Geoffrey Hawker, TD, BSc (Eng) FREng, FICE, C Eng, FIEI, FI Struct E, F Cons E, M Soc IS (France) FCI Arb, Barrister-at-law
I am a Chartered Civil Engineer, a Barrister and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. I have a broad breadth of experience as mediator and Counsel as well as expert witness before tribunals and on Dispute Adjudication Boards in the UK, Middle East, Pakistan, Canada and the Caribbean. As well as practising dispute resolution (since 2003), I am a practicing barrister-at-law (since 1970 and a practising consulting engineer (since 1964).
For over 14 years I worked alongside Trading Standards officers in both East and West Cheshire to improve standards for consumers in the field of automotive sales and service. As a result of the DTI Task Force Report “Jacking Up Standards” (2001), the authorities set up the Golden Spanner garage approval scheme.
In 2009, I compiled a confidential report in the field of automotive service and repair for the Office of Fair Trading which was forwarded to a number of interested parties, including the Trading Standards Institute, the National Consumer Federation and “Which” and “What Car” magazines.
Since June 2011, I have been the independent adjudicator for the Bosch Car Service network of 300 + garages in respect of their Consumer Code of Practice (approved by the Certified Trading Standards Institute) For over 18 years, I have worked with the Princes Trust as a business mentor and in 2006 achieved the accolade of Liverpool Business Mentor of the Year
I have 34 years experience in the motor trade, 13 years with a manufacturer and 21 in retail, specialising in customer service and the audit and compliance of dealership standards.
I have a comprehensive understanding of customer service standards, consumer legislation, Sales and After Sales processes with a well-respected reputation during which time:
I have over 40 years’ experience in the motor trade, 24 years of those years with a manufacturer, other years were spent in retail, within the service and repair sector before moving into management.
I worked for a manufacturer in dealer technical support, technical training instructor roles and in a specialist role dealing with vehicle related legal matters and personally handling Small Claims actions. I have worked with, specialist engineers, motor dealer groups, major insurers, local authorities (Trading Standards), independent & national law firms
I also assisted in implementing manufacturer customer service programmes including software development, ensuring that these achieved ISO 9002 accreditation with the British Standards Institution.
I have a comprehensive understanding of customer service standards, consumer legislation, Sales and After Sales processes. I have also been a technical advisor to the National Conciliation Service arbitration panel for over 15 years, attending formal arbitration hearings.
I previously worked as an IT manager and audit/compliance inspector for over 30 years in the banking industry. I have since worked at Relate as a court liaison representative, and at Citizens Advice where I was involved in many and varied areas of consumer complaint. This included dealing with various specific areas of consumer complaint, such as Debt and Finance, Housing and general consumer related disputes.
During my time at Citizens advice I was awarded their Certificate in General Advice Work, and became a specialist in dealing with problems relating to Second-Hand Vehicles, Vehicle Servicing, Repair and Breakdown.
I currently work as an Independent Conciliator specialising in consumer to business disputes within the retail motor sector. I attend regular training sessions and seminars regarding ADR and Consumer legislation, and am a subscribing member of the Institute of Consumer Affairs (ICA), a professional body for people working in consumer protection and abide by and am compliant with the ‘European Code of Practice for Mediators’