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City Law School wins Education/Training Provider of the Year Award

The award is in recognition of the School’s Company Insolvency (COIN) Pro Bono scheme, set up by Senior Lecturer, Marian Riley-Poku.
by John Stevenson (Senior Communications Officer)

The City Law School carried off the Education/Training Provider of the Year category of the annual Turnaround, Restructuring & Insolvency (TRI) Awards, held on November 13th 2019.

The award is in recognition of the School's Company Insolvency (CO.IN) Pro Bono scheme, which assists small companies attending the Winding Up Court without representation. 

CO.IN was established by Senior Lecturer, Marian Riley-Poku, Company Law Co-ordinator on the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). 

Litigants-in-person

The scheme involves barristers from the Chancery and Commercial Bar who provide advice and legal representation to the litigants-in-person on a voluntary basis – enabling junior barristers to gain advocacy experience in the winding up court very early in their practice. 

Barristers are drawn from prominent commercial chancery chambers including Wilberforce Chambers, 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square, Lamb Chambers, 3 Paper Buildings and South Square Chambers.

Student volunteers from the City Law School BPTC assist and observe the barristers whilst they advise and represent the litigants-in-person. This allows them to gain a practical understanding of winding up law and procedure and to learn how to undertake advocacy in the court.

The CO.IN scheme is part of the BPTC LLM (Clinical Legal Education pathway) where BPTC students undertake a placement with a partner to aid practical learning and development.

Students write a reflective report about the development of their clinical skills as part of their assessment for the LLM. The award for Education and Training Provider recognises the benefit of clinical reflection and development for students through their placement on the  CO.IN scheme.

Marian is pleased with the School's victory at the TRI Awards this year:

I am very pleased that City Law School and the Company Insolvency Pro Bono Scheme have been recognised as Education Provider of the Year by the TRI Awards. The scheme gives the students the opportunity to develop invaluable practical legal skills in the area if Insolvency Law, and to obtain an LLM when they submit an analytical report relating to their volunteering work.

Senior Lecturer and Pro Bono Director, Sarwan Singh, said:

“This is a well-deserved award in recognition of all the hard work work and dedication of the scheme’s coordinator, Marian Riley-Poku,  our student volunteers, and partner chambers. Usually, in the field of pro bono work, the areas of law covered are social welfare law (such as immigration, welfare benefits, employment law etc). However, in this example, the City Law School is providing real experience for students in the company and commercial law court room, which is quite unique.  At the same time of course, members of the business community benefit from this free legal service”.

Unrivalled opportunity

Programme Director of the LLM in Professional Legal Skills, Ffyon Reilly, said: “Marian's vision and commitment is exceptional. She has created and maintained a scheme that is an unrivalled opportunity for students, pupil barristers and litigants-in-person”

Barrister Matthew Gillett, a City Law School alumnus and COIN volunteer, was featured in the BBC Radio Four programme, Law in Action, earlier in the year. 

You can listen to the programme here.

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