Frequently asked questions

What sorts of experts do you have on your panel?

Our panel is diverse and experienced.  Our experts include:

  • A range of surgeons (including gastrointestinal, ophthalmology, orthopaedic, and plastic)
  • A range if physicians (including A&E/emergency consultants, cardiologists, neurologists, occupational health, pain specialists, emergency medicine
  • Country of origin experts
  • Dental surgeons
  • Forensic accountants
  • GPs
  • Midwives
  • Nurses
  • Occupational health and safety consultants
  • Occupational therapists
  • Pharmacists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Radiologists
  • Social workers
  • Speech and language therapists
  • Our panel is constantly expanding as more and more experts join our team.

To view our current list of experts, click here.

How does the funding process work?

For privately funded cases, the instructing solicitor usually arranges the funding on their client’s behalf but in situations where a solicitor does not have the facility to hold client accounts, we are able to accept direct payment via bank transfer.  In most criminal cases and in some other types of proceedings, our fees are met via prior authority from the Legal Aid Agency.  The application for Legal Aid is made by the instructing solicitor.

Are you compliant with the Information Commissioners Office?

Yes, we are and our registration number is A8217685

How quickly can I get my report?

Most of our experts can turnaround a report within 14 working days of assessing your client providing that all required documentation is available to the expert prior to the assessment.

Which areas of the country do you cover?

We cover the majority of the country including:

  • London and the South East (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey, East Sussex West Sussex).
  • The East (Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk).
  • The Midlands (Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland).
  • Yorkshire and the Humber.
  • The North East (Tyne and Wear, County Durham, Northumberland and North Yorkshire).
  • The North West (Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside).
  • South West (Devon, Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset)
  • Wales
  • Scotland
What sorts of disorders can your psychiatric experts diagnose?
  • Personality disorders
  • Schizophrenia and delusional disorders
  • Mood disorders (depression, bipolar affective disorder and persistent affective disorders such as cyclothymia and dysthymia)
  • Neurotic and stress-related disorders (including phobic anxiety disorders, panic disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, stress reactions, post-traumatic stress disorder and adjustment disorder)
  • Dissociative and somatoform disorders (e.g. dissociative motor disorders and somatisation disorder)
What qualifications do your experts have?

Our medical, surgical, and dental experts have medical/dental degrees and a wealth of postgraduate education.  Our other experts, including our country of origin experts hold academic positions and have well-respected affiliations.  Our psychiatric experts are approved by the Secretary of State under Section 12(2) of the Mental Health Act 1983, as amended in 2007.  Many of our experts hold specialist expert witness certificates, such as the Bond Solon Expert Witness Certificate in criminal, civil and family proceedings.

Do you work in Prison Law?

Yes, we support the rights of offenders while they are in prison.  Mental disorders are overrepresented in prisoners – it is estimated that 1 in 7 prisoners has a serious mental disorder.  Prison itself may increase the incidence of mental disorder but there are other factors which affect the high incidence of mental disorder within the prison population.  Prisoners are more at risk of mortality, suicide, self-harm, violence and victimisation compared to the general population.  We can support solicitors providing representation to prisoners who are appealing their sentence or conviction, questioning the category of prison in which they are imprisoned and seeking transfer to another prison.  Our experts are also experienced in providing evidence to the Parole Board.

Can the expert travel to my client?

Most of our medical, surgical, and dental experts require their clinic environment to conduct their assessment.  Some of our experts can provide remote assessments and some of our experts will travel to assess your client (for example if you require a psychiatric, psychological or speech and language therapist report for someone who is detained in hospital, prison or an immigration and removal centre).

Do you have any experts who can give evidence in inquests?

Yes, we have experts who are experienced in giving evidence in inquests and oral evidence at coroner’s court.  Many of our medical experts have been called to give evidence at inquests.  Depending on your client’s case, you may need to instruct any one of our specialists’ disciplines.  Some of our experts, including our forensic psychiatrists, have specialist experience in providing evidence in cases of death in custody.

Can you provide urgent reports?

We are often asked to provide urgent reports.  Our ability to meet these demands depends on the nature of the case and the availability of our experts.  If we do not think that we will be able to meet your needs, we will tell you at the earliest opportunity.

Are your reports proofread for accuracy?

Yes, all reports from our experts are proofread before submission.  Many people make the odd typing error but that is why our admin team take the time to check all written work which goes out to make sure the report is accurate and properly formatted.

