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Line BSL is pleased to announce a partnership with the Institute of Expert Witnesses, Line will be providing a managed service to the IEW. Line's sister company soVision have designed and host the website at www.iew.org.uk.
IEW provide independent expert witness advice and impartial opinions supporting and resolving accident and injury cases for clients across a range of physical education, sporting and leisure activities.
IEW run a speedy clearing house to match our range of expert witnesses to the needs of the instructing solicitors and attempt to respond to your expert witness requests within 24 hours.
Their areas of expertise range from athletics, football, gymnastics and both codes of rugby through to health and fitness, play and armed and uniformed service accidents with details
The Institute was founded in 1996 primarily to provide a forum for members of baalpe who were working (or wishing to work) in the legal field as expert witnesses instructed by solicitors. It has served this purpose well, enabling colleagues to meet and share their experiences in a wide range of cases of alleged negligence involving physical activity, play, leisure, recreation, armed service training, where settlements and court judgements have resulted.
The Institute has, through individual members committed in their duties to the courts, been involved in many key and landmark trials in which a very high success rate has been achieved. In one year alone, the involvement of one of the Institute's members saw settlement and judgement payments which approached close to four million pounds in total.
The sharing of expert witness experiences by members has been invaluable in providing the insight necessary to keep 'up to speed' with current practice and in identifying accident trends. As a result of knowledge gained in this way, invitations have from time to time been extended to governing bodies for a representative official to attend Institute meetings to discuss items of mutual interest and to identify where accidents have occurred that have resulted in court hearings. The reverse has also take place too, where a member of our Institute has been invited to talk to specialist APIL groups.
The Institute often took on tasks from baalpe and the Association's Safety Committee and its work influenced the baalpe publication 'Safe Practice in Physical Education and School Sport' for many years. Members also contributed to baalpe and Peter Whitlam's excellent publication 'Case Law in Physical Education and School Sport: A Guide to Good Practice', published in 2005. Peter, a former member of the Institute, is to be congratulated on this innovative book, with Institute members, solicitors and barristers at the forefront of those recognising its relevance and value. All practitioners in the field will benefit from this impressive text which provides comprehensive examples of physical education and sporting activities, in relation to the law and precedence, with clear implications for good practice. The Institute contributed to the 2009 edition of Safe Practice in Physical Education and School Sport, orchestrated and managed by two former experts, Glen Beaumont and Peter Whitlam.
The Institute is properly constituted and financially independent, with members paying an annual membership fee which covers the charges that accrue through the year. From this source, individual members have been assisted financially with attendance at national conferences, normally limited to just one event each year. A standard scale of reasonable and minimum fees and charges on which expert witnesses may base their work for instructing solicitors is laid down and from time to time reviewed, ensuring that the professional services of members are adequately rewarded at a level which has credibility with 'partner' professions.
It would be fair to claim that the Institute has given confidence to individuals, provided 'mentoring' for new members and brought together vast wisdom in the area of safety. All have 'moved on' with the Civil procedure Rules of 1999 and the standard of professional work consistently provided is reflected in the standing and status with which the Institute is regarded by those using its services. Careful recruitment of members based on qualifications, reputation and experience, ensures the maintenance of high quality provision. Mentoring is a prominent feature and cluster groups meet regionally.
The Institute orchestrates a speedy 'clearing house' to match the expertise of an expert to the needs of a potential instructing Solicitor. The average speed is within 24 hours but has been achieved recently in three minutes!!
The Institute counts notable baalpe officers amongst its numbers, namely four Past Presidents, the immediate past and long serving Safety Officer and the present apfe Safety Officer. Two former members of the Institute, Carole Raymond and Brian Blake, were outstanding in their report production but their appointments to the role of HMI with OFSTED prevented them from working on as expert witnesses. Carole has become a notable author with 'Safety across the Curriculum', as too has Institute member John Severs with 'Risk Assessment in Primary School Physical Education'. Both publications are in frequent use by members to inform their report writing.