Harris Manchester students, Jordan Briggs and Timothy Foot, recently placed 2nd in the University of Oxford Maitland Chambers Inter-Collegiate Mooting Competition 2019 (Cuppers)
The case, ‘Various Claimants v Giambrone & Law’, involved a group of disgruntled holiday home purchasers suing ‘Giambrone’, an Italian solicitor’s firm. In 2006, Giambrone were hired by developers of a holiday home complex in Southern Italy. Giambrone had to receive and retain deposit monies paid to them by prospective purchasers of these holiday homes. Giambrone were authorised to release these deposits to the developers if, and only if, the developers provided Giambrone with specific types of investment guarantee. Unfortunately, Giambrone sloppily released these deposits before such guarantees were provided. Thereafter, things went from bad to worse. Problems arose with the developers’ planning permission and, in 2008, construction ceased altogether. In 2013, the Italian Financial Police seized the half-built holiday homes to investigate allegations that the development was funded by the Italian Mafia and the IRA.
As a result, the prospective holiday home purchasers never received the holiday homes for which they had paid deposits. Tim and I acted for the holiday home purchasers who were suing Giambrone for the premature release of their deposits. Broadly speaking, we were arguing that (i) as a matter of legal theory, the purchasers could recover their deposits and that (ii) the claimants’ losses fell within the scope of the duties that Giambrone owed them.
Jordan had this to say on his experience:
“Mooting is brilliant fun. Mooters become intimately familiar with specific points of law which is very useful if the case concerns a matter that you’ll eventually be examined on! Mooters quickly develop an ability to speak clearly and persuasively which is a useful skill whatever the context. I wholeheartedly recommend mooting to current law students and, given the availability ‘non-law moots’ in Oxford, to anyone else who fancies trying their hand at legal argument.”