This content is provided by Bond Solon.
Chairman: Mark Solon
Number of employees: Over 30 full time staff, with approx. 40 consultant lawyers who deliver the sessions
Languages: English, French, Russian
Overview & History:
Bond Solon is a London-based legal skills and information provider. Bond Solon created the first independent witness familiarisation sessions in 1992 and is the UK’s foremost provider. Bond Solon’s lawyers, who are trained trainers, have worked with tens of thousands of witnesses, both lay and expert, to help build their confidence and assist them with presenting their evidence effectively. Based in central London, Bond Solon delivers sessions worldwide for a variety of legal hearings.
Bond Solon provides witness familiarisation sessions for both lay and expert witnesses in many legal fora. These include all divisions of the High Court, arbitration, Family Court, tribunals (including employment, tax), criminal proceedings, inquiries, interviews and professional conduct hearings. The firm also has experience in delivering training ahead of remote hearings.
The sessions demystify the process of giving evidence and explain the techniques cross-examining lawyers use to disconcert and discredit witnesses. Witnesses experience cross-examination in a mock hearing but based on a scenario that is unrelated to the facts and issues of the case in question. Feedback on how to give clear and concise evidence is then provided to both the witness and the instructing lawyer.
Bond Solon is based in central London and provides sessions across the UK, including Scotland and the Channel Islands. The firm is regularly instructed to deliver sessions globally in all the major arbitration and offshore centres. It has extensive experience of working with international witnesses, often with interpreters present. Bond Solon also conducts training remotely, both for specific virtual hearings and where witnesses are giving evidence by video conference.
The firm can call on a pool of over 40 qualified barristers and solicitors from many practice areas to deliver witness familiarisation. All these lawyers are also trained trainers, with years of experience of working with witnesses.
All sessions are confidential, and Bond Solon will not generally comment on matters in which they have worked. However, it has delivered sessions on behalf of many highprofile witnesses. These include, as was widely reported in the press, Roman Abramovich, who received witness familiarisation ahead of giving evidence in his dispute with former business partner Boris Berezofsky. The firm are regularly instructed to work on high value disputes, both in the UK and overseas.
Bond Solon has an extensive client list, working with many global law firms and corporations based in the UK and overseas.
Law firm clients include:
Akin Gump, Allen & Overy, Alexiou Fisher Philipps, Ashurst, Baker McKenzie, Bristows, Clifford Chance, Clyde & Co, CMS, DLA Piper, Freshfields, Gibson Dunn, Hogan Lovells, Jones Day, Kirkland & Ellis, Latham & Watkins, Linklaters, Milbank, Mishcon de Reya, Norton Rose Fulbright, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, Payne Hicks Beach, Reed Smith, Skadden, Slaughter & May, Vinson & Elkins, White & Case, WilmerHale, Withers.
Expert Witness Training:
Bond Solon is also the UK’s leading provider of expert witness training, certification and information. The firm’s Expert Witness Division exists to promote the very highest standards in expert witness work and its services are used by thousands of expert witnesses each year.
Bond Solon trains professionals across all disciplines, equipping them with the skills and knowledge they require to fulfil their duties as an expert witness, and comply with the law and procedure that relates to their work as experts in all manner of different disputes. Skills based courses teach experts how to produce court compliant reports, conduct themselves appropriately in discussions with other experts, and how to present effective evidence under cross-examination.
In conjunction with Cardiff University Law School, Bond Solon offers the only university recognised certification for expert witnesses practicing in England and Wales. Those experts who have obtained certification from Cardiff University are listed on Bond Solon’s National Register of University Certificated Expert Witnesses. A new certificate will be launched shortly for experts who act in Scottish jurisdiction.
Bond Solon also runs an annual expert witness conference which is the largest gathering of experts in the UK.
Bond Solon is one of the UK’s largest providers of investigative training programmes and since 2003 over 4,000 personnel with an investigative role have successfully completed the nationally recognised BTEC Level 7 Advanced Professional Certificate in Investigative Practice (APCIP) that it offers.
Clients include, but are not limited to: HMRC, Serious Fraud Office, National Crime Agency, Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales, DWP, Bar Standards Board, Solicitors Regulation Authority. Bond Solon also regularly delivers investigative training for banks and law firms.