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EXPERT WITNESS AND COVID19- A TIME TO REFLECT AND RENEW
  • Apr 20, 2020
  • Latest News

Following the Government guidelines nearly a month ago, we recognised the ways in which many experts operate in their day to day business were set to change. Some of our esteemed experts working in either medical and healthcare or engineering and design are now back at the frontline in the fight against Covid19 and for that we offer our sincerest thanks. For experts not on the frontline, it perhaps seems the right time to reflect and to think about how experts can respond and adapt to these shifting times whatever their position may be.

The overall legal response to this changing environment has been really interesting to witness. The usual resistance to change has instead been embraced with the understanding that, by using technology, software tools and innovation, wherever possible, the wheels of the legal system will keep on turning and must do so given there appears to be no speedy solution afoot and on and off disruption may continue for some time. These positive signals echoing from the legal world offers some reassurance to experts, who may have thought at the start of the lockdown that they would no longer be able to be instructed for the time being. We are now seeing that this is simply not the case.

So whether you are the expert who using social distancing is adjusting to an altered work environment or an expert who is choosing to take a time out and self isolate for personal or family reasons for the duration of the restrictions and perhaps beyond, the one thing in common now is perhaps a little time to pause and reflect on business matters and how as an expert this time can be used wisely to plan for life beyond Covid19. Here are a few suggestions which as an expert you can apply to add value to your business and services.

PUBLISHING ARTICLES
Journal articles can be a really engaging way to connect to litigators and other experts. The value of writing informative pieces cannot be underestimated. For the expert it offers the opportunity to discuss current awareness, best practice and critique guidelines within your discipline, demonstrating transparency and highlighting your ongoing continuing professional development to potential instructors.  For others, writing presents the opportunity to collate case studies or educate instructing professionals in aspects of what work you do.

The Expert Witness Journal (registered with The British Library) welcome submissions from experts for publication in their quarterly Journal which is read by both experts and instructing professionals. Experts may also apply for CPD points for written Journal articles so it is worth exploring this an as option with your professional body. For further information on our contributing and subscribing to the Journal please email, to view recent articles please click
 

TRAINING
Experts may find that this is the time to undertake additional training in report writing and courtroom cross examination for example. Leading training companies have responded well and are now offering their usual f2f training online using virtual classroom environments, which may fit well with experts who now finally have the time to take the plunge. Inspire Medi-Law and Bond Solon both offer online training opportunities and details can be found by following the links.

Discounts to training opportunities are available for clients and subscribers to Expert Witness and The Expert Witness Journal. Please inform the companies that this applies when booking.

ADMINISTRATION, OPERATIONAL FUNCTIONALITY AND HOUSEKEEPING
As the Courts and legal professions are now all shifting to more remote ways of operating, experts too are now considering their own future operational functionality in this adapting landscape. It may be that this shift becomes a more natural way to run a business. Be realistic at this time about how your business can be streamlined to work more effectively.  Investing the time now to get to grips with the technology and software solutions to facilitate a way of working remotely, might be the solution for experts looking to change the way they run their businesses in the future.

Review your terms and conditions. Now is the time to take a few hours out to reflect on your T’s and C’s paying attention to your terms of engagement and more importantly your payment terms. Maybe now is the time to evaluate and take action ensuring that going forward your invoices are paid in a timely fashion and what else you can do.

CV and resume updating is something which many experts intend to get around to doing. A few hours spent updating your CV or professional online bios on social media is time well spent.

CONFERENCES & NETWORKING
Networking opportunities and Conferences which so many experts look forward to attending have all either been rescheduled for later in the year or postponed for the time being. Maybe now is the time to plan ahead. There will be many lessons learnt during lockdown, once restrictions are lifted and regular life resumes, attendance at these events will provide you with an opportunity to discuss this time with other experts, sharing experiences and re-engaging with other industry professionals and peers. Which events will you want to attend? Register now for email updates so you do not miss the opportunity to book when the time comes.

MARKETING
It may seem that marketing and the promotion of your services would be the last thing to consider at a time when one might not be actively working or one gets the feeling that work might be slowing down. It often feels like an unnecessary expenditure and is the first to be cut in any budget rethinks. But, now is precisely the time to think about where you want your business to be. For those experts still working, it is vital to ensure instructing professionals  are aware of this and know what steps you have taken to ensure operational continuation. Based on the fact that the legal wheels are still turning, experts are still being instructed. Marketing now is as important as it ever was.

Proactive background marketing is invaluable to ensure you can be found and instructed. Any perceived gaps in your ability to be seen; when you are in fact working means you may be missing out on the opportunity to be instructed. Consistent and robust approaches to marketing help businesses to succeed and grow. As an expert, your expertise is a business and should be considered as such.

Expert Witness has a range of options to help, from the individual expert to the multidisciplinary organisation and offers available to both existing and new experts.

Above all else, during this time whether you are continuing to work or not, we hope you continue to stay safe and healthy. If you need any assistance at all, please get in touch.