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Getting unhappy experts out of bed

Expert witness work is no longer a risk-free activity, writes Mark Solon; experts and solicitors alike must be aware of the necessary due diligence to undertake and the potential consequences of giving evidence that is found wanting

21 June 2016

Experts must be feeling that it's not
worth coming out from under the duvet because of developments over the past two or three years. They must be reminiscing about the old days of fees determined by the length of a piece of string and timetables that could be changed. Experts are now liable in negligence and for breach of contract, following the decision in Jones v Kaney [2011] UKSC 13, and fees in publicly funded cases are now capped. Perhaps experts should stick with the day job.

What can instructing solicitors do to help?
Let's start with the contractual position. A client instructs a solicitor to conduct litigation on their behalf, and if an issue arises requiring expert opinion evidence, the solicitor will generally contract with an appropriate expert and charge for the fee as a disbursement, which will eventually be paid by the client or through legal aid.

Instruc...

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