

"I would though like to take the opportunity of saying that having attended family law and other subject courses over 36 years I have never found any lecturer better than Mena Ruparel".

Pension specialist testimonial

 "I've worked with Mena on many divorce cases and found her to be technically excellent. She always has a firm understanding of her clients position and what is right for them."

Client testimonial

"I am writing to let you know how happy I have been with the help Mena has been to me through what has been the most difficult time in my life."

Delegate testimonial

“The best seminar I have ever been to and possibly the most knowledgeable speaker – lots of extra content about the cases which makes it interesting.”

Arbitration testimonial

"Mena and I very successfully worked together on an Arbitration to deal with the financial aspects of a divorce, which had a number of complicating features.

Blog writing testimonial

"Mena has been ghost writing informative family law pieces for our website and a variety of local press for some months now. Her suggested articles are topical and are written in an intelligent but easy to comprehend  way for the lay person.

Mediator testimonial

Having known Mena Ruparel as a family lawyer advising and representing a considerable number of our mediation clients, I have no hesitation in strongly recommending her. I consider her to be ethical, highly competent and exceptionally focussed on helping clients in separation and divorce reach a dignified and fair conclusion.

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