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Expert Witness Training
for Medical Professionals (Scotland)

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CPD accreditation:
6 hours per day

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Cost: £1195 + vat (2 day course)

Cost: £1950 + vat (2 day course & University certificate

 

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Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasglow

Select your chosen date below to book

Accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasglow for CPD (6 hours)

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Develop your skills to take on high-earning expert witness work

  • Designed for clinicians
  • Led by internationally renowned barrister Lauren Sutherland KC
  • Covers everything you need to know to get started
  • Contributes to the University of Strathclyde/Inspire MediLaw expert witness certification.

Build your skills and knowledge to take on well-paid, stimulating and challenging expert witness work. Many of our delegates go on to earn a six-figure sum annually from expert witness work.

We invest heavily in our training team so you’ll learn from experts working at the top of their game.

“We focus exclusively on expert witness training for medical professionals.”

What are medical expert witnesses?

Medical expert witnesses have an important role to play in clinical negligence litigation – providing an informed and impartial medical view to the courts to enable them to make a decision on a case.

You can complete expert witness work alongside your clinical role. Get further details about what’s involved in expert witness work.

You don’t need a legal qualification to take on expert witness work but you’ll need to complete medico-legal training, as recommended by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.

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Dedicated expert witness training for clinicians

Our two-day course equips you with the knowledge and skills you’ll need to get started as an expert witness.

You’ll examine a wide range of issues, from the legal rules to report writing, managing meetings with experts, and giving evidence in court.

Taught by internationally acclaimed experts

Our training is led by Lauren Sutherland KC, who was Junior Counsel on the Montgomery case – which led to the landmark legal ruling on informed consent.

You’ll also hear from other highly experienced clinical negligence lawyers and an experienced medical expert witness (Dr Adrian Rees).

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Who should attend the course?

  • Medical professionals looking to get started in expert witness work.
  • Experienced medical expert witnesses keen to expand their skills and knowledge.

Consultant gynaecologist and expert witness Adrian Lower completed our course in 2022. The training has helped him build confidence in taking on cases. He said, “I wish I’d done the course 20 years ago.”

Learning outcomes

The course has a highly practical focus – with interactive tasks and role play to build your skills.

You’ll learn:

  • what’s required of you as an expert witness
  • what you need to know about the legal rules
  • how to write clear and succinct reports and prepare joint statements
  • how to give evidence in court and deal with cross-examination
  • how to set up and develop your own medico-legal practice.

Throughout the day, you’ll have the chance to network and share insights with other medico-legal experts.

By the end of the course, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to start taking on instructions.

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Our guarantee to you

Many of our delegates earn their course fee back from writing their first expert witness report. If you don’t earn your course fee back within your first 12 months of medico-legal practice, we’ll refund the cost. 1

1 For a refund, you will need to demonstrate that you’ve followed the advice we’ve given during the training.

Keen to take your learning further?

You can also complete the University of Strathclyde/Inspire MediLaw expert witness certification and join our membership scheme – with access to a wide range of benefits, including one-to-one mentoring and support.

Get in touch today if you have any questions.

Programme

Expert Witness Training for Medical Professionals (Scotland)

Day One – Prepare

Dr Adrian Rees, GP and Expert Witness, and Lauren Sutherland KC

  • Practicalities of setting up a medico-legal practice
  • What to expect from instructing parties
  • Writing a CPR-compliant report (for experts who wish to work with English lawyers)
  • Writing a clear, concise and well-structured report
  • How to put forward a well-reasoned opinion and be persuasive as an expert
  • Dealing with alternative scenarios if evidence is accepted or rejected
  • Examination and discussion of sample reports – good and bad
  • The roles of various players – client, claims management company, claimant solicitor, barrister and other witnesses
  • Developing your practice and winning instructions
  • Q&A
Day Two (morning) – Practice

Ann Logan, Personal Litigation Solicitor and Partner at Balfour + Manson

Instruction of an expert – The perspective of a solicitor

  • What documents should you receive?
  • The letter of instruction
  • Accepting instructions and when to decline
  • Issues of conflict of interest/bias
  • What do lawyers want from the expert witness?
  • The legal process from the time of instruction and the role of the expert in that process
  • Availability for meetings and consultations

