Zoom - Aim for the Stars... 


Judicial and Silk Appointment On-Line Interactive Workshops

Over the past few years I’ve been running my interactive workshops for barristers and solicitors wanting to gain insights into the Silk and/or Judicial application processes. I’ve very much enjoyed doing these and have received some excellent feedback. I was approached to run another one for a chambers on the Midlands Circuit in May – but then we were hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Real Inspiration – Ted Talks or Songs?

I think there are some absolutely brilliant Ted Talks and I’ve eagerly shared them with many clients as well as during my workshops on leadership and communication. However, I find that music and songs have a greater impact on people. Perhaps it is true: “We learned more from a 3-minute record then we ever learned in school”.

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Hope & Tears

I don’t think there were many dry eyes in the Brudenell Social Club, Leeds on Friday 5 October 2018.

Music has always been important to me, even though I can’t play any instrument, I can only sing enthusiastically (and feel sorry for people near me at gigs) and I can’t even clap in time! But being at a gig with others is one of the places I feel most at home, connected and alive. Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to see some of the best bands in the world (I know that is very subjective) and been to some wonderful and memorable gigs. A number of years ago, a friend thought I may like to check out a band described as “A cross between Arcade Fire meets The Faces like a Yorkshire’s E Street Band” – they sounded right up my street!  Ladies and Gellyspoons… please allow me to introduce you to Hope and Social.

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A Cold Swim for Some Hot People

When we were in Wasdale last summer we saw two guys swimming Wast Water  and although we are all now blaming each other, someone (Sarah, Jim or I) said “we should do that next year”.  The vague idea has been in the back of our minds and then, before we knew it, it was Easter and a few months to our annual camping trip.

To complicate matters our local swimming pool has been closed for refurbishments. We’ve had to find other pools and I’ve had the most flexibility and have swum most mornings. It has been much harder for Sarah and Jim to find space in their schedules and swimming a distance takes us some time!

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JAC Recorder Competition 2019

**** 30 June 2020****

Candidates were informed this morning, congratulations to those who were successful and commiserations to those who didn’t make it this time! I think it is a retrograde and very poor decision by the JAC not to offer individual feedback to candidates about their selection days.

The 2020 competition is due to launch in September, no indication of numbers at this stage. Don’t be put off by the JAC, I’ve worked with many people over the years who suffered numerous rejections yet are now recognised as some of our best judges! BELIEVE!

**** June 2020****

The JAC have slipped out an increase in the number of vacancies > 121 up from the initial 100. Despite Cov-19 it looks like the JAC are on track and will still be able to inform candidates by the end of the month (whenever that means). As soon as I hear anything, I’ll post on Twitter and LinkedIn. #SqueakyBumTime

**** January 2020****

Many candidates were surprised to have passed the narrative test. I’m busy working with clients preparing for their selection days in Leeds and London.

*****17 July 2019*****

Competition information now published: details and link to competency framework here

Key Dates:

Deadline for applications 1pm on Tuesday 06 August 2019

Online qualifying test: 17 September 2019

Online Scenario test: 8 October 2019

Selection days: 3 one week blocks between 20 January and 28 February 2020

Outcome of selection process expected by: end June 2020

Why they are running this in the summer holidays is beyond me! I’ll be on holiday from 01/08 but hope some of the information and guidance below may help. I’ve also included some posts that show how last year’s competition twisted and turned.

*****19 June 2019*****

Candidates learned their outcomes of the 2018 competition yesterday.  A number of successful clients and some disappointed,  I received many appreciative messages including:

” I am delighted to inform you that I have been put forward for appointment as a recorder with immediate effect.  Since enlisting your services I have been successful in 2 out of 2 JAC competitions and it is only because of your excellent preparation and guidance.  I knew I had a lot to do after that first practice interview session but you gave me the tools and the confidence to do it.”

“Just to let you know I didn’t get it but I’m very grateful for all your help.  I’ve requested feedback and will apply again for the 2019 competition.”

The 2019 Recorder competition was due to launch on 16 July 2019  but now 23/07! There are up to a 100 vacancies.  It will follow the same format as the 2018 competition and I’ll update my guidance below when the competition details are published.

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Bruce and Clarence 


Lessons From The Boss

As I prepare to go and see Bruce Springsteen on Broadway I thought I should update my LinkedIn blog from 2015 asking how he has continued to develop his career over the last 50+ years. There is talent on every street corner and hundreds of musicians yet only a tiny percentage make it and even fewer can sustain it. So, what, if anything, can we learn about leadership and success from The Boss?

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Bambisanani Story Telling Evening

Building on from the success our earlier events, and his subsequent visit to the project, my 17 year old son, Tadhg, is planning another story telling evening. During the visit he learned just how much of a difference anyone can make, so he hopes you will come along, share stories, poems or maybe tell a joke. We expect it be an enjoyable evening again where we’ll share, learn, laugh and perhaps be moved.

The Bambisanani Partnership is a charity that has been making a difference for over a decade, having a positive impact on both communities. All proceeds from our evening will go directly to the charity.

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Up, Up and Away

What is it like starting your own business? I use the analogy of an airplane taxiing down the runway and then opening the throttle to take off. It is unnerving. It takes a lot of effort and you think you’ve built enough momentum, but you’re running out of runway and you have to hold your nerve. It is stressful, liberating, fun, challenging, frustrating, rewarding.  It is time and life consuming.

I started my business 4 years ago and I’ve learnt so much. One of the toughest things, when you are building your business, is trying to find a healthy work/life balance.

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