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Expert Witness Advisory Group

Find out more about this advisory group.


The Expert Witness Advisory Group was set up by the Practice Board to provide guidance to psychologists acting as expert witnesses.

For answers to any questions you might have about the group, or the role of an expert witness in general, contact the Practice team directly.

Contact the Practice team


Dr Andy Siddaway


Andy splits his time between NHS clinical practice as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, expert witness assessments, and conducting and supervising research.

He is Registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and Chartered by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and he attended the BPS’s Expert Witness training.

He is an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Glasgow and has been a member of several BPS advisory groups. He joined the Expert Witness Advisory Group as Chair in November 2023.

Andy has worked in a range of NHS mental health services since 2004, including several specialist psychological trauma services and an Occupational Health service, and has extensive clinical experience assessing and treating children, adolescents, and adults experiencing a wide range of mental health problems.

He continues to work across the lifespan – with children, adolescents, and adults – and particularly specialises in the areas of trauma/adversity-related mental health problems and risk (risk to self, risk to others, risk from others).

Andy has worked as an expert witness since 2017. He has tended to work on family law cases, although he is increasingly conducting more and more personal injury and clinical negligence assessments. He occasionally conducts expert assessments for immigration or fitness to work purposes.

He has published ~20 articles on a range of clinical topics, many of which are on trauma/adversity and risk. He supervises Doctoral and Masters students and has provided peer-reviews for ~45 journals.

His expertise in the field of trauma was recognised by two successive appointments to the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Traumatic Stress (2017-2023) and an invitation to write a best practice guide (to be published in 2023) on PTSD in the medico-legal context for BJPsych Advances, the continuing professional development journal of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Michael Hymans

Michael Hymans has over thirty-five years of experience as a psychologist, latterly as Principal Educational Psychologist in a local authority Children’s Services Department. He has also taught in schools and pupil referral units whose intake often included children with attachment disorders, social, emotional and behavioural disorders and children on the child protection register.

Michael has expertise in all aspects of child development: cognitive, linguistic, sensory, physical, social, behavioural and emotional and is able to identify children and young people whose development is either delayed or disordered and to consider why this might be and advise about needs.

He is also a governor, with specialist responsibility for an additionally resourced autistic provision at a secondary school, and an advisor on special educational needs and disability in the voluntary sector.

He continues to practise as an Educational and Child Psychologist and works in a private capacity in three different local authority schools, that is mainstream primary and secondary schools and a special school for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties.

Michael has prepared in excess of 400 reports for the family courts and solicitors and Special Educational Needs & Disability Tribunals (SENDIST) since 2010 and has also attended (as well as presented seminars at) the annual conferences of the AEP and DECP.

For the past 20 years he has regularly delivered training for Educational Psychologists and Trainee Educational Psychologists as well as staff in schools on a range of topics that covers child development, special educational needs and school-based interventions.

Dr Marc Desautels

Marc is a Clinical Psychologist at West London NHS Trust where he works on the Specialist Community Forensic Team.

He has worked for many years with mentally disordered offenders in low and medium secure services and was seconded to the National Probation Service where he provided supervision and consultancy to probation officers working on the Offender Personality Disorder Pathway.

He works as an expert witness for criminal, civil and family courts and provides supervision to other psychologists working in this field. He is also the Vice-President of the British Rorschach Society.

Kieran Lee Marshall

Kieran Lee Marshall is a Lecturer in Law (Assistant Professor in Law) at the School of Law, University of Reading.

Prior to joining to the University, he was a Fellow in Law at The Dickson Poon School of Law, King College London and a Tutor and Researcher at Durham Law School.

In 2018/2019, he served as the Erasmus Lecturer and Professor in Law at the Fachbereich Rechtswissen-schaft, Freie Universität Berlin and will serve a second-term in summer 2020/2021.

Alongside his primary role at the University of Reading, Kieran Lee is a College Lecturer and Supervisor in Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge and a Visiting Lecturer and Researcher in Law at Durham Law School, University of Durham.

Having studied at a few universities, he has degrees in natural sciences, psychology and neurosciences, and law.

Upon the invitation of the British Psychological Society, he joined the Expert Witness Advisory Group in Spring 2020.

Professor Gus Baker

Professor Gus Baker is a Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist, he has previously held posts as Head of Neurosciences at the University of Liverpool and Head of Clinical Neuropsychology at the Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery. He was chair of the DoN PSU between 2012 and 2018.

