Executive & Council Members



Tony Simpson F.Inst.A.E.A, M.FIEA, M.IMI, IEng, CAE, Dip CII

Tony started his career at the age of 15 as an apprentice panel beater with an independent coachworks in Surrey. After completing his apprenticeship and gaining more experience, he developed his career within the accident repair industry and eventually becoming a bodyshop manager within a main agent. In May 1988, he joined Eagle Star Insurance as a staff motor engineer assessor. Following Eagle Star's merger with Zurich Insurance, Tony held a position within the Motor Engineering Management Team. In 2016 Tony left Zurich to set up his own company AGS Claims Consultants. He was elected to Council in 2010 and has held the position of National Regional Liaison Officer, Public Relations Officer, President Elect and now currently holds the position of President. Tony was instrumental in organising the IAEA National Conference, that has become a highly successful and prestigious event.

He has been attending London Region meetings of the Institute for over 40 years and holds a deep loyalty to the Region and the IAEA as a whole. He has served as the Education Liaison Officer for the Region for six years, Regional Chairman for four years and is now the current Treasurer.

Past President and Council Representative of the Ben Fund

Chris Jones F.Inst. AEA., MFIEA, MIMI MIAATI

Chris started work in the industry at the age of 16 as an apprentice technician at a main dealer in the Midlands. After completing his apprenticeship he moved into the repair of commercial vehicles and then on to body repair. He worked through the industry as a Staff Field Engineer on to his present position managing a team of Engineers at an innovative and leading insurer. Chris has always been a keen supporter of the IAEA and has been an active member of the Birmingham Region where he served as Secretary for 10 years, and where he is currently the Regional Chairman.

Chris passionately believes in the function of the Engineering Assessor, he is always eager to promote the cause of the IAEA and give recognition to the role of the Engineer. Chris is an active member of Thatcham ETC and also serves on the education group.

President Elect and Finance Officer

Darren Power MBA, M.Inst.AEA, AAE, MIMI, MFIEA, AMIRTE, AMSOE, MIAATI, EngTech, APA (Personal General Insurance)

Darren is an experienced automotive assessor with Liberty Insurance. He has extensive experience in the motoring industry. He holds several automotive and insurance qualifications and most recently has completed an MBA in International Business Management, finishing with first class honours. He has served on the Irish Regional Committee of the IAEA since 2010 and has been a Council Member since 2015. In his spare time he enjoys restoration of classic cars and motorcycles, spending time with family and friends and continuous learning.


Alison Cairns ACII

Alison has worked within the insurance industry since the early 90s, working in various claims roles before moving into learning and development

Whilst working in learning and development and supporting staff working towards professional qualifications, Alison started to get more involved with the Institute's qualifications.

Since 2016 Alison has been working in various freelance and contractor roles as a Consultant/trainer within the insurance industry as well as with the Institute.

In August 2018 Alison was appointed the company secretary for the Institute. Alison has been a member of the education committee for a number of years, including the role of examiner for the Institute's examinations - sections 2 & 4.


Education Officer

Mark Wells M.Inst.A.E.A. MFIEA MIRTE IEng MSOE

Mark started his career in the body repair industry in the late 1980's, training as a panel beater and estimator for Trimoco Luton. From here his career progressed into commercial and specialist vehicles, working for Dawson Rentals as a Fleet Quality Engineer and then for Montracon as After Sales Manager. Here his knowledge of ISO quality standards , manufacturing and problem solving shone through. He then moved on to a quality and engineering role at O & H Facilities (Ambulance Conversions) and a spell back in fleet engineering at TLS TIP. An opportunity took him into Insurance, working for Direct Line and currently at AIG UK. Mark chairs the IAEA Yorkshire region and sits on Education and General Council. Outside of work, Mark has a passion for classic vehicles, owning 18 along with his partner. He is also dedicated to bringing diversity to the industry, being Co-Chair of AIG's LGBT+ Employee Group and actively supports LINK, the LGBT+ insurance network.

Having passed his IAEA examinations in 1993 and feels his IAEA qualification has given him a firm foundation for his career progression. Commenting why he is an active member "the IAEA is imperative to the future of our industry. With the advent of AI, we must strive to be at the forefront of technology, with a firm foundation of the basic principles of vehicle engineering. It is here where the Qualified Engineer adds value not only the claims process, but the industry as a whole as being the go-to experts".

Public Relations Officer


David has worked in the crash repair sector since leaving school in the 1980's and has operated main dealer repair centres, with experience in commercial vehicles, trailers classics and specialist vehicles alongside mainstream automotive.

David is currently the CEO and founder of Quantum Technical Ltd. who operate a key team of professional hand-picked technicians and subject matter experts delivering cutting edge assistance to automotive repair workflow and appraisal, along with specialist support to the insurance claims market through insurtech development.

Along with Quantum, David is also CEO and founder of Amber Heights Consulting Ltd, who support a portfolio of businesses in a specialist advisory capacity to the global repair market including insurtech, fintech, Insurers, Repairers and Manufacturers make the right decisions with key market insight.

A rich background and work history within the repair industry and engineering arena whilst having held senior positions through-out his career within Ford Motor Company, Audatex, Glass's, CCC information services to name a few, David is also our Press Officer and technology advisor for the Assessor Magazine.

