About Us

Geoff founded Emphasis on Skills in 1995 together with his colleague, Dave Barney

Emphasis on Skills is now a trading arm of Sara Thorpe Limited Group that specialises in tailor-made programmes for clients. Emphasis and Sara Thorpe Ltd merged early in 2021.

We are probably best known for our specialist work in cognitive interviewing. However we also offer a wide range of professional skills and management training programmes. We now specialise in interviewing skills and other key business skills including management development.

Our main clients are solicitors, including 20 of the 25 largest law firms in the UK. See a list of Law Firms we have worked with.

Emphasis on Skills is accredited by the Law Society to provide training as part of lawyers’ continuing professional development and also as part of the professional skills course for trainee lawyers.

We also work with regulatory councils, corporate clients and police services.

Geoff was previously a trainer at the Metropolitan Police Training College, Hendon, and had many years’ experience as an operational police officer and manager with The Metropolitan Police Service.

You will access over 26 years of learning and development experience.

Why work with us?

Trained over 4000 litigators to use cognitive interviewing
Obtain up to 40% more relevant information about an event or incident
Worked with 20 of the top 25 law firms in the UK
20 years learning and development experience

We trained Eversheds’ public inquiry practice team to successfully apply cognitive interviewing in their work on the Bloody Sunday Inquiry to interview over 1300 witnesses. The partner in charge of their investigation team said, “We couldn’t have done it any other way”.

We worked with Alexander Harris, the medical negligence specialists, who used cognitive interviewing to draw information from over 200 families whom they represented in The Shipman inquiry.

I had wonderful feedback from the last team about the training you have given them. One of them said that it was the best and most useful training we have ever given her. Praise indeed!

NS, Senior Manager, more2

Just to say thank you for the training last week. I appreciate the huge effort you and Geoff put into organising and delivering the programme. I found the topics really useful and I also enjoyed the couple of days.

Panellist, GOC

Excellent day overall because the presenter had clear expertise and good experience. Managed session well, outstanding communication. Good pace, simple explanations, good exercises to help us practice and explore.


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