Why we started

For years, the Court Service has provided increasingly complex means of processing even simple disputes. For those barristers involved in establishing Independent Evaluation, originally known as the Independent Evaluation & Facilitation Service, it was obvious that clients and society really need a simple means of resolving even very complex disputes.

Everyone involved with IE, senior barristers, QCs or Judges, is familiar with how parties to disputes in England & Wales suffer pain far beyond that arising from the dispute itself, even if they ultimately win.

The on-going programme of under-funding the Court Service and Court closures means there is no foreseeable prospect of meaningful improvement. We want to do everything we can to avoid that situation for as many people as possible.

We were not prepared to stand by when so many people are sucked into a Court system that treats them so poorly and causes them so much unnecessary delay, expense, pain and suffering.

We believe that being a lawyer is more than merely standing up and speaking on behalf of a client: to be a lawyer in the fullest sense is to strive to improve the administration of justice and the rule of law that is essential to an efficient, harmonious society.

Many people said it was so improbable that we could effect change that it was not worth trying. They were wrong. “The illiterate of the 21st century are not those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn how to do something, then unlearn it, and relearn how to do it much better.” [Alvin Toffler]

Creating the Independent Evaluation & Facilitation Service meant continually pushing against the established way of doing things and reluctance to change. It has not been easy, but improving the delivery of just and fair dispute resolution vindicates our existence as lawyers.

We remain as passionate and committed to the cause as ever.

The Independent Evaluation & Facilitation Service has gone from strength to strength. Over time, users of the service started to call us simply Independent Evaluation, or IE for short. In response to this, from 1st September 2017, our official new name is Independent Evaluation.