“Many thanks for the fantastic level of service”

(Defendant Solicitor)

“I would be happy to recommend Somek to colleagues”

(Claimant Solicitor)

History

Alison Somek is Managing Director of Somek and Associates. She set the company up in 1997, so this year is Somek’s 25 year anniversary! Alison worked in the NHS for over 20 years, as an occupational therapist. She has written numerous care and occupational therapy expert witness reports since the 80s – pre Woolf! Alison has seen the medico-legal environment change dramatically over this period, but has always been passionate about ensuring the continued professionalism, independence and integrity in the work of the expert witnesses and the company as a whole.

In 1997, the company had just two associates, both occupational therapists, and now has 30 wonderful employees and nearer two hundred experts handling many thousands of cases, including occupational therapists, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, and other allied health professions. This is reflective of the growth in need for expert witnesses in a range of health care professions allied to medicine, as well as the high regard for Alison and the team at Somek and Associates. They don’t just provide “an expert witness report” they provide a quality service to both clients and associates!

Due to the expansion, in 2009, the company was incorporated, and moved to their current location of large modern offices in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, where the provision of high quality services can be facilitated. Since 2010 the senior management team has been expanded to allow the further development of the associate base to meet their clients’ needs, whilst ensuring the highest quality of work and that excellent standards are maintained. The last 2 years of the pandemic have impacted on many people’s lives and changed many things, but sadly people continue to be injured, some through the fault of others; litigation continues and desperately requires excellent expert witnesses to assist with the process of justice. Somek & Associates are busier than ever; but they will always remain, as they have always been, passionate about professional integrity and the quality of their services.

Jessica Thurston, Head of Medico-legal Operations joined the team in 2010, having been an associate and care expert witness since 2001. Jessica, also an occupational therapist with many years’ experience, continues to undertake some care expert witness work but she is predominantly responsible for setting and maintaining standards, developing and running the comprehensive training programme and quality assurance team. (continued below)

Expert witnesses are very carefully recruited via a stringent recruitment process. Through our own education and experience, and in conjunction with medico-legal lawyers, we have developed our own comprehensive training programme which all associates are invited to subscribe to at their cost, to enable our “experts” to become “expert witnesses”. Prior to accepting any instructions all experts will have undertaken training (e.g. the role of the expert witness and the Civil Procedure Rules (and all components relating to CPR 35, PD and the related Guidance), report writing and other specific aspects of the role.

Jessica manages the quality assurance team who are all experienced clinicians and experienced expert witnesses from a range of professional backgrounds, including occupational therapy, nursing, midwifery and physiotherapy, and whose aim it is to ensure reports are quality assessed.