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Lawyers and Experts

Dr Penny Cooper (Panel Chair), Duncan Hughes-Phillips, Chief Executive Officer, Base Quantum, Frank Hughes, Partner and head of office, BLM, Jennifer Jones, Commercial Barrister, Atkins Chambers and Robert Clayton, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

This practical session uses a case study to explore the process of instruction from both the lawyer and the experts perspective and identifies ways in which parties can work together more effectively whilst retaining independence. The panel offer their views on what happens when it works well, what could be improved when it doesn’t, and what lessons we can learn from this for key stages in a case, covering:

  • Initial Enquiry
  • Instruction
  • Documentation
  • Draft report
  • Handling questions
  • Finalising the report
  • Timescales
  • Meeting of Experts
  • Preparation for Court
  • Submitting/Paying Invoices

Running Time: 57 Minutes

CPD Certificate: 1 Hour


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The Panel

Dr Penny Cooper

Penny was called to the Bar in 1990 and specialised in child abuse cases. In 2002 she moved into academia and became a professor in 2009. She co-founded and chairs The Advocate's Gateway – this free online resource is endorsed by the senior judiciary and contains best practice guides to cross-examination of vulnerable witnesses and parties.

Penny devised and researches ‘the ground rules approach’ for witness evidence and frequently advises on witness familiarisation procedures, cross-examination and case management including in challenging and high profile cases where a witness or party is affected by an autism spectrum condition/Aspergers Syndrome.

She is a visiting professor at the University of London and leads great funded research studying witness evidence. She practises law from 39 Essex Chambers London. Penny is a former governor of EWI.


Mr Robert Clayton, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Robert Clayton is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon. He undertook higher surgical training in Trauma and Orthopaedics in Edinburgh, with fellowship training in Foot and Ankle surgery. He was appointed Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon in NHS Fife in 2010. 

Mr Clayton has a general adult and child trauma practice treating the full range of musculoskeletal injuries. He has a specialist practice in trauma and elective conditions of the foot and ankle. He accepts complex foot and ankle cases from other specialists and units. 

Mr Clayton has ten years experience of provision of expert reports, providing over 250 personal injury reports per year. He provides pursuer and defender reports across the whole range of trauma and orthopaedics. He also regularly provides reports on complex and highly specialised foot and ankle cases. He has extensive experience of low velocity road traffic accident cases. Mr Clayton provides medical negligence reports (pursuer and defender) for orthopaedic and trauma cases reflecting his own practice of general adult and child orthopaedic trauma as well as specialised foot and ankle cases. 

Mr Clayton is a council member and director of the British Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society. He is also a council member for Foot and Ankle Scotland. He is involved with research and higher surgical training.


Frank Hughes, Partner and Head of Glasgow Office, BLM 

Frank is a partner and head of BLM's Glasgow office. He has experience in conducting insurer-related litigation across a wide arena, including to the Supreme Court. He specialises in complex loss and emerging risks, with a significant background in disease litigation and large loss. He has been an accredited specialist in personal injuries for many years and act as an expert witness in solicitors’ negligence.

For many years he tutored in Judicial Review at Glasgow University and is the author of an online resource on Scottish Court procedure.On many occasions he has presented publicly on insurance-related subjects, including on ‘insurance and Brexit’, both nationally and internationally.

He is a Member of the Regulatory Committee of the Law Society of Scotland, Scottish Representative on the UK FOIL National Executive Committee, Mentor for disadvantaged law students under the LawScot Foundation and Former Chair of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers in Scotland.


Duncan Hughes-Phillips, Chief Executive Officer, Base Quantum

Duncan Hughes-Phillips is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Base Quantum Limited. Duncan is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor by profession and has acted as a Quantum Expert on matters ranging from £10,000.00 up to complex mega-disputes of £250 million and above. Duncan leads a Base team that is now approaching 70 professionals who provide Expert Witness, Dispute and non-contentious appointments. 

Duncan regularly accepts instructions in relation to Adjudication, Litigation and Domestic and International Arbitrations and has provided oral testimony in Court, Arbitration and Adjudication (including remotely). 

Duncan is an experienced Expert Witness with over 15 years of experience of providing written and oral testimony, described in Whos Who Legal as "”an excellent quantum expert” who is "very dedicated, extremely hardworking and on top of every detail"”, Duncan regularly works with Barristers and Solicitors ranging from small local domestic lawyers up to some of the world’s leading firms. 

During his career, Duncan has developed clear ideas of how to work alongside this broad cross section of the legal industry, including a robust understanding of when and how it is acceptable to consider the opinions of instructing parties and other members of the legal team in developing ones opinion and when it is not.


Jennifer Jones, Commercial Barrister

Jennifer Jones is a commercial barrister at Atkin Chambers.  She practices both domestically and internationally, with a particular expertise in  multi-party TCC litigation and in international arbitrations in the fields of large construction projects and energy disputes.  She is typically  instructed as sole counsel in multi-million-pound disputes for a range of different types of entity and her clients praise both her intellectual ability  and her emphasis on client care.

She is recommended in Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500 in the fields of Construction and Professional Negligence, and also in Chambers Global for Construction.  Contributors remark in particular that she is “very impressive and a clear thinker”, “an excellent barrister who is very responsive and commercial”, “enthusiastic and a very capable team player”, “calm, collected and unflappable” and that she has “absolutely first-rate legal knowledge”.

Jennifer’s main areas of specialisation are construction and engineering, professional negligence and energy, and she also has valuable experience in disputes concerning the construction and enforcement of guarantees/ bonds and of jurisdictional and conflicts issues, which regularly arise as incidental to other matters.  It is in the nature of construction disputes that they give rise to particularly complex strategic and factual scenarios, either because of the number of different parties and contracts, or because disputes are being fought out in different fora.  Jennifer particularly enjoys the tactical challenges inherent in managing these complicated disputes and in doing everything possible to obtain the best result for her clients.