Do you arrange interviews and assessments with our client?

Our experienced admin team will coordinate the interview/assessment with your client, whether that be a visit to a clinic, an interview room.  For prisoners, inpatients and people in residential homes etc, we would arrange for our expert to visit your client.

Do you have a way of receiving large files confidentially?

Yes, we use Citrix ShareFile, an industry-standard file sharing software to ensure that the sending and receiving of confidential data is encrypted and secured.  For your convenience, the link to our upload portal is included beneath our email signatures.

What is the difference between a radiologist and a radiographer?

A radiologist is a doctor who specialises in reading and interpreting medical images to diagnose, treat and monitor diseases and injuries. To do this, they use a range of imaging techniques, including X-ray ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) and molecular imaging.

Medical (diagnostic) radiographers use x-ray machines, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other imaging devices for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.  They also assist in the diagnosis of injuries and diseases.  They may also become involved in intervention procedures such as the removal of kidney stones (calculi). Therapeutic radiographers plan and administer radiotherapy treatment for patients with cancer.

What is a hospital order?

A hospital order can be given by the criminal courts instead of a custodial sentence if the defendant has a mental disorder and requires treatment in hospital. The most common hospital order relates to section 37 of the Mental Health Act 1983, as amended in 2007. This can be given at sentencing at either magistrates or crown court.  To read more, read our blog here.

What is a hybrid order?

Hospital and Limitation Directions under section 45A of the Mental Health 1983, as amended in 2007, are commonly known as hybrid orders. Using this order, a judge can mandate that a convicted offender has hospital treatment whilst also giving a custodial sentence. Once treatment in hospital is completed, the offender can be transferred back to prison to complete their sentence.  To read more, read our blog here.

What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?

Many people are unsure of the difference between a psychiatrist and psychologist.  A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specialises in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.  Although some psychiatrists use talking therapies as part of their practice, they are in a minority in the UK.  Psychiatrists more commonly use psychotropic medication when treating mental disorders, but psychiatrists will often make referrals to psychologists, psychotherapists and talking therapists when psychological therapy or talking therapy is required.  Although prescribing is one role that sets psychiatrists aside from psychologists it is not the only distinction.  Whilst some psychologists, and usually clinical psychologist, diagnose, diagnosis is another function which is most often fulfilled by psychiatrists.  Psychiatrists, as medical practitioners, have other responsibilities too.  Where there is any doubt about the origin (aetiology) of mental health symptoms, a psychiatrist is trained to recognise when mental and behavioural symptoms may instead be the result of physical conditions such as infection, hormonal imbalances (such as thyroid disease), cancer, and lesions of the central nervous system.  In multidisciplinary management of mental disorder in inpatient and outpatient settings, psychiatrists often fulfil the role of clinical lead of a patient care; however, there are instances where another team member, and often a psychologist, will take on this responsibility.

Do I need a psychiatrist expert witness or a psychologist expert witness?

Deciding which expert you need may not always be straightforward.  In some proceedings, the need for a psychiatric assessment will be clear.  For example, in civil proceedings, a psychiatrist will be needed if you need to demonstrate that psychiatric harm has occurred and whether that harm has been caused by the index event, or whether the index event contributed to that harm.  Similarly, in criminal proceedings, the availability of diminished responsibility as a defence to murder must be addressed by a psychiatrist rather than a psychologist.  In other instances, the need for a psychologist over a psychiatrist will be equally as clear.  For example, structured assessments of personality are almost always conducted by psychologists rather than psychiatrists.  Other examples include the assessment of intelligence using scales such as WAIS-IV (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale) to measure cognitive ability in adults, WISC-V (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children) to measure cognitive ability in children, and the WASI-II (Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence).  However, in a good proportion of cases, either expert could complete the assessment albeit with different assessment approaches.  For example, both experts can comment on issues such as trauma, neurodevelopment and adverse childhood experiences, but a psychologist is likely to be better suited to commenting on attachment styles whereas a psychiatrist would be the more appropriate expert to form an opinion as to whether the diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder are fulfilled.

How many pages do your experts read per hour?

Our experts typically read 60 pages per hour although the number does vary in certain circumstances.  For example, some GPs may read more pages per hour particularly if the pages to be read contain many sparsely populated sheets (e.g. pages containing test results and blood pressure readings.

How do I get a quotation for an expert witness report?

If you are interested in working with any of our expert’s witnesses please use the link below to request more information.

Get in touch with our team