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New pro-bono programme for budding lawyers

Company Law Lecturer and Co-ordinator of Company Law in The City Law School, Marian Riley-Poku, leads on an innovative training scheme for students in the Bankruptcy and Companies Court.
by John Stevenson (Senior Communications Officer)

Marian Riley-Poku, a Company Law Lecturer and Co-ordinator of Company Law in The City Law School, has pioneered an innovative pro-bono scheme for her students in the winding up court.

Commencing on 20th April, and running every Monday during term-time, students with an interest in Company and/or Commercial Law will gain practical experience in the workings of law and procedure in the winding up court where final decisions are made regarding the dissolution of a company.

Winding upThe scheme has been allocated a dedicated consultation room near the winding up court on the 2nd Floor of the Rolls Building. City students administer the scheme and also sit in on conferences with clients, write hearing summaries and observe the barristers in court. Chantelle Staynings, a City Law School alumna and barrister at Erskine Chambers, has also assisted in training students on the scheme.

Riley-Poku said the scheme is ideally suited for the winding up court and was welcomed by the Chief Registrar of the Bankruptcy and Companies Court, part of the Chancery Division of the High Court:

“The winding up court is the perfect location for a court scheme as it is fast-paced and has a unique style of advocacy that the students could observe and learn from. The Chief Registrar welcomed the scheme because it assists the Court’s Registrars with the management of Litigants-in-Person (LiPs).”

The scheme has also been a boon to junior barristers volunteering for the scheme, who have received advocacy experience in the winding up court. LiPs going through a stressful time for their companies and businesses in a busy court, have also benefited from free advice and representation from students at The City Law School.

Winding upBar Professional Training Course (BPTC) student, Rachel Godschalk, has helped to kick off the novel scheme. Godschalk drafted several forms and helped to pitch the idea to Registrars and Judges within the Bankruptcy and Companies Court. The first volunteers on the scheme were Josh Giddens and George Harnett. The other students who have volunteered to be on the programme are Emma Park, Michael McCabe, Gabor Bognar, Heena Chowdhury, Imogen Proud, Tiziana Scaramuzza, Martin Horne, Zachary Kell, Justin Wong, Ross Birkbeck and Joseph Steadman.

The City Law School has over the years developed several acclaimed pro-bono programmes. Start-Ed, created by Professor David Collins and Dr Eric Klotz, was awarded £37k last month for its winning entry in the Intellectual Property Office’s StudentshIP competition.

Winding up

The process by which a company or business is dissolved, and the selling off of all of the assets, paying off creditors and distributing any remaining assets to the principals or parent company. Winding up can refer to such a process either for a specific business line of a corporation or to the dissolution of a corporation itself.

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