The duties of an expert

  • What is an expert witness?
  • The duties of the expert witness to the court
  • The role of the expert witness
  • Issues of conflict of interest/bias
  • What do lawyers want from the expert witness?
  • Kenney v Cordia – duties of the expert
  • Liability of the expert for the opinion expressed in the report

The expert report

  • Why is the expert report important?
  • The different types of expert report
  • The role of the expert report
  • Report writing – layout, format, declaration and CV
  • The language lawyers use
  • The use of medical terminology
  • The use of medical records within the report
  • Documentation in support of the expert opinion – NICE/SIGN guidance, college guidance, GMC guidance, literature and textbooks
  • The role of the expert witness in advising on a case of failed consent – drafting the expert report

The law – the crucial legal cases

  • Hunter v Hanley/Bolam – the test of medical negligence
  • Bolitho – analysis of the logic of the expert opinion
  • Montgomery – the law on consent
  • Chester v Afshar – and causation in consent cases
  • Causation in medical negligence cases
  • Loss of a chance in medical cases
  • Understanding material contribution in law

Funding

  • Forms of funding available to solicitors
  • Recoverability of fees for work performed by experts
  • Rates of fees in Scotland
  • The role of the auditor in relation to expenses
  • Negotiation of fees with solicitors
  • Who is responsible for payment of the expert witness fees?
Day Two (afternoon) – Perform

Lauren Sutherland KC, Ampersand Advocates

Consultations with experts

  • The purpose of consultation with the expert
  • The roles of various parties at the consultation
  • Preparation for consultation
  • Revisal of the expert report following consultation
  • What to do if there are suggested changes to the expert opinion

Joint meetings of experts

  • Joint meetings of experts
  • The role of the expert in a joint meeting of experts

Appearing in court

  • Various courts in which you may appear
  • Standard of proof
  • The role of solicitors, counsel and the judge
  • Preparation for court
  • Adverse judicial comment and its effect
  • Examination and cross-examination
  • Techniques for giving evidence in court
  • How to withstand cross-examination

Practical test

  • The chance to answer questions

Speakers

Lauren Sutherland KC

Clinical Negligence Advocate, Ampersand Advocates

Ann Logan

Partner and Clinical Negligence Lawyer, Balfour + Manson

Professor Charles Hennessy

Professor of Law, Strathclyde University

Dr Adrian Rees

GP and Expert Witness

Feedback from previous delegates

Very good for beginners. A real wake-up call for those who dabble. Minimum standards clearly explained, and also pitfalls.

Mr Wesley Stuart, Consultant Vascular Surgeon

Excellent overview of court procedures and how to deal with preparation for giving evidence. Also, good advice on report writing.

Lindsay Elwin, Consultant in Medicine for the Elderly

Excellent course. First-class speakers. I should have done this ten years ago.

Jon Moss, Consultant in Interventional Radiology

Very helpful and informative course. Invaluable material for anyone considering medico-legal work. Also, enjoyable and entertaining.

Rosie Cochrane, Consultant Psychiatrist

I wish I had attended this course earlier in my professional career.

Mr Pragnesh Bhatt, Consultant Neurosurgeon

This course is a must for anyone who is embarking on becoming a medico-legal expert.

Dr Smruta Shanbag, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

Excellent overview for starting or developing a medico-legal practice.

Mr Iain Tait, Consultant Surgeon

Training was of a very high standard. All speakers were excellent, informative, interesting, obviously very experienced and great communicators.

Brian Timney, Consultant Psychiatrist

Exceptional speakers. Interactive and informative.

Mr James Mander, Consultant General Surgeon

A fascinating insight into the medico-legal world. Excellent speakers and course material.

Dr Peter Currie, Consultant Cardiologist

Very informative and professionally delivered. Thank you.

Dr Anne Scott, Consultant Cardiologist