With 14 years’ experience as a practising barrister, I am all too aware of the negative connotations that the word “coaching” has for lawyers.
Both barristers and solicitors are prohibited from coaching factual or expert witnesses. Coaching in this context can be interpreted as interfering, in any way, with the evidence that a witness will give and can range from rehearsing that evidence with the witness, to influencing their answers or their evidence. In contrast, the process of familiarising a witness with the process of giving evidence has been approved by the courts.
Coaching to non-lawyers is now widely accepted as an effective approach to support and develop the individual, through a conversational approach and the judicious use of well-established tools and techniques.
Having taken the unusual step of leaving a successful career at the bar in 2014, I made use of coaching which supported me through that change and helped me define the future I wanted. I then chose to study to become a professional coach, whilst also acquiring considerable experience as a facilitator/trainer. I am now able to use my skills and experience to offer the following, under my “coaching”, not “coaching” banner:
Professional coaching and mentoring for barristers
- When did you last stop to consider the goals you have for your practice?
- Are you having difficulty managing your workload?
- Are you avoiding difficult conversations with clerks or solicitors?
- Is imposter syndrome holding you back?
- Are you considering a career change or applying for silk or a judicial appointment?
- Are you concerned about combining your career with home and family life?
If you would welcome a fresh, supportive approach to these problems, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Professional coaching and mentoring for solicitors
I can work with individuals (self-funded), or through centralised, company funding, to support people through a wide range of issues, including:
- Career development
- Team conflicts
- Preparing for promotion
- Coping with redundancy
- Returning to work following paternity leave
Contact me for further details.
Professional “coaching”, not “coaching” for experts within the court system
- Are you thinking about becoming an expert witness but don’t know how you could balance it with your existing practice?
- Have you been an expert witness for some time but want to grow your business?
- When did you last stop to ask yourself about your goals?
- Would you like to be able to communicate better with your instructing solicitors, find new clients or increase your income?
Through a unique combination of professional coaching and advice, I can help you find your own solutions to these problems, without breaching any rules. Contact me for a quote.
Professional “coaching”, not “coaching” for factual witnesses and parties within the court system
My experience shows that witnesses, even those who are parties, or at director level within a party, often have questions they are embarrassed to ask. They are swept along in the process, and their advisers often perceive a level of knowledge and confidence which is significantly inflated.
Often what is needed is a little knowledge, combined with a lot of support, and some guidance on preparation and communication. This is what my unique “coaching”, “not coaching” service can provide, without breaching any rules. Contact me for further information.
Work outside Skilful Conversation
Catherine Brown also delivers witness familiarisation, training in report writing and courtroom skills, and similar courses, through Bond Solon.
Please contact their office for further information about these courses.