Robert Radley – Forensic Handwriting Expert


As the longest established private independent laboratory in Great Britain, dealing solely with the forensic examination of handwriting and documents, ROBERT RADLEY M.Sc., C.Chem., F.R.S.C., F.S.Soc. Dip., F.A.E, R.F.P. has achieved an enviable reputation as the founder of a forensic science practice dealing exclusively in the forensic examination of signatures, handwriting and the general forensic investigation of documents as a whole.

Having trained as a forensic scientist specialising exclusively in this field, Mr. Radley holds the degrees of Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Chemistry and Master of Science in Forensic Science. A Chartered Chemist and Registered Forensic Practitioner, he has also achieved a Diploma of the Forensic Science Society in Document Examination.

Additionally, Mr. Radley is a Fellow of The Forensic Science Society, a corresponding member of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners, a fellow of the Academy of Experts, as well as being a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

As well as having successfully completed the Assessors’ Course for the Council of the Registration of Forensic Practitioners, Mr. Radley held the position of examiner for the Forensic Science Society for 12 years with respect to the Society’s Diploma in Document Examination.

Mr. Radley’s laboratory is extensively equipped with a range of specialised instrumentation necessary for the forensic examination of documents. Since 1971, Mr Radley has been consulted in over 12,000 cases involving questioned documents with instructions received from all over the world. He outlined in a recent interview: “These generally relate to signature authentication and/or handwriting identification together with other areas of document examination which I deal with on a routine basis, including non-destructive instrumental analysis of inks, paper, alterations, erasures, typewriting, printing, indented and electrostatic writing impressions in documents (ESDA), photocopy examinations, dating queries, determination of sequences of writings etc.”

Mr. Radley undertakes forensic handwriting examinations of simulated and traced signatures, as well as disguised writings, to establish or eliminate common authorship of a document. He examines guided hand signatures and signatures which have deteriorated due to ill health. Further, he conducts examinations for evidence of a signature having been transposed from document to document.

Mr. Radley added: “The work I undertake relates not only to the forensic examination of signatures and documents involved in court proceedings but also incorporates investigative work relating to the authentication of signatures, identification of handwriting and other forensic document examinations. Such examinations can be undertaken at an early stage as an investigative tool in order to assist in presenting evidence as soon as possible. This may help in giving guidance to investigators by giving them information concerning sources of documents, identifying individuals involved in the production of documents, identifying common sources of documents etc.

I can also provide assistance in assessing Reports prepared by other experts, commenting, supplementing and if necessary criticising the same, so that instructing clients can appreciate better the significance of the evidence available.”

Trained as a Single Joint Expert, Mr. Radley has been required to give evidence on several hundred occasions, acting as an Expert Witness in Courts throughout the UK, as well as in Courts in all corners of the world including Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malta, The Republic of Ireland, Jersey, Cyprus, Germany, Switzerland, Kenya, Gibraltar, Canada and South Africa. Mr. Radley has also given evidence in the International Court in The Hague.

As well as having been on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Forensic Document Examiners, Mr. Radley has written numerous papers and publications in Forensic Science Journals on forensic document examination relating to a variety of aspects of this work and has presented these to scientific meetings both in this country and abroad.

The laboratory now almost exclusively takes on work concerning civil litigation. Over the years, Mr. Radley has been involved in many high-profile cases involving murder, extortion, fraud and commercial disputes. One of the most recent involved the examination of the will of Nina Wang which was contested in the courts in Hong Kong – the largest disputed will in history, valued at US$18 billion. After a week of testimony, the court concurred with Mr. Radley that the will was not genuine.

For a number of practical and ethical reasons, instruction is not accepted from private individuals but is accepted only directly from members of the legal profession, law enforcement agencies, investigators, banks, companies etc.


M.Sc., C.Chem., F.R.S.C., F.S.Soc. Dip., F.A.E, R.F.P.
Forensic Document Laboratory
Macartneys, Kings Road, Silchester, Reading, RG7 2NS
Tel: +44 (0)118 9702394
Fax: +44 (0)118 9702395