Directors Anthony Stockton and Melanie Pugh are both highly experienced forensic scientists and well-established expert witnesses, specialising in the forensic examination of disputed documents and in the analysis and comparison of handwriting and signatures.
We are very well regarded, not only for the quality of our forensic examination skills, but for the rigorous quality assurance of our work, which ensures that our reports and testimony will stand up to court scrutiny.
All work is dealt with in the strictest confidence, and non-disclosure agreements can be undertaken if required.
As well as providing forensic document evidence to the courts in the UK, we are also recognised for our International forensic casework and are familiar with the processes and requirements of overseas courts and tribunals.
We have provided expert witness evidence in cases submitted from The International Courts of Arbitration, European countries, Dubai, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore. Our expertise includes the forensic examination of Chinese and Arabic signatures.
FORENSIC HANDWRITING AND DOCUMENT EXAMINATIONS
We provide a comprehensive range of forensic handwriting and documents examination services at our laboratory including:
- Signature and Handwriting Comparison and Identification
- Signature Authentication
- Identification and examination of printed / typed documents
- Recovery and decipherment of indented writing from documents
- Alteration to documents
- Paper and ink comparisons
- Comparison of Stamps and other markings on documents
- Sequencing and relative dating of entries on documents
- Examination of signatures in Arabic and Chinese script
Please get in touch to discuss our full range of forensic documents examination services.
Please note we do not currently undertake the forensic dating of inks.
Electrostatic Detection Apparatus (ESDA)
Highly sophisticated equipment allows us to detect and recover faint or invisible impressions and latent marks on documents. This is used to provide information on the document history. We can know what was written on a sheet by examining the document it was resting on. It can also establish if disputed document pages are in the right sequence or if a page has been removed or inserted later.
Video Spectral Comparator – VSC80
This state-of-the-art forensic document analysis workstation allows us to use lights at various wavelengths to examine and compare inks and features of the document not visible to the naked eye. It can address whether documents are genuine or have been altered, and uses a number of other sophisticated techniques to determine authenticity.
Dark Room Facilities
As part of a forensic document examination, this allows us to inspect the fine details on paper surfaces using specialised lighting and microscopy.
We house the Keesing Documentchecker, which gives us access to the world’s most comprehensive reference database for ID documents and banknotes. It contains thousands of passports, ID cards, driving licences, visas and banknotes from more than 200 countries and organisations. This enables us to detect forgery and counterfeit documents.
This is used to analyse documents in fine detail. Microscopy enables us to investigate signature forgery and determine how a document has been produced, for example, if it’s been laser-printed, ink jet-printed etc.
Digital image capture facilities
Our forensic laboratory is equipped with up-to-date image capture facilities to retain records of results and to prepare demonstration material for reports or for distribution in court.
The use of transmitted light allows us to overlay documents and images, to help determine the degree of similarity between them. This is particularly important when we are examining signatures which may have been forged onto a document by ‘cut and paste’ methods.
TRAINING AND EDUCATION
We deliver training courses in questioned documents examinations, handwriting and signature comparisons, and how to present forensic expert evidence in court in the UK and overseas.
Our advanced courses in specialised areas of questioned document examination are offered to those who need to expand their knowledge or become more familiar with the latest forensic science techniques and technology.
We also offer courses to trainee forensic document examiners to enable them to gain the necessary skills and achieve competency for court reporting.
Courses are practical, with hands-on materials that reflect forensic casework. Examples include taking handwriting samples and how handwriting is unique to an individual.
We offer a bespoke service, with courses designed to meet your specific requirements.
As experienced expert witnesses, we are accustomed to giving evidence in court in both civil and criminal cases.
Our findings and results can be produced in the form of CPR 35 compliant reports or CJA witness statements for use in a court of law or in arbitration.
All our work is independently verified by a second forensic expert, to ensure appropriate degrees of certainty and credibility are achieved. Our processes are optimised for quality assurance and evidence integrity.
We remain impartial and independent in all areas of our forensic examination and handwriting and signature analysis work, producing evidence in an unbiased, clear manner.
We also act as single joint experts.
FEES AND TIMEFRAMES
On receipt of the relevant information, we’ll provide you with a quote and agree our fees and terms in advance. Unless you introduce more documents for us to examine or additional instructions, the costs for a forensic document case are fixed and will not change.
Court attendance is charged separately and is in line with the hourly rate we charge for casework.
We are a limited company and all our financial transactions are made through Xero accounting software, which enables transparent payments to be made by bank transfer or cheque.
We provide quotes that are suitable to obtain prior authority for LAA/legal aid work and our fees are set within their guidelines.
We aim to turn cases around within two weeks from submission of items and appropriate documentation. We can work to much shorter timeframes to meet urgent deadlines.
We are familiar with working to the milestones set by the court in civil matters.