Manchester based company Evidential is changing the way juries interpret and examine crucial evidence.
By pioneering new software that improves the way key facts are presented the team, headed up by Director Sean Murphy, have worked on numerous well-known cases direct from newspaper headlines. This exciting innovation also helped them to emerge victorious from our ‘Starter for 50’ live pitch session at January’s Creative England Live 2016: Catalyse event at Google’s London HQ. By wowing an audience of tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and fellow SME's, Evidential walked away from that experience with £50,000 of Creative England investment to put towards further development.
To find out more about his revolutionary company and how our funding will drive things forward, we caught up with Murphy for a quick chat. Read the full interview below...
Hi Sean, could you give us a brief history of Evidential?
Evidential was formed to become a ‘one stop shop’ for evidence examination and presentation. Within our team we have expert witnesses who work closely with skilled designers and software developers, which allowed us to develop our own software applications to provide innovative solutions to an industry which is experiencing significant change and our work has been integral to some of the highest profile cases both in the UK and abroad.
At our core is a collection of expert witnesses who regularly give evidence in court cases. Over the years, we recognised that the antiquated methods used to present cases in court needed to be improved significantly. I started to address this when I first introduced the use of DVD technology as a court presentation medium over 15 years ago and I was an early pioneer of Electronic Presentation of Evidence (EPE). I then assisted in the case of the Cockle Picker tragedy at Morecambe Bay, which received the Justice Award in recognition of how the case was handled. The work I carried out assisted in saving six weeks of court time, which was the equivalent of £500,000 savings and was a great example of the benefits achieved by using Electronic Presentation of Evidence.
How would you describe the Evidential service?
We specialize in making complex evidence clear to understand. In many cases, our clients would come to us with their problems in presenting their evidence and we provide new and innovative methods to inform and entertain the jury in order to get the message home. The old adage – “A picture paints a thousand words” sums up our approach succinctly, as we strive to use graphical representations of evidence in order to explain complex information. This may consist of a 3D reconstruction of a crime scene that can be virtually explored or an animated flowchart showing the movement of funds in a money laundering case. It is really varied and tailored to the client’s requirements but is backed with our years of experience.
How has Evidential impacted the outcome or assisted the development of cases?
The work we carry out has a number of proven benefits to a trial. By providing professional presentations, research shows that jurors understand the evidence much better, which, in turn, provides a positive impact on the outcome of the case. Furthermore, using electronic presentation of evidence methods also saves large amounts of court time which therefore not only causes significant cost savings but also has the social benefit of the Justice System becoming more efficient overall. This allows more trials to be heard which creates less impact on the lives of individuals involved and frees up valuable police time too. Test cases show that the work we carry out causes 30% cost savings to the Justice System and ultimately the UK taxpayer, this equates to millions in savings.
How has your involvement with Creative England impacted the future of Evidential?
We were honoured to be asked to take part in the ‘Creative England Live: Catalyse’ event and a five-minute pitch against some very tough opposition. It was a great experience and we were flattered to be selected as the favourite from a very distinguished audience. It has already raised our profile significantly as we were always described as one of Manchester’s best kept secrets. The opportunity given to us by Creative England is significant to the business as it allows our organic growth to be expedited.
In your opinion, what is the biggest hurdle facing creative SMEs in today’s climate?
In my industry in particular, I find the cards are stacked against SME’s at times especially when more and more work opportunities are becoming tendered contracts where the requirements, 9 times out of 10, lend themselves to blue chip companies and do not recognise the benefits of SME’s. Many times the only option is to “buddy up” to a large supplier, which carries large amounts of risk for the SME and little assistance. Evidential has the benefit of experience in these matters nowadays and I do see hope in certain contracts, which specify the input of SME’s is a requisite to the contract being awarded and look forward to other contracts following this path also because without the input of SME’s, innovation will diminish.
What does the company have planned for 2016?
Lots! We are expanding our team at the moment to cope with a number of opportunities both locally and internationally. We have added a new complimenting service to our offering in the form of Legal Reprographics and have a number of amazing collaborations we hope to announce soon. Our hardware project is on target for completion too.
Evidential are also excited to be part of Manchester’s 2016 Year of Science projects and are in the process of applying for a number of significant Government contracts. We will continue to provide our expert witness service to both Defense and Prosecution teams in criminal and civil cases and strive to innovate further as a key provider of the Digital Courtroom aim.
Creative England currently offers interest free business loans of up to £200,000 to digital SME’s based in the English regions. Find out if you’re eligible to apply.
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