SOLICITOR advocate Judith Naylor has achieved a major breakthrough in her career after appearing alongside a QC in a murder trial.
Naylor, a partner in the Barnsley solicitor advocate firm Orsborn Naylor, was led by QC Jonathan Hall in a murder case in which her partner Brian Orsborn was instructing solicitor.
Naylor, who believes she is the first women solicitor to be part of a “mixed double”, says her appearance alongside Hall at Sheffield Crown Court for a preliminary hearing has raised some eyebrows among silks in the area.
The principle of QCs and solicitor advocates appearing together was not openly objected to, she says.
But she adds that while she did not believe there was “any deliberate obstruction going on, it's more a professional fear of the unknown. I think they are saying 'this is very unusual' and they're watching to see what happens”.
Naylor, chair of the Criminal Law Solicitors' Association, also points out that some barristers' desire to keep solicitor advocates out of court is counterbalanced by the need to keep their solicitor clients.