The Litigation Project Conference 2018: A Review

After taking on case management and litigation work earlier this year, we decided it would be a great opportunity to host our own event and give everyone in the industry an opportunity to get together and discuss ways that we can make any litigation process easier for the client.

We launched the Litigation Project Conference – a free event for private OTs, expert witnesses, case managers, and others involved in litigation work. Held on 22nd May at Wetherby Racecourse, we had over 100 people sign up to attend the day!

You can watch videos of the speeches at the event here:

The Conference was excellent, and we had some great speakers throughout the day. From equipment-based discussions with our own product specialists and Permobil, through to different perspectives of litigation procedures from solicitors and architects, the day covered a wide variety of topics. Here’s a short recap for anyone who missed it.

People chatting at the Litigation Project Conference
Over 100 people signed up for our free Litigation Project Conference.

Our first talk of the day came from Innova’s own Senior Contracts Manager, Bob Oliver. He ran through some interesting aspects of ceiling track hoists and how they’re designed. Particularly if you’re installing an overhead hoisting system in a private home, you don’t want it to stick out like a sore thumb. Bob explained how our hoisting systems can be made subtler thanks to inset tracking and the Integralift.

Innova's Bob Oliver speaking at the Litigation Project Conference
Our Senior Contracts Manager Bob Oliver discussing the benefits of ceiling track hoists and how they can look good in a private home.

We then had one of the most popular talks of the day from Sion Kingston of Irwin Mitchell solicitors. He talked about the importance of expert witnesses in litigation cases and went through the entire case process. Many of our delegates commented on how enlightening it was to see case management work from another perspective. Sion summed the entire purpose of the conference up by saying “you’ve got to always consider the individual – they’re not just a case.”

Irwin Mitchell's Sion Kingston and Innova's Ramsey Hulbert presenting at the Litigation Project Conference
The day spanned the entire litigation process; from the solicitor’s involvement right through to bathroom adaptations that will keep any client’s home looking lovely.

After a brief break and an opportunity to network, attendees were then given a speedy tour of specialist bathrooms with our litigation project specialist, Ramsey Hulbert. Bathrooms are one of the main rooms of a home; we use them every single day, so they need to be equipped to deliver. Ramsey discussed how bathrooms can be altered and adapted to meet the needs of people with disabilities and more complex conditions. He showed products like the Vitra V-Care specialist toilet and height adjustable basins that can be installed and look like typical modern appliances, but actually provide a wealth of other features for users.

Simon Dickinson from Jacqueline Webb took to the stage next to open up a discussion about how occupational therapists can also take on expert work. Whilst many in the audience seemed reluctant to take on any expert witness work, Simon debunked a lot of nerves surrounding the title of ‘expert’ and explained how Jacqueline Webb can help to make the transition easier. Any litigation case will need an expert witness, and private OTs shouldn’t be intimidated by the idea of going to court (because according to Simon, only 2-3% of cases end up in front of a judge).

A talk about expert witnesses and their significance delivered by Jacqueline Webb
We then discussed the significance of private OTs taking up expert witness work with the help of Jacqueline Webb.

We then broke for lunch, giving delegates a chance to catch up with one another and wander around the exhibition stands. Tracey Clarke from Virtual Administration then gave the first speech after lunch, which was conveniently on the (then impending) GDPR changes. Private OTs and anyone who dealt with patient records or client details found this speech very helpful, as Tracey gave everyone helpful hints and tips as to how they can make sure they are GDPR compliant in everything they deal with.

She was followed by Chris Shine and Peter Dean from Permobil, who elicited a lot of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from the attendees with the demonstration of their standing powerchair. Chris explained how standing is incredibly beneficial because it stimulates circulation and muscle usage. One of our clients has even shown a decline in pain since using the stand-up electric powerchair. It also gives clients a chance to socialise at eye level which is great for their physical and psychological development.

Permobil presenting at the Litigation Project Conference
Chris Shine and Peter Dean from Permobil definitely got delegates interested thanks to their stand-up wheelchair.

We then had Bob give another speech on hydrotherapy pools and how they’re beneficial for rehabilitation. Bob showed us how these pools can now be installed in private homes to give clients the ability to exercise and build their strength whilst at home. He also discussed how stainless-steel pools are particularly beneficial because they require much less upkeep than a traditional tiled pool. This is more useful for hydrotherapy pools in client’s homes because it’s a lot easier to manage.

Our final talk of the day came from architectural technologist Jonathan France of France + Associates. He gave everyone an interesting insight as to how building and planning processes through litigation cases and projects. Jonathan explained everything from what it’s like to work with an architect, through to all the different surveys that can be carried out on a property before any planning permission is given (even bat and unexploded bomb surveys!).

Jonathan France of France + Associates speaking at the Litigation Project Conference.
Architectural Technologist Jonathan France of France + Associates gave the final speech of the day with a walk through the architect’s approach to litigation adaptations.

Overall, the day was a great success and we’re glad to have had so much good feedback from delegates. Everyone had a chance to get together and troubleshoot typical issues faced in case management and litigation. From the case itself, through to the home and equipment in it, we covered the entire litigation journey. Thank you to everyone who came to our first Litigation Project Conference – same time next year?