Trust me, I’m an Expert …


5:30 pm - 6:30 pm


Bookings closed



Zoom Webinar

Event Type

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Trust me, I’m an Expert …

Wednesday 19 May 2021, 17.30 – 18.30

In this session, a team from Finch Consulting comprising Sue Dearden and professional experts Dr Steve Cowley and Melvin Sandell will discuss:

  • the key differences between requirements for experts and their evidence in the civil and criminal courts;
  • how experts might assist with a reasonable practicability defence, with sentencing band allocation and with mitigation;
  • what to look for and include when selecting and instructing an expert – and what to avoid;
  • ensuring constructive expert meetings;
  • admissibility of expert evidence;
  • challenging the prosecutor’s expert, and
  • managing the costs of expert evidence.
Introduction – 17.30 – 17.35

Colin Moore, Member of the HSLA Events Committee

Discussion forum (Q&A) 18.10 – 18.30 chaired by Colin Moore 

Following the presentation, Sue Dearden, Melvin Sandell, and Steve Cowley will be joined by Dr. Richard Brown to take any questions posted during the presentation.

Speakers’ brief biographies:

Melvin Sandell  PG Dip Occupational Health and Safety

Melvin (known as Flip) was an HSE Regulatory Inspector for 17 years before joining Finch in 2017.  He has expertise in a wide range of industries and is the author of numerous HSE guidance documents from his time as one of HSE’s Operational Policy Leads where he also contributed to legislative change processes e.g. in connection with RIDDOR and PUWER.  He has provided expert opinion to the Court for both prosecutors and for the defence in criminal prosecutions on a range of health and safety issues and charges including manslaughter.  He also deals with civil instructions for both sides and as a single joint expert.


Dr Stephen Cowley PhD MSc (Occ Hyg) BSc (Hons)(OHS) GCert(Ed), CMIOSH AFOH FSIA

Steve is a Chartered health and safety practitioner and Associate of the Faculty of Occupational Hygiene.   In the past year, Steve’s expertise has been particularly sought after regarding management of COVID 19 transmission risks in the workplace.   His expert advice has encompassed incidents involving machinery as well as hazardous substances exposure.  Steve is instructed as an expert in both civil and criminal cases.


Sue Dearden LLB, SIIRSM

Sue is a longstanding member of the HSLA, and sits on the Thought Leadership subcommittee.   For many years, a partner with Gowlings, Sue left private practice at the end of April 2017 when she joined Finch Consulting as a specialist health and safety solicitor to develop its Legal Team alongside consulting, expert and training teams comprising specialists and engineers across a range of disciplines.   She has always specialised in SHE defence work and legal training is an important part of her current role.


Dr Richard Brown PhD MSc CMIOSH EurOSHM MEWI

Richard is a Chartered health and safety practitioner and chartered building engineer.  Much of Richard’s work is in criminal health and safety matters, including several gross negligence manslaughter cases, acting on the instructions of prosecutors and for the accused.  He is currently instructed by the prosecution in a fatal injury involving the death of a minor.  Richard’s current work also includes instructions in several high value construction arbitration cases and he provides a limited number of reports each year in personal injury cases for both claimants and defendants. Richard’s expertise is on issues requiring expert opinion on the CDM Regulations, work at height, and transport accidents.


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Bookings are closed for this event.

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