Society's News

BLS New President 2016/17- Becky Moyce

Becky Moyce was invested as President of BLS at its AGM held in its new offices on 23 November 2016. Biography Becky joined Temple Bright LLP as a Partner in January 2011.  She is a specialist property litigation lawyer and mainly handles commercial landlord and tenant disputes, property-related insolvency issues and land ownership disputes. Becky joined BLS Council in December … more

Research Volunteers Required – to support HMCTS Reform Civil Money Claims Project

The HMCTS is embarking on an ambitious programme of reform and one of the first projects established was the Civil Money Claims Project. The Project are keen to talk to Legal Representatives to understand more about the professions experience of the civil procedure, identify pain points and user needs. The project have asked the Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre … more

How can legal practitioners protect themselves from increasingly common conveyancing professional negligence claims?

Jonathan Simon, Executive Director, Willis looks at risks of professional negligence in conveyancing. Conveyancing claims, in my experience as a broker, account for roughly a third of all notifications of claims against solicitors, but during a recession the figure can rise to closer to half. As the UK economy has been out of recession for some time, and property teams … more


Bristol Law Student Wins £5,000 in National Award



A student from the University of Law in Bristol, has been named ‘Future Legal Mind 2017’, winning £5,000 and a placement at law firm Simpson Millar.

Hana Kapadia, who is studying for her graduate diploma in law, clinched the title with her essay on why the UK civil justice system needs lawyers, which you can read at

The 21-year-old student from Cheltenham said: “I still can’t believe it, to be honest. I was elated to hear that I won.

“To have won such a prestigious award is a real honour, and I cannot express how grateful I am.

“Winning the competition will undoubtedly provide a huge boost to my CV, and is going to be a huge aid financially, to give me a sense of security towards funding my studies.

“I would definitely recommend all law students to enter Future Legal Mind 2018.”

According to Hana, studying at the University of Law in Bristol has helped her develop her gain a broader understanding of the legal world, as well as being a positive experience all round.

“Bristol is an incredibly vibrant city, and I’ve really enjoyed my time at the University of Law,” she said.

“Studying the GDL here has been a really enjoyable experience as the university ensures that you develop a wider awareness of what’s going on in the legal world.”

National Accident Helpline managing director and chair of judges Simon Trott, said: “We were extremely impressed with Hana’s essay. It was thoroughly researched, lively, and showed a deep understanding of the UK legal system.

“Hana’s perception of the development of society and how this affects the legal profession was profound.

“We wholeheartedly congratulate Hana on her hard work, and look forward to seeing her develop her legal career, supported by Future Legal Mind.”

Heather Jane, who also studies at the University of Law, gained the title of ‘finalist’ for the award, which received by far the most entries since its inception in 2014.

Heather and eight other finalists will all received £250. The remaining finalists are: Morris Seifert and Thomas Stokoe of BPP University, George Dick of University of Dundee, Bethany Hargreaves of University of Manchester, Comfort Ochefu of University of Chester, Katharine Strange of City Law School, Jane Taylor of University of Westminster and Charlotte Werner of University of Exeter.

To find out more about Future Legal Mind, and for details on entering the 2018 award, visit:


Managing Partner’s Dinner 2017


















Thanks to all who attended our Managing Partner’s dinner on 16 March at the Hotel du Vin. Thanks also to our sponsor for the evening, Milsted Langdon for making the event possible. We were all well fed by the venue and well entertained by our guest speaker, Chris Bull of Kingsmead Square. Chris sparked a lively after dinner debate about how to capitalize on the strengths already present in Bristol and it’s thriving legal profession and how to attract and retain talent.

It was clear from the views of those present that there is a real affection and passion for Bristol and the unique blend of high quality work and excellent living conditions which is already nationally recognised. However, it was also clear that we have more work to do as a profession to ensure Bristol’s status on a national and international stage as a commercial and legal centre of excellence.

If you want to hear more about the great work which Chris (Bull) is doing on this precise point then he can be contacted at . We look forward to seeing you all again at future events.


Would you like to skydive for our chosen charity, SIA?!

Our charity of the year, The Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) are currently work with a company called Skyline Events who organise charity skydives. As one of many events run by SIA and BLS to raise funds this year, we are inviting any members or interested parties to take up this fabulous opportunity to skydive in aid of our charity.

The format of these skydives are based on no upfront costs but on each person raising a minimum amount of £395 of which SIA would receive approximately £140 per person. (The reason for the approximately is due to the costs varying depending on the jump location as the cost of your jump is taken from the £395 raised.) Anything you raise over the £395 minimum target comes to SIA as the only cost is the jump cost. 

If you would be interested in taking part, please see the pack for further details  Skydive Info Pack 2017 and email to confirm your interest!