He is a fellow of the British Psychological Society, BPS representative for European Psychology Group Task force, Vice President of Epilepsy Action and Managing Director of Tribune Neuropsychology Services. He serves on the ILAE Neuropsychology Task Force and is Co- Chair for the IBE Research Commission

He has provided expert opinion in civil cases in the UK for over 25 years. He is the author of 260 publications relating to brain behaviour relationships with a particular interest in epilepsy.

Dr Agatha Benyera-Mararike

Dr Agatha Benyera-Mararike has extensive experience in education and clinical practice working with adults, children and families in multi-professional settings.

She is a BPS Chartered Counselling Psychologist, HCPC registered Practitioner Psychologist, UKCP registered Psychotherapist, fully trained EMDR therapist. She is a Senior Lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University.

As an expert witness in the family court, she has carried out child and adult assessments and continues to provide medico-legal reports (MLR) for family, criminal and civil matters - in accident injury claims, immigration, and Court of Appeal relating to detainees and victims of torture and complex presentations of traumatic stress.

David Glasgow

David is an HCPC registered forensic and clinical psychologist. He has worked for over 35 years in various forensic settings with offenders and victims. He is a director of Child & Family Training, a not-for-profit organisation based in York, England, developing apps and training for professionals working in child protection and risk assessment.

He was a founding co-director of the Forensic Behavioural Studies programme at Liverpool University, a director of the Child Forensic Studies programme at Leeds University and later the Forensic Issues programme at the University of Cumbria. He is an honorary professor at The Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct Research Unit, Nottingham Trent University. He is a committee member and past chair of the BPS Forensic Faculty.

He has frequently acted as an expert witness in criminal and civil proceedings in relation to historic abuse; forensic interviewing of vulnerable witnesses; risk assessment in sexual, internet & violent offending; child abuse & child protection.

His research is primarily on the development and use of new technology to aid forensic assessment, formulation, child protection and risk mitigation.

Roger Hutchinson

Roger qualified as a Clinical Psychologist in 1981 becoming a Consultant Clinical Psychologist in 1996 and the Clinical Director of one of the largest Intellectual Disability Services in the UK in 1996.

Roger completed training in several therapeutic models, became a member of the Institute of Health Service Management in 1994 and completed the NHS Advanced Leadership programme in 2002.

He was a member of the team that closed three long stay institutions between 1983 and 1996 developed and led a community support team for women with an Intellectual Disability who were pregnant; a community based intensive support team for people with an ID who demonstrated a significant forensic risk, and a neuro-rehabilitation team for people whom had experienced a traumatic brain injury.

Roger started and delivered a chronic pain service for people with a disability which became a regional clinic as a result of which he participated in developing the International Association for the Study of Pain guidelines for pain management in people with an Intellectual disability.

In 1985 Roger was involved in bringing Snoezelen into the UK, led the initial, lectured about multisensory approaches in Intellectual Disability, Autism, Pain, Brain Injury and with the elderly, until 2015 throughout Europe, Scandinavia, Asia, China, North America, Australia, organised the first World Snoezelen Congress in Sheffield and the second congress in Canada,

Roger retired from the NHS in 2003 and joined the Forensic Psychology Practice Ltd.  Since 1996 he has prepared over 1500 expert witness psychology reports in the context of family and criminal proceedings, and civil litigation that have been considered in Magistrate, Crown, Court of Protection, High and Appeal Court.

He is currently a member of the British Psychological Society Mental Capacity Advisory Group and the Clinical Director for an organisation that supports adults and older adults (personality disorder, mental health issues, dementia, and intellectual disability) in community residential settings who present a high risk of sexual and/or physical violence.

Roger provides Consultant Psychologist oversight for an organisation that delivers Adventure Therapy within the Trauma Recovery Model for young people receiving crisis care as a consequence of the breakdown of a foster, adoptive or residential care placement, who present with behaviours of concern including violence and a risk of Child Sexual Exploitation.

Professor Dan Wilcox

Prof Daniel T Wilcox has a BA and MA in psychology from the State University of New York and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology (PsychD) from the University of Surrey.

He is a consultant (clinical & forensic) psychologist who has held a practice certificate and has been chartered with the British Psychological Society since 1991.

He is a Fellow of the Society, as well as a member of the society’s Faculty for Children, Young People, and Families, and their Special Interest Group for People with Learning Disabilities.

Prof Wilcox has been awarded the title of registered EuroPsy Psychologist and so is qualified to practice as a psychologist throughout the European Union.

He is also a member of the National Awarding Committee for British EuroPsy membership and the BPS Expert Witness Advisory Group.

Further, he is a chartered scientist, having been awarded this title by the Science Council and the BPS, and was a past Assessor for the British Psychological Society for their qualification in Forensic Psychology.

