The Intermediary Cooperative Conference

Identification, Facilitation, Inclusion

19th April 2024

19th April 2024
10.45am to 3pm
10.15 am: Refreshments and Registration

City, University of London
Northampton Square,
(Tait Building)
In this Conference we will share information and strategies for working with communication-impaired clients in the justice system.
Our aim as a member-led cooperative, is to increase fair access to justice. We invite you to join us so that we can share our specialist knowledge about how to work with clients who may not otherwise be able to participate in matters affecting their liberty, their family and their lives.
Solicitors, barristers, paralegals, prospective intermediaries, social workers, police officers, tribunal members, members of the courts services and judiciary, and other justice professionals will find the topics we cover of interest.
All Welcome!
It is vital to identify vulnerability early on. This is key to enabling fair access to justice. In this session, we open the intermediary toolkit and share some key strategies about identifying needs arising from communication impairments. We look at what you can do in the early stages of your involvement with clients who have communication impairments. The session focuses on how to identify possible communication impairment in the context of the justice system. 

  • What are the observable behaviours that may suggest an intermediary may be of assistance to your client? 
  • What vulnerability indicators do you need to look out for? 
  • Why is early identification necessary? 
  • What does the intermediary assess and why? 
  • What can you expect from the intermediary report?
Legal and care professionals want the people they work with to understand, to give their instructions and to be able to take their lawyers’ advice throughout the time that they are involved in proceedings. Legal conferences provide ideal opportunities for these exchanges to take place. But what else could be done to improve communication in pre-trial conferences? And why is this so important? In this session we focus on how professionals can be helped to better communicate with clients and to prepare them for court, armed with information and advice. We will provide answers to the questions we are often asked:  

  • What are the benefits of having communication assistance in conferences?
  • How   can   intermediaries   help you with   clients   who have  difficulties   in   understanding   and   in remembering what you have told them?  
  • How can your  clients’ be best supported, so they can give detailed   and   complete   instructions?  
  • How can intermediary involvement at conferences result in savings in time and money?
Understanding the key points in legal arguments and proceedings is vital for your vulnerable client to participate fully. Have you wondered how intermediaries use drawing, writing and colour to enable your client to understand the proceedings more completely?

This session focuses on court, and how intermediaries use communication aids to assist vulnerable clients to understand the proceedings and discussions more effectively.  

By the end of the session you will have a better understanding of the range of communication aids intermediaries can create that are individually customised to a vulnerable client’s communication needs, in a rapidly changing court environment?
CPD Summary: By conference close you will know about
  • how to identify communication vulnerability and when an intermediary may be required.
  • how intermediaries can help you to communicate with vulnerable clients in meetings and conferences
  • how the intermediary works with clients in the courtroom using visuals to support communication


10.15 am:  Registration and Refreshments
10.45 am:  Welcome and Introduction TIC Chair will introduce you to TIC and to the format of the conference 
11-12 pm: Early identification of communication     needs and vulnerability.
12-1 pm: Facilitating effective engagement and communication in legal conferences.
1 pm: Lunch and informal presentations
2 pm: Using communication aids in court 3 pm:  Concluding Thoughts and Close