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The Academy of Experts

Medico Legal

In this issue we focus on The Academy of Experts (TAE). Now located in Gray’s Inn Square in London,

TAE was founded in 1987 with the objective of providing, for the first time, a professional body for Experts to establish and promote high objective standards. Although there is representation on the Academy’s Council from the legal profession the majority of the officers, including the Chairman, are practising Experts -

TAE is run by Experts for Experts and those using them. All applicants to The Academy who wish to become Accredited Practising Expert Witnesses undergo a rigorous vetting procedure to ensure standards of excellence are maintained.

The Academy offers a comprehensive range of training programmes to enable members to develop their expert skills, and undertake Continuous Professional Development activity. Courses range from basic Role and Responsibilities through to the requirements of Procedure Rules and the practice of Giving Evidence. The Academy is also a training and accreditation body for ADR Neutrals, including Mediators, Conciliators and Expert Determiners. It publishes and maintains The Register of Qualified Dispute Resolvers and awards the designatory letters QDR to those achieving the approved standard. Standards are enforced in exactly the same way as for experts.

The Academy’s training courses for Expert Witnesses cover a wide range of subjects all valuable for the practising Expert Witness from the experienced to the new practitioner. Expert Witness journal takes a look at some of the of courses available at TAE.

Foundation Course

This is a two day course before for those who have not undertaken any Expert Witness work before, It would probably be useful to attend this course before you accept instructions.

Procedure Rules

The optimum timing is as soon as convenient after attending the Foundation Course. Because this course covers the procedures which must be followed, it should be ‘sooner’ rather than ‘later’. Attendance on the Foundation Course or suitable prior experience is advisable to gain maximum advantage from this course.

Practical Law for Experts

This is not a particularly time sensitive course in that it supplements knowledge of a general legal nature and so it can be taken at any time.

This course can be of value to you in everyday commercial life as well as for your Expert practice.

 Into Court…

There is more than one ‘best’ time for this course. This course is designed for those starting their Expert careers although everybody benefits from honing their skills.

 Into Court... should not normally be undertaken before the Foundation Course or without some other appropriate experience.

You will gain the greatest benefit by attending this course shortly after the Foundation Course and/or as a refresher/confidence builder just before a court or arbitral appearance.

 Expert Determination

Expert Determination is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution involving the use of an independent Expert to investigate the referred matters and to give his Determination which is binding on the parties.

Although not strictly an ‘Expert Witness’ training course Expert Determination is included here as it is a valuable adjunct to the other courses.

This can be undertaken at any time but ideally before accepting an Expert Determination appointment!

The Judicial Committee

TAE’s Judicial Committee is chaired by a former Supreme Court Judge, and consists of Lords Justice of Appeal and other Senior Judges from the United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland) and Hong Kong.

The Judicial Committee has been responsible for a number of important documents and guidance notes for experts.

The Judicial Committee’s publications have included: The Model Form of Expert’s Report (as commended by Rt Hon Lord Woolf), Guidance Notes on The Meetings of Experts and Guidance Notes on Contingency Fees for Experts

 Details of all the courses available can be viewed on the Academy’s website www.academyofexperts.org which also has information regarding TAE, its work, and membership along with many resources useful to the practising expert; courses are also available as in-house or bespoke courses