His expertise in digital assessment and vehicle appraisal ensures he remains a key contributor and statesman of the automotive global repair industry, and helps drive the progression of the IAEA with the support of fellow council members, and the wider membership community driving change.

Membership Officer

Les Minton F.Inst.AEA, MFIEA, MIMI, AAE

Les had 18 years' repair industry experience in the automotive sector before moving into an engineering assessing role.He worked in an independent practive for five years, with 12 years in the role of Staff Motor Engineer/Area Engineer for an insurance company. He then became Lead Vehicle Damage Assessor Training Instructor with the Thatcham Automotive Academy.

In 2017 he set up his own company LM Automotive Solutions Ltd.


Gary Hunt Cert CII, M.InstAEA, M.IMI, M.FIEA, CAE

Gary completed an apprenticeship as a technician at a main dealer in the Home Counties and continued to work in the motor industry gaining experience in various fields including time as a service manager before joining a major insurer as a Staff Motor Engineer in 1991.

After 20 years as a Motor Engineer Assessor Gary was promoted into the Motor Engineer Management team where he spent 7 years and was responsible for a team of Engineers. Gary also represented the insurer on various committees including Thatcham's Engineering Technical Committee (ETC).

Gary is now employed by a large company who specialise in automotive coatings and consumables distribution, accident repair, technical training, software and estimatics technology

Gary is passionate about the role of an Engineer Assessor and has always been an active member of the IAEA London Region, having served on the committee on several occasions and is currently Regional Chairman.

Philip Roath LLB (Hons) DipCII Engtech M.Inst.AEA MIMI MSOE MIRTE

Philip Roath served his time as a motorcycle mechanic before moving onto an apprenticeship in painting and body repairs at PMG Panelcraft in Lancaster. Throughout the 1990's he subsequently worked through each area of the family motor repair business. During this period he was a successful competitor in both road and stage rallies whilst writing for the club newsletter.

Through an estimator's role at the local Ford dealership he then moved into the role of motor engineer for RSA in 2003, passing the IAEA written and practical exams in 2006.

Currently a motor engineer at AXA Insurance, he is a bachelor of laws with first degree honours, and holds a diploma in insurance from the Chartered Insurance Institute. He serves on council for the Bolton region of the CII and was elected 2018 Chairman of the IAEA NW region.

Darren Bernie M.Inst.A.E.A. MIMI

Email: d.beirne1@ntlword.com
Contact number: 07815893251


My first assessing role was at Royal Portbury Docks - assessing marine transit damage for Malcolm Sheppard and Co. and 7 years later a position became available at a local Independent Assessor company. After 12 months learning aspects of the Independent Engineer role, an insurance company staff position came up and - that is where my first association came with the IAEA.

I am new to the Council role and look forward to adding value to the Institute. I currently sit on the Education Committee.

Phil Briggs M.Inst.AEA

Phil has worked within the automotive industry for 25 years and is an expert in the field of estimatics and vehicle repair.

A true industry insider, Phil has worked in partnership with stakeholders along the accident repair chain – from top 10 insurance companies and work providers to major bodyshop networks and technology providers. He has significant experience as an estimator and has an unrivalled knowledge of estimatics software. He has built a reputation for operations management, process improvement and senior team leadership, and is passionate about bringing sustainable change to the industry he has been part of for his whole working life.

As operations manager for DWS Bodyworks, the largest independent accident repair group in the UK, Phil headed up a team of nine internal and external engineers and over 60 VDAs, with responsibility for process improvement and driving right-first-time estimating across the business.

In his time with DWS, Phil managed 22 manufacturer approvals and looked after the group's standards compliance. As part of the senior management team Phil developed and implemented a strategy which expanded the business from 11 to 17 sites and grew profits year on year.

Phil developed and delivered the concept for mobile bike teams to visit customers, take photographs and send them back to a centralised engineering team. As well as bringing efficiency savings, this concept increased inspections by 40 per cent and was well received by customers and work provider partners, delivering improved engagement and overall satisfaction scores.

Away from work, Phil enjoys watching his boys play sports, walking, hitting a golf ball a long way (though not always in the right direction) and enthusiastically supporting F1 (mainly by shouting at the television).

Chris Robins M.Inst.AEA, AMIMI, CAE

Email: crobins@fixauto.co.uk
Contact number: 07391868252

FIEA Representative

Alan Watling I.Eng, F.InstAEA, AEA, AAE, M.IMI, M.IRTE, M.FIEA, M.SOE

Alan did his apprenticeship at the family motor business in Southend-On-Sea, Essex and worked in all departments before joining a large national general insurer as a Staff Motor Engineer qualifying as an IAEA member soon after in the mid 1970's. He set up his own independent practice, AW Automotive Consultancy in 2001, which he continues to this day, carrying out damage inspections and special investigations into mechanical failures etc for insurance or litigation purposes. He says that the best part of the professions is having 'eureka moments' when investigating motor incidents or mechanical failures and discovering compelling evidence of causation which 'bangs a case to rights'. Alan lives with his partner Jenny in Maidstone, has two grown up daughters and four grandchildren. He enjoys playing badminton, walks in the Kent countryside and travel, (but says he hates travelling).

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Jan/Feb 2020
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