Members invited to hear Law Society Director of Public Affairs on 18th April 5-5.30pm

We are delighted to have Robert Kahn, Director of Public Affairs at the Law Society, join us pre our monthly BLS council meeting from 5pm to 5.30 pm on 18th April at our offices at 12 Colston Avenue.

Robert’s directorate manages the Society’s influencing and engagement activity with stakeholders in Westminster, Cardiff and Brussels, as well as internationally. He will provide an overview of the Society’s approach to lobbying and engaging with politicians, an update on our work to influence the Brexit negotiations, and information to support members and local law societies in lobbying their own local representatives.

Any Law Society and BLS members who would like to join us to hear Robert speak and raise any relevant issues with him, are welcome to join us.  Please email in advance so we can accommodate everyone.



Legal sector customer service benchmarking project 2017

For a second year, Shopper Anonymous are running the Client Journey Project to help high performing legal firms to benchmark their customer service against the sector.

In 2016, Shopper Anonymous conducted more than 500 mystery client experiences with 80 firms who volunteered to take part.

The project is free to participate and the closing date to register is 30th March 2017.

For more details and how to register please click on link


Law Society monthly report, South West – April 2017





April 2017 (South West)

Research Volunteers Required – to support HMCTS Reform Civil Money Claims Project

The HMCTS is embarking on an ambitious programme of reform and one of the first projects established was the Civil Money Claims Project. The Project are keen to talk to Legal Representatives to understand more about the professions experience of the civil procedure, identify pain points and user needs.

The project have asked the Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre to contact its local court user groups to request volunteers.


Over the next two weeks the project team will conduct research session.  Any session would be informal and would involve a few members of our team speaking to you – familiarising you with the project and asking you a few questions about how you interact with both your clients and MOJ/HMCTS with regards to civil money claims.  The research can be done remotely if you prefer (via telephone for an hour) or in-person (1-3 hours). All the research is conducted in the strictest of confidence.

How to volunteer

Let the Civil Money Claims Project Team know you’re interested by emailing them at: 

HMCTS would really value your feedback which will assist us in creating a money claims service that better meets your needs.  




Bristol Court Judiciary Changes

Please note the following changes:

His Honour Judge McCahill QC transferred to the Birmingham Civil Justice Centre on Friday 10 February 2017 and has been replaced by His Honour Judge Paul Matthews

District Judge Tacey Cronin has transferred to the Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre from the County Court at Swindon from the 1 February 2017.

His Honour Judge Roderick Denyer QC will retire on Friday 10 June 2017 and will be replaced by His Honour Judge Barry Cotter QC as the Designated Civil Judge.

His Honour Judge Sir Mark Havelock-Allan QC last day of sitting will be Friday 19th May and he will retire from the post of the Bristol Mercantile/TCC Judge on the 31 May 2017. The Judge’s replacement has yet to be announced.

Valedictory Speeches:

There will be valedictory speeches for His Honour Judge Roderick Denyer QC on Friday 9 June 2017 at 10am in Court 7 here at the Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre and for His Honour Judge Sir Mark Havelock-Allan QC on Friday 19 May 2017 at 10am also in Court 7.


Recent Court Notices

Easter Closing times for Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre

Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre will close at 4pm on Thursday 13 April 2017 and will re-open at 9.30am on Tuesday 18 April 2017.

Any Solicitor that requires an emergency order during this closure period may contact the Urgent Court Business scheme by telephoning 07795 302944

This scheme includes the following business:

  • Injunctions e.g. Anti Social Behaviour Orders obtained in the County Court
  • Children Act applications (for example child snatch cases where a residence order has been made in the County Court and the child has not been returned )
  • Domestic Violence Injunctions with a power of arrest attached issued in the County Court under Part IV Family Law Act 1996,
  • Other urgent applications where an individual’s personal safety, well being, business or assets may be at risk.

Civil Court user meetings

The court currently hosts a number of meetings on the following subjects:-

Bristol Administrative Court user meeting chaired by the Honourable Mr Justice Singh

Court of Protection users chaired by His Honour Judge Marston

Civil court users chaired by His Honour Judge Denyer QC

Chancery Clerks meeting chaired by His Honour Judge Paul Matthews

Chancery Court user meeting chaired by His Honour Judge Paul Matthews

Mercantile Court user meeting currently chaired by His Honour Judge Havelock-Allan QC – successor to be advised

Technology and Construction Court user meeting currently chaired by His Honour Judge Havelock-Allan QC – successor to be advised


If anyone wishes to be considered to becoming a member of these groups, please e-mail the Civil Delivery Manager- Jerry Fowler

Subject: Civil Hearing (trial) Fees – Refunds

HMCTS kindly inform Solicitors of changes which will come into effect from 6 March 2017.  The new provision will remove the right to a refund of a hearing fee if the fee is paid and settles before the trial hearing.

