A new app developed by a former family lawyer and family court psychiatrist has been created to give parents going through the family courts a place to organise their case materials. On Record offers individuals a platform to store and organise evidence and information relating to their cases. The site says that the software can be used by anyone, and for a wide variety of legal matters.

The app, which was launched in July, was created by Jill Canvin, a former family law solicitor and her partner Dr George Hibbert, who made the headlines in 2012 after being accused by work colleagues and parents he treated at his clinic in Tadpole Cottage of unethical conduct. The allegations included deliberately producing biased reports which councils used to take children from mothers and then place them for adoption. Hibbert underwent an investigation by the GMC, which then set aside the allegations due to a lack of evidence. Dr Hibbert stepped down from his practice shortly after the allegations were brought to the media’s attention in what was viewed as a bid to avoid being investigated.

While the company’s website lists a variety of uses for the app, On Record appears to focus on parents going through family proceedings and litigants in person. 

We reached out to Jill Canvin for further information, and she initially agreed to being interviewed. We then sent her the questions below:

  • You’ve developed an app called On Record – can you tell us a little about how it works?
  • What gave you the idea for the app?
  • Who else is on the On Record team?
  • How much did it cost to produce the app and how was it funded?
  • How many users do you have at the moment?
  • What happens to users’ data once it’s stored?
  • Who, including On Record staff, has access to that data?
  • Your You Tube About page says you will also be offering sensible but not legal advice – what will that mean in practice?
  • Dr George Hibbert is listed as a director for On Record but his name does not appear on Companies House records – is there a reason for the omission?
  • Finally, what do you hope to achieve with the app?

Shortly after the questions were sent, Dr Hibbert wrote back to us with the following email:

“Dear Ms Phillips,
I have seen the questions you emailed to Jill. 
I wonder whether you could explain what you mean by “his name does not appear on Companies House records”. I am registered as a director and PSC of On Record Ltd at Companies House. 
I hope you are not inclined to publishing misleading information.”

We then replied:

“Dear Dr Hibbert,
Thank you for your reply.

The email I sent Jill contained questions, which I have invited her to answer. As a result, it would not be possible for me to offer misleading information as she has the opportunity to respond.

There are now several companies associated with this app, and for the sake of clarity, and to avoid any misrepresentation, I’d like to invite you to explain the structure:

Analogue Digital – Jill Canvin, sole officer

On Record Ltd – Jill Canvin, George Hibbert, officers

Tadpole Cottage – Jill Canvin, George Hibbert, Mark Bridgens

If I have omitted anything, please do let me know.”

Dr Hibbert has to date not responded to our last email.

The app idea itself is a good one, however there are some concerning question marks over the app’s founders, funding and access to users’ data. We are particularly concerned with whether the app’s team will have access to the evidence lodged, how that data will be used by Hibbert and Canvin and whether or not the app is in compliance with the new GDPR regulations, which requires all businesses to outline exactly how they intend to use their customers’ data.

Hibbert previously tried to launch software for use inside the family courts, but was unsuccessful.

Many thanks to Janie Doe for alerting us to this development.

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Image source: On Record website