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Expert Witnesses

Until very recently it was not possible to sue an expert whom had acted as an expert witness in proceedings for professional negligence. The case of Jones -v- Kaney [2011] UKSC 13 changed this.

The areas in which expert witnesses are encountered in Court proceedings include valuers, surveyors, engineers, architects, doctors and consultants.

If you have previously been involved in taking a case to Court or any other Tribunals such as Arbitration or Adjudication you may have engaged the services of an expert witness.

Generally in litigation the expert will be engaged as an expert witness to assist the Court. The expert witness may be instructed by both parties as a single joint expert or by one particular party. In either case the expert’s overriding duty is to the Court. However, it is also possible to instruct an expert on an advisory basis such an expert’s guidance will generally not come before the Court but could, for example, be used to frame questions to the Court appointed expert.

If you have lost a Court case or failed to be awarded your full entitlement as a result of professional negligence on the part of such an expert witness or advisory expert, we will help determine exactly what duty of care the expert owed you and whether or not they had been breached.

If those duties have been breached we can help identify the losses or potential losses that you have suffered. We can then consider how best to pursue the claim and the likely costs.

Our aim is to give you as clear a picture of how strong your claim is and how much it is worth as soon as possible and in any event before you take a decision to take proceedings.

However, it should be appreciated that a claim for professional negligence against an expert engaged in litigation either as an expert witness or advisor is likely to be complex and further expert advice and a specialist Barrister’s input is probably going to be needed.

However, such experts will generally be insured for the consequences of their mistakes/breaches of duty so you can have a degree of confidence that if you have to bring a claim and are successful you should be able to recover the full amount of damages and costs awarded.

If we feel that you have a good prospect of success and the value of your claim is sufficient we will be prepared to consider acting for you under a Conditional Fee Agreement – sometimes known as “no win, no fee”.
 

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