John advises on a range of subjects having studied reports and other records. He attends courts and arbitrations as may be required.
He deals with subjects related to his own previous work. Typically, these involve cargo damage, the manner in which goods have been carried and topics such as ship stability, stowage and securing, ventilation and hatch covers.
Frequently, the initial stage of a consultation involves checking the documents and photographs which have been submitted and advising what further information should be obtained, if possible.
Consultancy is in some ways like a jigsaw puzzle. If all of the correct pieces are provided or found, completing the puzzle is simply a matter of effort and time.
The puzzle cannot be completed if some pieces are missing. However, if the missing pieces are comparatively few, the general picture will be revealed.
Incorrect pieces, perhaps from a different puzzle, cannot be forced into the jigsaw. The wrong pieces will not fit, however hard they are pushed.
When survey and other evidence has not been gathered and preserved at the appropriate time, the disadvantages which often follow will not be overcome by consultancy at a later stage. However, consultancy will allow the available evidence to be put into perspective.