Martin Lennon Arboriculture & Forestry Support Services 07901 514259
                                   Martin Lennon                             Arboriculture & Forestry                                  Support Services                                   07901 514259

Expert Witness Services

Martin has been supplying expert witness services directly to the Health and Safety Executive since 2016. He also provides this service to independent law firms and solicitors.

 

This work involves a site accident investigation, review of evidence and other expert witness reports, coordination and set up of accident re-enactment / demonstrations, production of expert witness reports offering opinions on the specific case and providing testimony in both crown and coroners court proceedings.

 

Cases.

One case related to a fatal electrical utility arboriculture accident; the crown court case was a total of five weeks. Other services have related to:

  • A fatal tree felling accident in a timber harvesting / forestry operations site
  • A fatality in a domestic garden as a result of amenity arboricultural operations
  • A severe injury accident incurred during woodchipper operations
  • An accident resulting in life changing injuries during a commercial arboricultural operation


Martin also undertakes related accident and incident work for larger employer organisations. Please give Martin a call on 07901514259 or send him an email via the contacts page.

 

Can I help with your specific case?

The initial phone call
 
Phone discussions around the specific industry sector or operational activity being undertaken at the time of the accident / incident ensures I am an appropriate person with the relevant knowledge to assist you.
If I cannot assist, I may know of an expert who can.
 
This is often a good time to discuss the timescales involved. I am keen to assist you where I can and can usually give you an estimate of my current workload report production dates and any potential for delays. Whilst highlighting the potential for delays may not seem a good sales tactic, what I'm offering is an honest and open service. If I am unable to help you in a timely manner, I would prefer to explain this at an early stage rather than string you along.

Report production process - an overview

To produce an accident / incident report, the following are usually needed:
 
A site visit ideally as short a time after the incident as possible
This enables me to identify site specific issues, take locus images, examine materials, tools and equipment involved, and investigate the work area. It is common to need accurate measurements to ensure any comments and opinions I express are based on undisputed facts. As I offer a UK-wide service, travelling is not usually a problem. 
 
A meeting or online discussion
Meetings / discussions with council or the relevant inspector is often a good way to start the process. Such discussions can also help identify key areas that the report needs to encompass. I usually request clients produce a list of specific questions or identify specific topics that they would like an opinion on, where possible. This may provide the basis for the draft report.
 
The available evidence
Clients usually then provide a copy of all the available evidence for me to review. This usually takes several days.
There are usually a few questions that arise during the evidence review, and it is not uncommon for me to request further specific details or evidence. This may or may not be available and if not, I usually include these areas within my draft report.
 
A draft report
The timescales for the production of a report can vary, however as a guide and based on my experiences to date, the minimum production time so far has been 2 weeks.
 
Review meeting / online discussion
Should you require further discussions to gather information about the report details or need me to expand further on key areas / topics, a discussion is often the most effective way to agree this. If needed I can update / develop my report around such details / topics.
This may lead to further site visits or additional investigation or research. This may result in the final report production or additional work.
 
Final report
Review meeting / online discussion.
Should you require further discussions to gather information about the report details or need me to expand further on key areas / topics, a discussion is often the most effective to agree this. If needed I can update / develop my report around such details / topics.
This may lead to further site visits or additional investigation or research. This may result in the final report production or additional work.
 
Fees and invoicing
 
As this process can take some time, I have found that I can provide an estimate of my fees for the site visit and production of first draft report, however it is best to request a purchase order or case reference and the necessary client account approval, so I can send in my invoices as the work progresses. That way I can invoice as work is required, which may help reduce your costs in cases where the work only progresses to a mid-point rather than runs the "potential full course". 
 
Following any additional related works or meetings etc, and the production of a final report, and should the case move to a court case and should my presence or support be required, I can then allocate the necessary time and invoice as required.
 
In the case of court-related support work, the allocation of dates requires the time to be confirmed and booked. Having a case reference or PO usually means client cost allocation is easier to manage. 
 

What does the average report contain?

The common requests from my clients are, to review the evidence and findings of my site visit, with a focus on:

  • the operational planning and organisation of the work

  • the activities being undertaken and the equipment being used

  • the selected work methods

  • the roles and responsibilities of those involved

  • the competence of the individuals involved

and compare this with:

  • the relevant UK legislation requirements and related approved codes of practice

  • the relevant industry good practice standards and guidance

  • my personal experience and knowledge

This leads to my opinions, comments and reasoning on the issues involved in the case.

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