The Advocacy Podcast

Professor Leslie Thomas QC

In this episode Professor Leslie Thomas QC speaks about preparing your case theory and strategy, and using your own voice for effective advocacy.

Show notes

  • Leslie’s advocacy style at the beginning of his career and how it developed.
  • How to be conversational with judges and juries.
  • The importance of not seeing a case as simply black or white; there are various shades of grey.
  • The advice he was given that changed his advocacy style.
  • How teaching advocacy made a difference to his own advocacy.
  • The barrister whose advocacy impressed Leslie and how he shattered the illusion that you had to sound like everyone else
  • Leslie’s first experience in court and how that impacted on his advocacy as a junior barrister.
  • The importance of being who you are and using your natural voice.
  • Accepting yourself and also accepting that the work environment you inhabit may not be accepting of you.
  • Leslie’s tools for getting to grips with the facts and issues and how he spots inconsistencies in the evidence. 
  • Examples of how Leslie has used the information he has found from his preparation against witnesses.
  • Leslie considers whether there are any short cuts in preparations.
  • Dealing with weaknesses in your case.
  • Whether Leslie varies his approach to different witnesses.

Leslie Thomas QC was called to the Bar in 1988 and took silk in 2014, practising from Garden Court Chambers, where he previously stood as joint head of Chambers. 

Leslie has been described as “one of the great police law advocates of his generation”, with renowned expertise in civil liberties, inquests and public inquiries. Leslie is currently representing families of victims in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, and has acted in a string of high-profile inquests including those relating to the Birmingham Pub Bombing, Sean Rigg, the Hillsborough disaster, and Mark Duggan’s death, which sparked the 2011 London riots. Leslie has also represented inhabitants of the island of Barbuda in a constitutional challenge against the government of Antigua over their rights to the land. 

Further to his extensive legal practice, Leslie is Professor of Law at Gresham College, delivering his lecture series entitled “Death, The State and Human Rights”. He also lectures widely to coroners, universities, schools, pressure groups and non-profit organisations.

Leslie is an advocacy trainer for the Inner Temple and conducts training courses for solicitors, barristers and coroners. He has further been described as “a force of nature”, “a fantastic jury advocate and second to none as a cross-examiner” who “gets the core points out and does it in style.”

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