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Lessons from the courts

A panel discussion featuring Dr Penny Cooper (Panel Chair), Alexander Hutton QC, The Hon. Mrs Justice McGowan, and His Honour Judge Nigel Lickley QC

The panel discuss and provide useful advice on a range of topics including:

  • Reflections on good and bad practice you they have witnessed from experts
  • Disclosure obligations for lawyers and experts
  • Giving evidence remotely
  • Enforcing collaboration between experts

They also deal with a range of questions submitted in advance of the conference.

Running Time: 1 Hour

CPD: 1 Hour


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The Panel

Dr Penny Cooper

Penny was called to the Bar in 1990 and specialised in child abuse cases. In 2002 she moved into academia and became a professor in 2009. She co-founded and chairs The Advocate's Gateway – this free online resource is endorsed by the senior judiciary and contains best practice guides to cross-examination of vulnerable witnesses and parties.

Penny devised and researches ‘the ground rules approach’ for witness evidence and frequently advises on witness familiarisation procedures, cross-examination and case management including in challenging and high profile cases where a witness or party is affected by an autism spectrum condition/Aspergers Syndrome.

She is a visiting professor at the University of London and leads great funded research studying witness evidence. She practises law from 39 Essex Chambers London. Penny is a former governor of EWI.


Alexander Hutton QC

Alexander’s practice is focused in two fields: clinical negligence, for claimants and defendants, and all aspects of costs law.

In both these fields, Alexander is recommended in the highest band of leading silks in the directories and acts in connection with a range of clinical negligence cases, with special focus on those of the most serious nature and highest value. He has also appeared in many of the leading costs cases over the last 20 years, and was chair of the committee that introduced the now mandatory electronic bill of costs.


His Honour Judge Nigel Lickley QC

HHJ Nigel Lickley QC has been a circuit Judge at the Central Criminal Court (The Old Bailey) since 2018. He was appointed as a Deputy High Court Judge 2018.

He was called to the Bar in 1983 and took silk in 2006. He was Leader of the Western Circuit from 2010 - 2013 and was elected a Bencher of Gray’s Inn in 2013. In 2015 he was authorised to sit as a Recorder at the Central Criminal Court and was Head of Chambers for 3PB Barristers from 2015 to 2018. 

In Practice he specialised in Crime - Homicide and Regulatory Offences (Military, Consumers, Health and Safety, Revenue and Customs, Offences at sea).


The Hon. Mrs Justice McGowan

Maura McGowan was appointed a High Court Judge in 2014. She sits in the Queen’s Bench Division and is currently a Presiding Judge on the South Eastern Circuit – only the second woman ever to have been a Presider on that Circuit.

She was named Lawyer of the Year by Legal Business in 2014 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Chambers UK in 2016.

Maura was Chair of the Bar Council of England and Wales in 2013 – only the second woman Chair. She had previously served on the Conduct and Law Reform Committees.

She has been involved with the Inn throughout her career, starting on the MTSA and then on the Hall Committee. She was elected a Bencher in 2005 and was Chair of the Bench Selection Advisory Committee from 2015-18.

She is an Advanced International Advocacy Trainer and has taught and lectured in many jurisdictions; she is involved in international judicial training in Uganda, Mexico and (with AdvocAid) in Sierra Leone.

Maura is a consulting editor of Archbold, sits on the editorial board of the Criminal Law Review, is a Trustee of the British and Irish Legal Information Institute and a Governor of Goodenough College, London. She will be Treasurer in 2022.