The Expert Series – Getting Behind the Lies – Exposing Dishonesty

The latest seminar in our Chambers’ Expert Series was entitled ‘Getting Behind the Lies – Exposing Dishonesty’ and took place at the London Transport Museum on Thursday 20th September.

In this seminar, we looked at the topic of dishonesty from both the scientific and legal perspectives and were delighted to be joined by Dr Christopher Bass, who has recently retired as a Consultant in Liaison Psychiatry at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. Dr Bass explored the scientific basis of deception, and how and when one may categorise conscious exaggeration from unconscious and/or psychologically mediated embellishment. Howard Cohen then provided some examples of dishonesty uncovered first hand in Court.

The seminar was chaired by Alan Jeffreys QC.

Please find links to the slides or video below:

Introduction by Alan Jeffreys QC, Barrister, Farrar’s Building
Dear Doctor, … is this malingering conscious or unconscious?’ by Dr Christopher Bass
Staring Dishonesty in the Face’ by Howard Cohen, Barrister, Farrar’s Building


Dr Christopher Bass

Dr Bass trained in Psychiatry at Kings College Hospital in London and has recently retired as a Consultant in Liaison Psychiatry at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, where he worked from 1991. His clinical interests include chronic pain and fabricated illnesses, including fabricated or induced illness in children. From 1992-2007 he worked in a joint pain clinic with pain clinicians.

He co-edited Hysterical Conversion: Clinical and Theoretical Perspectives (with Halligan P and Marshall J), OUP 2001; and Malingering and Illness Deception (with Halligan P and Oakley D) OUP, 2003. In 2014 he published a review of factitious disorders in the Lancet and in 2017 a review of the perpetrators of factitious illness in children.

In his medicolegal practice he has a particular interest in patients who develop chronic painful disorders of the limbs or widespread pains in an occupational setting or following accidents. His interests also include functional neurological disorders and he is a member of the UK Functional Neurology Group.

Howard Cohen, Barrister

Howard Cohen’s particular expertise is in Personal Injury work. He has extensive experience in high value and complex cases, especially where these involve serious psychiatric injury, chronic pain and serious spinal disorders.

More recently, his practice has increasingly focused on cases in which fraud and/or dishonesty are alleged.

His caseload includes Employer’s Liability, Occupier’s Liability, Product Liability, Fatal Accidents, Highways and Road Traffic claims, as well as associated areas including MIB, CRU and Criminal Injuries compensation. He has vast experience of railways claims.

He acts for both Claimants and Defendants on claims predominantly in the multi-track and he regularly appears in the High Court. His clients include local authorities, trade unions, large companies and other corporate organisations. He is an accomplished court performer, appearing in courts and tribunals nationwide. In addition, he has a busy paper practice and frequently represents clients at round-table conferences and other settlement meetings.

He was recognised in Chambers & Partners 2017 as an expert in Motor Insurance Fraud.

Alan Jeffreys QC

Alan Jeffreys QC is a specialist in all aspects of personal injury litigation.
Alan is currently ranked in the top tier of PI silks in the Legal 500 and in Band 1 of PI silks in Chambers & Partners Guide.