Legal Experience Training – Witness Familiarisation
Legal Experience Training (‘LET’) was established in 2009 by two senior barristers/judge and a solicitor. LET provides Witness Familiarisation for witnesses of fact and expert witnesses in the UK and internationally. The firm are instructed direct by organisations, law firms and by Members of the Bar. They have expertise in preparing witnesses to give evidence in courts, international arbitrations, domestic arbitrations, tribunals and regulatory hearings often where millions/billions of pounds are at stake. They also provide familiarisation to witnesses involved in cases of great personal and professional importance to the individuals concerned.
LET prepares witnesses to give evidence in virtual, hybrid or face to face hearings. The firm have unrivalled experience assisting witnesses from or giving evidence in the following jurisdictions: United Kingdom, The Channel Islands, UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Russia, Ukraine, USA, France, Germany, Norway, Australia, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago.
Tailoring Witness Familiarisation sessions for each client
LET offer bespoke flexible options to clients including grouping witnesses or arranging one-to-one sessions. They adjust the length and intensity of sessions to suit individual witnesses. The training can be delivered remotely via a conferencing link or face to face or as a hybrid. The sessions are run to accommodate international times zones during weekdays/weekends.
The building blocks for Witness Familiarisation sessions
Witness evidence is vital. A witness who fails to carry out structured preparation and is ignorant of the process is placed at a huge disadvantage. Their evidence may be lost, distorted or manipulated if they do not have the skills and confidence to enable their evidence to be understood by the decision maker(s). LET consults with each instructing clients to tailor the type and length of sessions for each witness. They offer building blocks in the following skills sets:
Witness Familiarisation - Case Preparation.
Followed after a short break or a longer break to allow for reflection by:
Witness Familiarisation - Cross-examination Role Play.
The length and intensity of these sessions can be increased for significant witnesses or those that need more support in preparing for a hearing. The firm can work with interpreters if required.
Witness Familiarisation - Case Preparation.
Sessions are led by barrister/solicitor tutors who are recognised communication experts in their own field. These sessions offer detailed guidance and a methodology to help witnesses prepare for a hearing by considering the weight, reliability and credibility of evidence. The session provides witnesses with a toolkit to identify strengths and weaknesses in their evidence. Witnesses receive tips on how to dissect evidence, to prepare to present their evidence effectively and to calmly manage cross-examination.
Feedback from witnesses and instructing lawyers has indicated that the Witness Familiarisation – Case Preparation session has been highly effective in getting witnesses to set aside time to fully engage with, and prepare for, the hearing. It enables the witness to spend time going through the evidence with a clear purpose. The session helps them to identify what evidence to present, how to present it and demonstrates why it is important. The tutors use simple visual aide memoires to demystify the role of the witness to help witnesses give clear confident and credible evidence.
Witness Familiarisation – Cross-examination Role Play
Cross-examination role play can be arranged to take place immediately after Witness Familiarisation - Case Preparation or after a gap in time to allow for reflection and the opportunity to implement the case preparation methodology on the case study to be used for the cross-examination role play.
LET uses a wide range of cross-examination techniques to give witnesses experience of the intense scrutiny of them and their evidence during cross-examination. Witnesses are provided with specific tips on the different techniques used in cross-examination and learn how to manage these. The cross-examination role play is stopped every 5 minutes or so to give structured feedback. This helps to build skills and confidence in witnesses as they go along and to incrementally improve the quality of their evidence. Witnesses are given practical tips about giving evidence via a conferencing link if this is required.
The tutors collaborate with the witness to remove the blockers to effective communication due to anxiety, lack of confidence, anger, aggression or other characteristics. This assists with posture, tone, speed of delivery, precision and accuracy in language. Witnesses leave with a range of skills to help them present their evidence calmly and with clarity. They use a unique structured system of feedback - Headline, Remedy, Practice and Repeat.