Friday, March 12, 2010

HCA - Finally

Today I received a certificate in the post from the Solicitors Regulation Authority. This certificate approved me as a Higher Courts Advocate for criminal proceedings giving me the ability to appear in all criminal cases before a Crown Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

Although it is rather pleasing to have finally obtained the title of Higher Courts Advocate or Solicitor Advocate it is rather daunting knowing that at some point in the future I am going to be thrust in to the Crown Court for a trial in front of a Judge and Jury. I regularly deal with trials in the Magistrates and Youth Courts and it has been may years since I felt out of my comfort zone in a summary trial.

I have done work in the Crown Court as an advocate using what rights of audience a "normal" solicitor has - those being Crown Court bail applications, committals for sentence from the Magistrates Court, appeals against sentence and even appeals against conviction.

My career has spanned some 12 years in criminal law now. The first few years were filled with a burst of activity in obtaining new qualifications. First of all I became a trainee solicitor, then I obtained accreditation as a Police Station representative. I then qualified as a solicitor and subsequently became a "Duty Solicitor". I have waited about nine years for my next qualification - my status as a Solicitor Advocate. I am not sure that there are any further professional qualifications a criminal solicitor can obtain that would of any real use in a career in criminal defence work.

Now I am just waiting for my first proper brief to appear in the Crown Court.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Gavin...your posts have been missed. And well done on your HCA approval.

p.raynal said...

Please keep writing your stories are compelling reading for somebody like me that wishes to have a career in criminal law.

Bystander said...

Congratulations, Gavin. You won't get rich, but you may experience a better class of poverty in future.

Keep at it and you can apply to the District bench.

Anonymous said...

Glad you are posting again - good timing for me as I found your blog last week! Am really interested in a proper persepctive on criminal practice in the trenches as I work in a peripheral area.

Adrian said...

Good to see you back :-)

helena said...

It’s a very good post I have come across.I really like this post very much.It’s a very appreciated post.Thanks for sharing.Keep blogging.

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phatboy said...

Wow you're back, almost exactly two-years to the day since your last blog!!

Well done on your HCA status. Had mine a few years now and it's all good fun. Not as daunting as it first seems once you've got a couple of cases under your belt.

Good luck, I'm sure you'll do great.

Stephanie said...

Welcome back.It’s a very appreciated post.

Anonymous said...

how much do you earn now then? compared to before the new qualification?

Simon said...

Hi Gavin. I am a novelist working on my third novel, and wondered whether you might be able to spare a moment or two to discuss some of the issues you touch on in your posts that are very relevant to my current research. If so, you can reach me through my website at www.simonlelic.com. I very much look forward to hearing from you, and thank you in advance for your time!

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Hi, I think you done a great job and you achieved a post because you have a caliber to handle a post like this keep going best of luck.

Anonymous said...

hi, i would like to become a criminal solicitor but i dont have a law degree; i have a degree in computing... Could u give any advice here on your blog please?
Thanks

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Nice Work....

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Ask A Criminal Solicitor said...

I often visit your blog but I am feeling down with no seeing any update on it from some time. I hope you might be doing well in superior courts probably that might be your reason for not being able to post there anymore. Please do try updating your blog to enrich your visitors with criminal solicitors life experience. Thanks!

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Criminal Defence Solicitors said...

Well done on your approval Gavin.

Preston said...

Great post, why nothing more recent?