The Intermediary Cooperative Conference: April 2024

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

Tina Pereira

Dr Tina Pereira is a highly experienced HMCTS Appointed Intermediary who has worked with vulnerable people in criminal and family courts, mostly in the West Midlands for several years. She  is also an accredited Registered Intermediary with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). She was on the MoJ’s intermediary training team for some years and currently serves on their Registered Intermediary Reference Team, which provides corporate intermediary related work.

Tina’s area of expertise is Learning Disability, covering neurodevelopmental conditions such as Intellectual Disability, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism and Developmental Language Disorder. She works with both adults and children. Tina also works with clients who have mental health conditions associated with their Learning Disability.

Previously Tina worked as a specialist speech and language therapist in the UK as well as overseas, focussing on her areas of expertise and also with typically developing children.  

Tina is a keen promoter of using low technology communication aids with vulnerable people who find it difficult to use spoken language alone to communicate their account.  She has run training courses on communication aids to a national and international audience.

She is highly skilled in working with interpreters, with a particular focus on South Asian languages and has delivered training courses on the same.

She is actively involved in research in the field of legal vulnerability and has a PhD in language and communication. She has delivered papers at national and international conferences and has written articles in professional journals. Tina is currently an Honorary Research Fellow at City, University of London.

She is passionate about equal access to justice for all people. Please visit her website


  • Learning Disability
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Autism
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Working with typically developing children
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Training & Education

Education: PhD in language and communication, M.Ed in Speech and Language Pathology

Training: Registered Intermediary training, Working with defendants, Working in Family Courts, several courses on alternative and augmentative communication, neurodevelopmental disabilities (Intellectual Disability, ADHD, ASD etc) and mental health.



Louise Engers

Louise has been a qualified Speech and Language Therapist since 2003 with experience in provision of services to both paediatrics and adults with learning disabilities, including specialist skills in Autism Spectrum Disorders, mental health disorders, challenging behaviour, Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) and Sensory Integration.

She has been a Registered Intermediary since January 2014, covering approximately 1000 cases, working with both children and adults with a range of communication needs arising from learning disabilities and mental health disorders. Louise has completed the extended skills training run by Intermediaries for Justice on Working with Defendants in 2018 and Working in Family Proceedings in 2019. She has provided court appointed intermediary services in a range of jurisdictions since 2018. Louise is an Accredited Registered Intermediary and Registered Intermediary Regional Coordinator for the Midlands Region for the Ministry of Justice, and is the Chair of the Registered Intermediary Reference Team.

  • Unclear Speech
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Dyslexia
  • Learning Disability or Difficulties
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder (including Asperger’s Syndrome)
  • ADHD
  • Child
  • Depression and/or Anxiety
  • Diagnosed mental health disorders
  • Undiagnosed mental health concerns
  • Dementia (including Alzheimer’s Disease)
Training & Education

Working in Family Proceedings, Intermediaries for Justice


Working with Defendants course, Intermediaries for Justice


Registered Intermediary course, City Law, London


MSc Learning Disability and Multi-Sensory Impairment, University of Manchester


BSc (Hons) Speech & Language Therapy, Birmingham City University

Jane Hinton

Jane is passionate about overcoming barriers to participation, for those with vulnerabilities, whatever the necessity for their contact with the Justice System. She has been a Registered Intermediary since Summer 2018 and is an experienced and trained HMCTS Appointed Intermediary in Family Court and Working with Defendants.

Jane is happy to work in any jurisdiction. Prior to Intermediary working, she has 31 years experience as a teacher of pupils with a wide variety of additional needs in specialist and inclusive settings, with pupils aged 2-19 years. 20 years of those were in leadership roles, latterly as Deputy Headteacher and Head of Partnership provisions. Jane is also Director of Finance for The Intermediary Cooperative.

  • Unclear Speech
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Brain and/or Head Injury (including a stroke)
  • Dyslexia
  • Learning Disability or Difficulties
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder (including Asperger’s Syndrome)
  • ADHD
  • Child
  • Depression and/or Anxiety
  • Undiagnosed mental health concerns
  • Deafness/Hearing impairment

National Professional Qualification for Headteachers, Schools College


Understanding Autism (masters level), University of Birmingham / Coventry City Council


B.Ed (Hons) in Special Education, University of Wales


Neurodiversity in the Justice System, The Autism Society

Effective Participation, YJLC & Doughty Street Chambers

Clinical Supervision for Practitioners, Association for Psychological Therapies


The Modern Judiciary, IFJ & City University,


Working in the Family Court, IFJ

Working with Defendants, IFJ


Registered Intermediary Training, MoJ



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