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September 2014

Inexperienced Experts

The choice of expert in civil litigation can be fundamental to the outcome of your case.  In the recent case of Weatherford Global Products Limited v Hydropath Holdings Limited, the experts came under fire from the Judge.

The matter was a technically complex dispute about product safety and design and the use of confidential information.

The Judge found that the experts were nervous and inexperienced, failed to comply with Part 35 of the CPR, and were poorly briefed.

The Judge noted that one of the experts had not been provided with all the necessary key documents including witness statements that went to the heart of the dispute.  The report was criticised for not containing reasoned opinion and the experts evidence was described by the Judge as "bland assertions". The poor performance of the defendant's expert led the Judge to find for the Claimant.

However, the most damning comment was made when referring to the technical nature of the dispute:

"Lawyers and experts need to explain if necessary in words of one syllable all these various matters".

Considering that the primary reason for expert evidence is to assist the Court in understanding complex technical issues, this is a great concern.

Choosing experienced experts, who can write clear reports in non-technical terms and explain issues clearly to the lay person, is therefore crucial to many cases and the selection of an appropriate expert should be approached diligently.

The Prime Forensic experts are all experienced and all have clear and succinct report writing skills and non-technical verbal communication skills.  We all have experience of lecturing, and imparting technical knowledge to non-accountants.

For more details please contact Adrian Pym on 0121 711 2468.