He is also a registered clinical and forensic psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council.

Prof Wilcox is an ‘Honorary Professor’ of Forensic Psychology through appointment to the School of Social Sciences at Nottingham Trent University and was previously Associate Professor (Division of Psychiatry) at the University of Nottingham.

Prof Wilcox has served on the editorial boards of several journals, the Child Abuse Review, the Journal of Sexual Aggression and the European Polygraph Journal.

He has regularly presented at national and international conferences and has over seventy-five publications, substantially in areas associated with the treatment, assessment and management of risk including peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and books.

As an expert witness, Prof Wilcox regularly produces psychological reports for care and family, as well as criminal and medical negligence proceedings.

His reports address, among other topics, issues of attachment, child protection, risk, perceived harm and therapy needs.

Research and practice interests have included contributing to the development of better assessment strategies in family and care proceedings, extending expertise in assessing, treating and managing those who commit sexual offences and clinical forensic applications of polygraphy.

Dan is the Executive Director of Wilcox Psychological Associates based in Birmingham, West Midlands.


The group have prepared a series of guidelines which are intended to provide guidance and clarification for psychologists who are called on to act as an expert witness.

For full details, consult the appropriate document.

Psychologists As Expert Witnesses - Guidelines and Procedures for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland

Preface This document should be treated as guidance only.

Psychologists are expected to work within their own skills, knowledge and competence and to use their professional judgement to make decisions about their expertise as well as in their practice as psychologists and expert witnesses.

This guidance should be used in conjunction with more general guidance about the good practice of psychologists, notably the BPS Practice Guidelines and the BPS Code of Ethics and Conduct, as well as the HCPC standards of performance and the HCPC standards of proficiency, where relevant.

Guidance on the Use of Psychologists as Expert Witnesses in the Family Courts in England and Wales

This guidance on Psychologists as Expert Witnesses was created by a joint BPS and Family Justice Council Working Group.

It is written within the legal context of England and Wales.

However, it is acknowledged that it may have some benefit to those working in other jurisdictions subject to compliance with local practice directions and procedural matters.

Guidance for Expert Witnesses undertaking Remote Psychological Assessments

As a consequence of travel restrictions arising out of Covid-19, the use of remote psychological assessments is being recognised as an acceptable method of assessment and has been sanctioned as such by HM Courts & Tribunal Service.

For practitioners working within the judicial system, it has been acknowledged that the reality is remote hearings for the foreseeable future, and by implication remote psychological assessments within judicial proceedings, will likely become the norm.

This current guidance is specifically to assist psychologists who work as expert witnesses and are conducting remote psychological assessments within the civil, family and criminal judicial system.

Guidelines on memory and the law

The archived BPS guidance, Guidelines on Memory and the Law (2010) required updating and revision particularly for members who referenced the guidelines when acting as expert witnesses.

The BPS Practice Board commissioned a Memory Guidance Task and Finish Group of members with memory expertise to work towards the development of new guidelines.

Following the Task and Finish Group’s inaugural meeting in 2023 and plans to design a protocol for a systematic review of relevant research including witness testimony and memory experts in court, the British Academy produced a report on Legal Aspects of Memory as a summary of areas in which memory science is relevant to the law.

The Task and Finish Group considered the British Academy report to be essentially paralleling the work of the group.

Rather than replicating guidance on memory and the law for our members BPS formally endorses Legal aspects of memory: A summary of scientific evidence issued by the Psychology and Law Sections of the British Academy.

Members may find also the below guidance on the assessment of effort testing useful as it addresses the assessment of memory in both clinical practice and in forensic situations. 

The following references may also be useful to members considering children and young people:

  • Lamb, M.E; Hershkowitz, I; Orbach, Y. & Esplin, P.W. (2008) Tell Me What Happened Structured Investigative Interviews of Child Victims and Witnesses. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Lamb, M.E; La Rooy, D.J; Malloy, L.C. & Katz, C. (2011) Children’s Testimony: A Handbook of Psychological Research and Forensic Practice. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Scottish Government (2011) Guidance on Joint Investigative Interviewing of Child Witnesses in Scotland. Edinburgh, UK: Scottish Government.
  • Scottish Government (September 2021a) A Fairer, Greener Scotland: Programme for Government 2021-2022. Edinburgh, UK: Scottish Government.
  • Scottish Government (September 2021b) The National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland. Edinburgh, UK: Scottish Government.
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Expert Witness Advisory Group Blog

