The Institute of Expert Witnesses (IEW) was founded in 1996 to provide a forum for professionals working - or looking to work - as expert witnesses in legal cases involving leisure, physical, recreation, educational and sporting activities.
The brainchild of Peter Wright OBE, the Institute was initially set up to provide advice and support for members of the Association for Physical Education (AfPE) (formerly known as the British Association of Advisors and Lecturers in Physical Education - baalpe) drawing together their vast wisdom in the area of safety, mentoring new members and bringing confidence to existing expert witnesses.
With his considerable legal experience, Peter could see the immense value that an organisation like the IEW could bring to the work and professional development of his peers which is now reflected in the standing and status of the Institute from within the legal profession.
More recently, the range of expertise and services of the IEW has been a developed. It now provides a comprehensive and trusted support system to the legal profession. From its origins of analysing physical education and sporting injuries, the IEW now has the ability to provide services in cases involving adults and children, in a range of scenarios, which are best described in the 'Areas of Expertise' section of this web site.
With an increase in the number of IEW professionals, the level of participation in both civil and criminal cases has risen, with some notable, national profile cases being served.
Expert Witness Experience
The main focus of the IEW's work centres around providing support and training for its individual members who been involved in many settlements and key landmark trials since the inception of the IEW.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) has been central to the work of the Institute enabling colleagues to meet and share their expert witness experiences in a wide range of alleged negligence cases and keeping the IEW up to speed with current practice and in identifying accident trends.
Meanwhile, IEW training is provided by legal training consultants Bond Solon Ltd with qualified barristers leading courses and accreditation in topics including 'Excellence in Report Writing', 'Court Room Skills', 'Cross Examination' and 'The Single Joint Expert Role'.
On a wider scale, the Institute has also laid down a standard scale of reasonable and minimum fees and charges for instructing solicitors ensuring that its members' expert witness services are adequately rewarded at a credible professional level.
IEW Membership Categories
Category and description of membership
Benefits and Access
1) Annual membership fee paid, access to AGM and CPD activities, full access to web site and all IEW information. A mentored position, working with an experienced member.
2) Annual membership fee paid, access to AGM and CPD activities, full access to web site and all IEW information. Opportunities to work as a mentor.
3) All of the above, plus mentoring opportunities and IEW funded external CPD activities.
4) All of the above, plus no membership fee paid, free and paid advice and services supplied to members.
5) All the above, plus entry into the IEW Role of Honour
Expert Witness Services
The Institute and its members have also used their expert witness expertise to influence AfPE's 'Safe Practice in Physical Education and School Sport' publication and contributed it's excellent and innovative 2005 book 'Case Law in Physical Education and School Sport: A Guide to Good Practice', published in 2005.
As an organisation, the IEW is properly constituted and financially independent with members paying an annual membership fee which is used to financially assist individual members in attending national conferences.
It carefully recruits members based on qualifications, reputation and experience ensuring the maintenance of high quality expert witness services with meetings held at the Salvation Army UK headquarters in London with regional meetings held by groups across the country.