Witness familiarisation

Witness preparation:

  • Helps witnesses stay calm and focussed.
  • Shows witnesses how to deal with tough cross-examination.
  • Helps witnesses focus on key preparation tasks.

Penny provides a confidential witness preparation service to many global law firms in relation to litigation and arbitration. She is widely published on obtaining the best quality evidence from witnesses and is regarded as a leading expert on witness familiarisation.

A typical one-to-one witness preparation session with Penny will last approximately three to three and a half hours. The session will include a detailed explanation of the hearing process, the roles of the key people (judge/panel, witness and advocates), cross-examination aims, cross-examination techniques, preparing to give evidence, how to stay calm and how to deliver complete, accurate and coherent evidence.

Penny, once described in the Solicitor’s Journal as ‘charmingly ferocious’, will conduct a mock cross-examination on a case study unconnected with the facts of the forthcoming matter. (A ‘dress-rehearsal’ cross-examination on the facts of the case is not permitted in law.)Penny will provide feedback to the witness in the session and after the event in the form of a written report to the client.

 “Witnesses should not be disadvantaged by ignorance of the process, nor when they come to give evidence, taken by surprise at the way it works. None of this however involves discussions about proposed or intended evidence. Sensible preparation for the experience of giving evidence, which assists the witness to give of his or her best at the forthcoming trial is permissible… The process may improve the manner in which the witness gives evidence by, for example, reducing the nervous tension arising from inexperience of the process.” Lord Justice Judge, in R v Momodou [2005] EWCA Crim 177.

All enquiries and witness familiarisation sessions are confidential.

Please email to discuss your witness familiarisation requirements.

Expert Witness Advice

  • Procedural fairness.
  • Cross-examination analysis.
  • Interview procedure and questioning.

Solicitors and leading counsel regularly seek Penny’s advice on the effective participation of witnesses/ defendants and trial management. Please email if you are seeking an expert opinion.


Penny’s experience designing and delivering practical and interactive legal courses is extensive.

Courses include:

  • Registered Intermediary training.
  • Special measures and adjustments for vulnerable witnesses and parties.
  • Asperger Syndrome/ autism spectrum conditions and court adaptations.
  • Courtroom skills and case management.

Penny has recently delivered training for the Ministry of Justice, Criminal Bar Association, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, the Judicial Institute for Scotland, the National Crime Agency, leading law firms etc. She has worked in law firms in Bermuda and Dallas and has, for example, provided witness preparation in Hong Kong and Indonesia and advocacy training in South Africa and The Hague.

Please email to discuss your training needs.


Penny mentors researchers, particularly those keen to take a strategic approach to their research and research impact.


Penny has appeared many times on BBC TV and Radio as a legal expert.

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