This change does not affect any case in which the court gives notice of the trial date or the start of the trial period before 6th March 2017. A refund will be due in line with the current process and rules for all such cases.

In addition, there are the following associated process changes to Money Claims which are also being brought in on the 6th March.

Payment of the hearing fee (2.1 of the current Civil Fees Order) for the trial of hearing of a case allocated to the Small, Fast or Multi Track either in the County, Queens bench or High Court, is now required no later than 28 days before the trial takes place.

Alternatively, a properly completed “Help With Fees” application should be filed with the court no later than 28 days before the trial takes place.

In the event the hearing fee is not paid or a properly completed “Help With Fees” application is not filed at least 28 days before the trial date, the court will issue an automatic strike out order of the claim/counterclaim.

If your claim is struck out, it will no longer exist.  The hearing will be vacated, unless a counterclaim survives the claim being struck out. If you wish to start fresh proceedings, a new claim must be filed. An application to reinstate the claim can also be made together with the appropriate fee or application for help with fees.

In the event the hearing fee has been paid and an agreement/settlement is then reached the hearing fee is non refundable. If a consent order settling the matter is requested after the trial fee has been paid, then the consent order fee is still payable.

Further information and leaflets explaining more about how to pay a court fee or how to apply for help with fees are available from the court office or online at:

Introduction of online customer feedback

At the Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre we have started accepting online complaints through Resolver

The online customer feedback system has been designed to help customers make a complaint through the HM Courts & Tribunals Service process. It will also help us to learn from customer feedback in an automated and more systematic way than we are currently able to achieve.

If you, or your clients have a complaint about the Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre please send it to

Complaints for other services

Please note that not all HM Courts & Tribunals Services are set up for online complaints at the moment, and these will be referred back to


Resolver is a portal, and complaints submitted will be investigated and responded to by HM Courts & Tribunals Service staff.

To find out about Resolver’s privacy policy, see

Your comments

If you or your clients use the online complaints system, any feedback about the online system will be gratefully received to help improvements. Please let us know what worked well, what could have worked better and any other comments you have. Send your emails to titled ‘Resolver feedback’.

Red Dot Assessment Security Policy

The Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre wish to make Law Society members aware a policy which is in existence within this Cluster of courts in relation to security measures and actions that will and can be taken by the court in advance of any hearing.

It will assist the court a great deal if you can advise the court on any cases either waiting to be listed or have been listed where you have some security concerns in relation to anyone attending a court hearing at the Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre. This will allow the court to risk assess the situation and put in additional security measures which may include additional security and any reasonable adjustments that may be required. Your co-operation would be appreciated

See below link to HMCTS  ‘Justice matters. How our change programme will make services better for everyone who uses them’

Stakeholders – Justice Matters v10 


Julie Lewis appointed Bristol Regional Managing Partner at Irwin Mitchell











Irwin Mitchell have announced that Julie Lewis, the firm’s Head of Medical Negligence for the SW region, will take over as Bristol Regional Managing partner with effect from 1 May 2017. She takes over from Jonathan Peacock, who has led the office since it was first established in May 2010. Jonathan is retiring from the Irwin Mitchell Equity Membership in October 2017 and is currently managing the transitional arrangements. Julie also sits on Irwin Mitchell’s national Medical Negligence executive board, charged with running the firm’s £36m medical negligence business.

Julie was educated at Rugby High school in Warwickshire and joined the Rugby office national law firm Shoosmiths (then Shoosmiths and Harrison) as a Legal Secretary in 1989. Julie studied for ILEX Part 1 exams and became a Residential Conveyancing paralegal, leaving Shoosmiths in 1995 to retake her A Levels before studying Law at Birmingham University where she also completed her LPC. Julie funded her studies by holiday work as a legal secretary, paralegal and by Residential Conveyancing locum work.

Julie was offered a training contract at Irwin Mitchell and qualified into the Birmingham Medical Negligence team in 2002 before moving to Bristol in 2010 where she established the firm’s Bristol Medical Negligence team, now a top ranked team in the legal directories. Julie became a partner in 2011. Julie is recognised as a leader in her field and has a high profile in local and national media having represented clients and their families in some major public interest cases over the last seven years in Bristol.

Jonathan Peacock, the current Bristol RMP said: ‘Irwin Mitchell Bristol has been a major success story over the last 7 years and I am delighted to be handing over the leadership of the office to such a highly regarded and experienced lawyer. We have a great team of people here in Bristol and it has been a pleasure to have led them since 2010. I know that Julie is well qualified to take us forward to greater achievements in coming years.’

Julie Lewis said: ‘It is great to be taking on the challenge of furthering the success of our talented and committed Bristol teams and I am really looking forward to taking our Bristol offering to new levels after May 2017. We are operating in a very challenging legal market but despite this we have a strong and growing Bristol business, of which we can all be very proud.’

Julie lives in Bristol with her husband and two children.