This week saw the collapse of a multi-million-pound fraud trial at Southwark Crown Court due to the appointment of a witness patently unqualified for the role. So how could this happen?

Andrew Ager, who was posing as a carbon credit expert, was clearly “not an expert of suitable calibre”, in the words of the judge, Nicholas Loraine-Smith.

“He had little or no understanding of the duties of an expert. He had received no training and attended no courses. He has no academic qualifications. His work has never been peer-reviewed”, the judge said. 

All expert witnesses need two sets of skills: first they must have the relevant qualifications and experience in the professional field in which they w...

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