Medico-Legal Committee

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Overview of the Medico-legal committee (MLC)

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The MLC (medico-legal committee) considers and reports on medico-legal issues of direct concern to the profession, including those referred to the committee by BMA Council, other BMA committees and external bodies. The MLC is responsible for advising the BMA on policy matters affecting doctors who undertake work as an expert witness. 


Our priorities

  1. Knowledge sharing - to promote the work of the medico legal committee at the ARM.
  2. Expert witness conference - to hold a successful conference aimed at junior doctors, staff and associate specialists, GPs and consultants wanting to work as an expert witness.
  3. Whiplash reform programme - to continue to feed into the whiplash reform programme, as part of the government’s aim to reduce the number of fraudulent whiplash claims.
  4. Expert witness courses to hold two to four courses per year aimed at providing in depth training on report writing and courtroom skills to expert witnesses.
  5. Fixed cost in clinical negligence claims - to participate in the Government’s consultation on fixed costs in clinical negligence claims.
  6. Gross Negligence Manslaughter - to continue to lead on any work associated with Gross Negligence Manslaughter, on behalf of the association.
  7. Whistleblowing - to take an active role in the 'whistleblowing' project.
  8. Terms and conditions - to update the terms and conditions for expert witnesses.


Who we are


The medico-legal committee chair is Dr Jan Wise.

Jan is an NHS consultant in general adult psychiatry, with higher training in liaison psychiatry, a fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and an international distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.


Committee membership

  • Three members appointed by Council
  • One elected by the Public Health Medicine Committee (PHMC)
  • One by the Consultants Committee (CC)
  • One by the General Practitioners Committee (GPC)
  • One by the Staff Associate Specialist & Specialty Doctors Committee (SASC)
  • One by the Junior Doctors Committee (JDC)
  • One by the Medical Ethics Committee (MEC)
  • One by the Professional Fees Committee (PFC)
  • One observer from the Medical Defence Union (MDU)
  • One observer from the Medical Advisory Services, Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (MDDUS)
  • One observer from the Medical Protection Society (MPS)
  • One observer from the NHS Litigation Authority


Our meetings

The committee meets three times a year to discuss latest issues.

The meetings are only open to committee members.

Meeting dates for the 2019-20 session

  • Wednesday 16 October 2019
  • Wednesday 22 January 2020
  • Wednesday 20 May 2020

Time: 11am to 3pm


BMA House
Tavistock Square

More information

For more information email [email protected].


Annual expert witness conference

The 2019 conference took place on 8 March 2019. 

Conference highlights included: Sir Norman Williams talking on gross negligence manslaughter, Kate Hill of InPractice Training sharing tips on good and bad practice report writing, and Augustus Ullstein QC, of 39 Essex Chambers, sharing his dos and don'ts of courtroom skills.

Download the conference summary

The 2020 conference will be taking place on Friday 27 March 2020.