The Online Directory - by Professionals, for Professionals

Introduction

Conceived and developed by an experienced litigation lawyer, 'The Online Directory of UK Expert Witnesses' is today the longest-established, the largest and the most fully-featured web-based directory of UK expert witnesses.

Launched in 1996, and extensively redeveloped during 2002, the directory now contains over 4,500 entries and is searchable by name, town/city, county, region, qualification and/or area of expertise (either singly or in permutation) - the largest range of search parameters currently available in the UK expert witness field.

Simplicity of use, speed of access, a wide range of features and over 15,000 organised links to other UK expert witness web pages mean that the 'Online Directory' is today the 'directory of choice' for the UK lawyer or member of the public who wishes to locate a UK-based expert witness.

For the expert witness, one of the main attractions of our service is that the 'Online Directory' entry can, uniquely, be set up as a 'personal' web site, as well as constituting an entry in the leading UK expert witness directory (see the 'two birds with one stone' page, below).

We attach great importance to the opinions of lawyers and expert witnesses who use our service - which we believe speak objectively and authoritatively as to the quality and professionalism of the service which we provide. The testimonials page of this site contains a number of unsolicited comments which we have received from lawyers and expert witnesses in recent months.

However, we are equally aware that the best web-based directory will benefit neither lawyer nor expert witness unless the web site is heavily-used. During recent years the 'Online Directory' has built up a reputation for excellence with many of the UK's leading litigation firms, a number of which use this site on a daily basis to locate expert witnesses. Uniquely, we publish our daily access logs (see 'archive'), and also details of which law firms are regularly and currently using this web site (see 'our audience').

Simplicity of use

The 'Online Directory' is the result of many thousands of hours of painstaking (and ongoing) research and highly-skilled technical development work, extending over a period of six years. The web interface of a database can be compared to the tip of an iceberg - the part which is visible is only a small fraction of the whole, and it is what lies 'beneath the surface', in terms of a vast amount of complex computer programming, that determines the speed, effectiveness and usefulness of the resource. In this field, the simpler and more effective a database is to use, the greater and more skilled the effort which has been invested in its development. The 'Online Directory' is an extremely complex research tool, but is also simple and effective to use. Most importantly, however, it is a 'serious' resource, with a strong underlying professional ethos, which has been developed by individuals who have had long term first hand experience of UK expert witness practice.

Speed of access

The web is still frequently referred to as the 'World Wide Wait', particularly for individuals using standard (56k) modems (as at November 2002 less than 5% of UK households had fast Internet connections). Whether using the Internet from the office or home, we believe that the busy professional person will only regularly use web resources which are fast and simple to browse - i.e. in this context, which pin-point expert witnesses accurately and with a minimum of delay.

The 'Online Directory' is the fastest web-based directory of UK expert witnesses currently available. Due to the complexity of the computer programming underlying the web interface of the directory, and also to the large memory, processing power and unlimited bandwidth of our in-house web server, all search results are returned to the enquirer in less than one second - making the 'Online Directory' a viable and enjoyable browsing experience and an unequalled research tool for the 'time-pressed' professional person.

Wide range of features

Uniquely, the 'ExpertSearch' service has been developed in such a way as to provide more than simply an entry in a web-based directory - rather, it offers a wide range of features to the UK expert witness who wishes to market his or her professional services to UK lawyers. We offer a 'flat-rate' annual subscription charge, rather than a complicated and confusing pricing structure, and do not impose 'small print' additional charges for essential features. We also offer the expert witness complete flexibility in terms of content, rather than a restrictive list of categories which may be included in an entry - in our view these restrictions of book publishing are not relevant in the context of computer database technology - and we believe that this greater flexibility benefits both the lawyer who is seeking an expert and the expert who wishes to market his or her services to the UK legal profession.

The main features of our service are as follows :-

(1)  
a user-friendly web address (e.g. www.expertsearch.co.uk/chris.wilson)* (more)
   
(2)  
a matching email address (e.g. chris.wilson@expertsearch.co.uk)* (more)
   
(3)  
the optional inclusion of a corporate logo and/or photograph*
   
(4)  
up to 10 links in the entry (including links to the individual's own web site and his/her entries in the 'Law Society', 'EWI' and 'Academy' web sites, where applicable)* (more)
   
(5)  
the display of a separate 'CV' page, linked to the individual's main entry*
   
(6)  
the ability to set up the entry with the subscriber's own domain name (and matching email address) (more)
   
(7)  
email notification of viewings of the entry*
   
(8)  
the provision of a private statistics page within our site, where subscribers can access a full history of the viewings of their entry* (demo - NB : maximum no. of days = 260 : PIN number = 4231)
   
(9)  
unlimited amendments during the annual subscription period*
   
(10)  
web site design and hosting services (more)
 
(NB :
* = at no additional charge)

"Outstanding customer service"

The major advantage of a web-based directory is (or should be) that it is possible to keep the information under review, and permanently up to date - with a minimum of delay, inconvenience and expense.

Online databases are either 'static' or 'dynamic'. The 'static' database remains unchanged, and, like the printed directory and CD-ROM, is 'written in stone', possibly being renewed at annual intervals. The 'dynamic' database is revised as often as necessary - whether that be once a week or numerous times during the course of a working day.

Several web-based directories in the UK expert witness field fail to take advantage of the dynamic character and potential of the Internet. Ask whether it is possible to amend your entry and you are likely to be told that you will have to wait until the next 'edition' is published, in 6, 9, 12 or 15 months time - i.e. it is difficult or impossible to add, correct, expand or update an entry. More than one directory in this field is happy to charge its subscribers premium rates, but is not able or willing to provide them with a professional level of customer support.

By way of comparison, the 'Online Directory' is revised and updated several times a day, on each weekday throughout the year. If you are an expert witness subscriber to this directory and you wish to amend or expand your entry ExpertSearch Publications will implement your required changes, without charge, on the day on which you submit an amendment request to us.

and finally ...

Remember the old adage, "a database is only as good as the data inserted into it". An expert's page will only be returned to an enquirer if it contains a 'keyword' or phrase which precisely matches a query submitted by the enquirer via the 'search' page - so ensure that your entry contains all 'keywords' and phrases which are relevant to your areas of expertise - and where you would want your entry to be returned - e.g. medical conditions, technical terms, etc. The potential length of each entry is the equivalent of 2 x A4 sheets of paper when printed, and, in general terms, the longer the entry, the larger the number of 'hits' on your page - and, hence, the greater the potential of the entry to attract new instructions. ExpertSearch do not restrict or limit the terms which may be inserted in the entry - in essence, we provide a blank blackboard, on which the expert can set out any information about his services which he considers relevant, in either prose or 'bullet point' format (NB - an entry can be amended or expanded - free of charge - at any time, via the 'edit this entry' button which appears at the foot of each entry).