Find an intermediary for a vulnerable suspect or defendant
If you have not used this service before we strongly recommend you read Guidance notes on using the service.
Before you complete the appropriate section below, you might like to read IfJ’s views on: Evidence only or throughout the trial?
Solicitors wishing to find an intermediary for their client should make an initial selection by clicking on one of the 25 links below. If you hover your mouse over the region names you will see a panel listing the counties within that region to help you make the appropriate choice. Some intermediaries are willing to travel widely and accept referrals in many areas, others cover just a few areas. The contact system takes this fully into account, so please do not submit enquiries to multiple areas.
Take care to select the area and age category appropriate to your client – the details will only be sent to the relevant intermediaries, and a mistake could well result in your failing to find an intermediary!
In the event that the Assessment and Trial locations are in different geographical areas, we advise that you submit your enquiry to both areas. Intermediaries can then make an informed choice whether to consider accepting the referral. If the trial is a long one then it is more likely that an intermediary covering the trial area will take it on. However, please do not submit to multiple areas – all intermediaries are under considerable pressure and find it tiresome to receive enquiries for areas they do not serve!
In the contact form which opens please enter your contact details, and provide as much as possible of the requested client information. This will be automatically emailed to all intermediaries who have indicated they handle referrals in the area/category chosen. They will review the information provided, decide if they can help, and contact you directly. Be absolutely sure your email address is entered correctly or replies will not reach you – a surprising number of enquiries fail on this point! If you don’t receive an automated acknowledgement it will most likely be due to a faulty email address! You should also add firstname.lastname@example.org to your contact list to ensure that our emails don’t end up in a spam folder.
Please be aware that the sole purpose of this facility is to enable you to be in contact with member intermediaries who may be able to help. IfJ does not act as an agency – all discussions and negotiations are conducted between yourselves and the intermediary.
- All IfJ member intermediaries have undergone specialist training and accreditation with the MoJ, Communicourt or Triangle, however please be aware that IfJ is not a regulatory body and it is your responsibility to decide whether or not to engage the services of any given intermediary.
- It is also your responsibility to obtain estimates of cost, both for the initial assessment and later at court. Intermediaries are generally free-lance practitioners and fee rates may vary.
Some further important points to bear in mind:
- Please do not include any client-identifiable information on the contact form. Such information, as well as expert reports, should only be shared once an intermediary has been engaged.
- If use of an intermediary has been agreed for evidence-giving only, please state this on the form. Many intermediaries only accept referrals for the whole trial, to ensure the defendant’s proper understanding at all stages.
- Please provide as much information as you can about the client’s communication needs. Some difficulties require specialist expertise and intermediaries need to decide if they fall within their particular skill set before responding to your enquiry.
- If an assessment has already taken place, but the assessing intermediary is then not available for the trial, a second intermediary is likely to insist on their own assessment of your client’s needs, and to establish rapport.
- Intermediaries require a written contract for funding before proceeding with a referral, so you will need to obtain an Agreement to Fund from LAA for the Assessment and Court Report, and from the Court for Trial matters.
- If you need the services of an intermediary in relation to a vulnerable defence witness click here.
IfJ welcomes feedback on your experience of using this service.
Please do NOT submit to multiple areas!
TIP – if you hover your mouse over the region names you will see a panel listing the counties within that region to help you make the appropriate choice.
Yorks & The Humber
East of England
If your client is profoundly deaf and communicates via sign language then click here.
NB referrals can ONLY be accepted from police, defence solicitors and courts.
The instruction to counsel and the court from the intermediary was clear; we had no problems with understanding the defendant or with the defendant understanding the questions she was asked by counsel.