November 2023


Expert Witness Advisory Group Conference 2021

The 2021 Expert Witness Conference took place online on 8 September 2021, and featured presentations from:

  • The interface between psychology and law - Gisili Gudjonsson
  • Tips and pitfalls in the cross-examination of psychological evidence – Sharon Segal
  • Covert recording: Implications for Neuropsychological assessment in medicolegal settings – Gus Baker
  • Top tips for psychologists as expert witnesses at a parole board panel – Jackie Craissati
  • Considerations of parental alienation in family law proceedings - Sue Whitcombe

Expert Witness Advisory Group Conference 2022

The 2022 Expert Witness Conference took place online on 7 September 2022, and featured presentations from:

  • A judicial perspective on hearing psychological evidence - The Honourable Mr Justice Williams QC
  • The Health and Care Professions Council: What you should and should not do if a fitness practice concern is raised? - Dr Louise Bowers
  • The importance of ethnic and cultural considerations in expert witness psychological assessments - Dr Agatha Benyera-Mararike
  • The life and times of a psychologist expert witness: From starting out to building a career - Professor Daniel Wilcox
  • How psychological evidence can assist Parole Board decision making - HHJ Patrick Thomas QC
  • From Reflex Anal Dilatation to Parental Alienation Syndrome: Pitfalls of ‘forensic’ clinical and diagnostic constructs in the hands of expert witnesses (and lawyers) - Professor David Glasgow

Expert Witness Advisory Group Conference 2023

The 2023 Expert Witness Conference took place online on 8 September 2023, and featured presentations from:

  • Judicial Reflections on Hearing Psychological Evidence - HHJ Stephen Wildblood KC and Dr Freda Gardner
  • Neuropsychological Assessments in the Civil Courts - Professor Gus Baker
  • Parole Board Panel Chair Psychological Evidence in Parole Board Decision Making - Joanne Lackenby
  • Assessing a Defendant in a Sexual Homicide Trial - Professor Derek Perkin
  • Personality Disorder and Diminished Responsibility - Dr Harry Wood
  • The Role of a Registered Intermediary in Court - Dr Brendan O’Mahony
Frequently asked questions
  • How long should I keep my assessment data after a final hearing?

    There's no specific time stated in legislation.

    Guidance is to keep it until it’s no longer necessary.

    A general recommendation would be that assessment material is kept for five years.

    However, this may differ dependent on context of practice or the case specifics.

    You should use your professional judgement as well as considering GDPR legislation along with local organisational policies.

    Contact us

    If you have any queries, please contact the Customer Support Team


  • In a legal setting, who can have access to my therapy notes?

    Only a judge can order access to notes via a court order.

    You don't have to share your notes with the police under data protection legislation or to a solicitor.

    Psychologists should use their professional judgement as to whether to share their notes.

    They should pay attention to whether there may be abbreviations or shorthand that is unclear and need explanation and whether information contained in the notes is relevant to the case.

    Only other psychologists should be able to comment on any psychometric data.

    An individual who is the subject of a report may be able to request access to notes and under legislation such as Health Records Access or Data Protection. The request should make clear the legislation under which the request is made.

    Contact us

    If you have any queries, please contact the Customer Support Team


  • Do I have to send my notes to a Solicitor (defence and/or prosecution)?

    Only a judge can order access to notes via a court order.

    Psychologists should use their professional judgement as to whether to share their notes.

    They should pay attention to whether there may be abbreviations or shorthand that's unclear and need explanation and whether information contained in the notes is relevant to the case

    Only other psychologists would be able to comment on any psychometric data.

    Psychologists may prepare a short report to highlight relevant points from therapy notes if they haven't already provided a court report.

    Contact us

    If you have any queries, please contact [email protected]

  • Do I have to send my notes to the Police under Data Protection Legislation?

    Only a judge can order access to notes via a court order.

    Psychologists should use their professional judgement as to whether to share their notes.

    They should pay attention to whether there may be abbreviations or shorthand that's unclear and need explanation, as well as whether information contained in the notes is relevant to the case.

    Only other psychologists would be able to comment on any psychometric data.

    Psychologists may prepare a short report of relevant points from therapy notes if they haven't already provided a report or statement.

    Contact us

    If you have any queries, please contact [email protected]


  • Do I need special/specific indemnity insurance for my expert witness work?

    Psychologists should have indemnity insurance to cover all aspects of their work, including expert witness work.

    Most insurers will cover this work but psychologists should check their policy.

    Some psychologists may have some insurance cover through their workplace, but may need personal indemnity insurance to cover their expert witness work.

    Contact us

    If you have any queries please contact the Practice team.