Soleya Manzanares and Leanna Allen of St Ignatius Catholic School have won the Cayman Collas Crill Moot.
Cayman Prep High School’s Asia Carter and Reuben Strand came second, Abriann and Daniel Cooper from Cayman International School took third and Clifton Hunter High School’s Ricardo Lauder and Luke Charles came fourth.
The final took place on 29 November at the Cayman Islands Courthouses.
The Moot is an annual inter-school competition that sees senior students from across Cayman competing against each other in a mock-trial setting.
It is the second time the Moot has run in Cayman and more than 40 students took part in this competition.
Three rounds of the Collas Crill Moot competition have taken place over October and November and a different fictional legal case has been argued each round, covering tort, contract and criminal law. Each round is judged by a Collas Crill lawyer.
This year Collas Crill partnered with the Constitutional Commission of the Cayman Islands for the final round of the competition.
Together with the help of the Constitutional Commission, the lawyers drafted a fictitious constitutional issue for the finalists to tackle before a bench of judges.
‘We are delighted to have the Constitutional Commission involved in the final – this shows the high regard in which the Moot is held. The Commission was looking for more innovative and informal ways to introduce constitutional issues to the young people of Cayman and the Chairman, Vaughan Carter’s daughter had been involved in the inaugural Moot. It was a natural fit for both sides,’ said Stephen Leontsinis, Managing Partner of Collas Crill in Cayman.
The final was presided over by a tribunal made up of Collas Crill Partner Matt Dors, Stephen and Annikki Hill of the Constitutional Commission.
The students presented their arguments and were marked on their court etiquette, persuasiveness, clarity, body language, legal argument and time-keeping.
The students, teachers, family, friends and staff from Collas Crill all attended the final and the post-event drinks and prize-giving reception at the Courthouses.
Soleya and Leanna were presented with the coveted Collas Crill Moot Shield which will be on show at St Ignatius. They have also been offered the chance to take part in the firm’s Summer Internship programme.
All finalists were presented with a trophy, gift cards and certificates from Collas Crill.
Stephen Leontsinis said: ‘Congratulations to all the finalists. It was a closely fought final and it was clear to the judges that all the students had worked incredibly hard on their arguments. In the end Soleya and Leanna just edged it as the winners on the day.
‘We received such positive feedback from the inaugural Cayman Moot – not just from the students and high schools, but the parents, fellow lawyers and the wider community. I am proud of the team at Collas Crill for creating and running such an impressive initiative. In giving students a real taster of law as a career path, we are helping to identify and support the future generation of Cayman lawyers.
‘The competition would not have been possible without the support, time and energy of the attorneys and staff at Collas Crill who are involved at every stage - from the weekly organisation of the competitive rounds and the provision of support and training to the students, to the time spent judging the competitive rounds and the finals. It is a real team effort.
‘I would also like to thank the staff and teachers of the high schools for their support and, of course, the Chief Justice and her staff who allowed us the use of the Grand Court facilities.’