Mrs Elisabeth Briggs

Forensic Document Examiner & Handwriting Expert




Mrs Elisabeth Briggs is an experienced forensic document examiner and handwriting expert who provides expert evidence in criminal, civil and family proceedings. Elisabeth examines disputed handwriting, signatures and documents to attempt to determine their authenticity.

Instructing Mrs Elisabeth Briggs

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Mrs Elisabeth Briggs is a Forensic Document Examiner with nearly twenty years of experience, having worked in both Police and private forensic laboratories. Elisabeth initially completed a two-year training programme at the Grampian Police Forensic Laboratory in Aberdeen to become a Forensic Document Examiner and was authorised by the Secretary of State for Scotland to examine and report handwriting and documents cases.

In 2005 Elisabeth moved to Birmingham, employed by Document Evidence Ltd with many of the UK’s most experienced forensic document examiners. The company was subsequently bought by Key Forensic Services Ltd, one of the leading forensic service providers in the UK, where she worked until 2019.

Elisabeth now works as an independent examiner and accepts privately funded and Legal Aid instructions mainly from the UK and occasionally abroad.

Elisabeth owns and uses a variety of equipment in the examination of documents including a stereo microscope, video spectral comparator and electrostatic detection apparatus. Portable equipment is available for examinations made outside of the office.

Elisabeth takes part in regular proficiency tests supplied by Collaborative Testing Services.

Elisabeth appeared on the BBC television programme ‘Fake Britain’ as an expert witness, demonstrating the methodology used in a case involving a forged will she examined and was subsequently featured in the programme. Elisabeth also contributed to the BBC Radio 4 Podcast ‘Fairy Meadow’ broadcast in 2022, relating to the disappearance of three-year-old Cheryl Grimmer in Australia in 1970.


Experience of giving evidence

Elisabeth has prepared over one thousand court compliant reports as an expert and single-joint expert, and regularly undertakes discussions with other experts in order to prepare joint statements.

Elisabeth has given expert evidence at court on many occasions, attending magistrates, crown and county courts all over the UK in person and providing evidence remotely in the UK and abroad. She has also given evidence remotely on several occasions at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, the Law Courts in Valletta and the Coroner’s Court in the Cayman Islands.

Elisabeth has completed training courses in ‘Excellence in Report Writing’, ‘Witness Familiarisation’ and ‘Cross Examination’ organised by Bond Solon.


Cases undertaken

Mrs Briggs has undertaken a wide range of forensic document examination cases including:

  • Forensic examination of handwriting to determine whether documents share common authorship
  • Forensic examination of disputed signatures to determine authenticity
  • Forensic examination of documents for the presence of indented impressions of writing
  • Forensic examination of printed, photocopied and typewritten documents
  • Forensic examination of documents for evidence of alteration, including non-destructive examination of inks.
  • Reconstruction of torn and shredded documents
  • Transcription of handwritten documents
  • Examination of some documents to determine authenticity



Barratt EM, Smith Y: Examination of an altered bar code on a vehicle tax disc. Science & Justice 2005 45(3): p135-9


Languages spoken

  • English – Fluent


Elisabeth Briggs has excellent availability and works full time as a forensic document examiner. Standard reports are usually completed within 1 – 2 weeks of receipt of all documents. Urgent instructions can sometimes be completed with a 24 – 48-hour turnaround.


Qualifications and memberships


MNatSc (Chem)

MSc Forensic Science


Practising Member of the Academy of Experts

Member of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

Corresponding Member of the Australasian Society of Forensic Document Examiners Inc



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