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Issue 80
Published: October 2013

Case management control of exert evidence
Does the case merit an expert report? read now...
 
Costs budgets and expert witnesses
Keeping a tight rein on costs at all costs read now...
 
Proportionate costs recoverability
Don’t be a victim – shore up your terms of engagement now read now...
 
Hot-tubbing
Is it all bubbles and froth or a much-needed improvement? read now...
 
Issue 79
Published: September 2013

'Big Bang' for Government Austerity Measures
Are you up to date on the recent changes to civil court procedures in England and Wales? read now...
 
The overriding objective is not what it was
Access to justice… at the right price read now...
 
Experts' costs estimates
Make sure you give an accurate and meaningful estimate at the outset read now...
 
Issue 78
Published: June 2013

Expert Witness Survey 2013
What is it that experienced expert witnesses most want to know about their colleagues? Well, how much they charge comes close to the top of the list! By taking part you can contribute to this snapshot of the expert witness world in 2013. read now...
 
Claims against experts by litigants in person
With the anticipated growth in the number of litigants in person, how can the expert who takes instructions from a litigant in person reduce the risk of subsequently being sued by that person? read now...
 
Telling the MoJ what you think
Talking to the Ministry of Justice can often be a frustrating pastime, but there are a couple of opportunities just now to get your view across read now...
 
Issue 77
Published: May 2013

Death by a thousand cuts
Having already cut expert witness fees from legal aid funds by 10% from arbitrarily low 'benchmark' levels, the MoJ now seeks a further cut of 20% read now...
 
Experts instructed by litigants in person
With the anticipated growth in the number of litigants in person, what difference does a litigant in person make to the instruction of an expert witness? read now...
 
Expert fees and litigants in person
With the anticipated growth in the number of litigants in person, what should an expert witness be thinking about when it comes to fees? read now...
 
Issue 76
Published: March 2013

CPR Part 35 introduces cost estimates
Changes to the CPR introduce measures proposed by Lord Justice Jackson in his review of Costs in Civil Proceedings read now...
 
CPR Part 35 introduces 'hot tubbing'
Changes to the CPR Practice Direction accompanying Part 35 introduce measures proposed by Lord Justice Jackson to allow expert witnesses to give concurrent evidence read now...
 
FPR Part 25 reworked
Changes to the Family Procedure Rules Part 25 introduce measures proposed by the Family Justice Review designed to reduce delay in the family justice system, in part through minimising the use of expert witnesses read now...
 
Issue 75
Published: July 2012

All new CPR Experts Protocol
The Civil Justice Council has published a new version of its Experts Protocol, annexed to the Civil Procedure Rules Part 35 Practice Direction read now...
 
Proposed changes to Family Procedure Rules Part 25 - a consultation
The Ministry of Justice has launched a consultation by the Family Procedure Rule Committee on changes to Part 25 of the Family Procedure Rules read now...
 
Hot tub trial
A report on some initial findings about expert evidence given concurrently from the hot tub read now...
 
Issue 74
Published: June 2012

Paying for Part 35.6 Questions
Who should pay when an expert witness is asked questions by another party? read now...
 
Reports for ex-parties
What happens to a report when the party it was prepared for drops out of the litigation? read now...
 
Conference notices
Notice for three conferences in the Autumn read now...
 
Issue 73
Published: May 2012

Family Justice Review
Highlights of the recent Family Justice Review for expert witnesses read now...
 
National Taxing Team
Getting help with unreasonable court officials read now...
 
Conference notice
Early notice for conferences in the Autumn read now...
 
Issue 72
Published: November 2011

LSC expert fees cap under fire - urgent donations sought
A group of expert witnesses is urgently seeking donations to support a judicial review it has launched of the expert fee caps in publicly funded cases read now...
 
Shaken Baby guidance
Crown Prosecution Service has issued guidance on its approach to non-accidental head injury cases read now...
 
Likelihood guidance
Crown Prosecution Service seeks to limit the scope of a Court of Appeal decision on likelihood ratios read now...
 
Issue 71
Published: September 2011

Prior authority
What effect would the removal of prior authority have on your publicly funded work? read now...
 
Expert fees in publicy funded cases
Expert witness fee caps introduced from 3 October read now...
 
Conferences
Tackle bad and ugly expert evidence and hear from the senior judiciary at these autumn conferences read now...
 
Issue 70
Published: July 2011

Experts and the ultimate issue
The rule against an expert giving an opinion on a matter that is for the jury or the judge to determine is becoming very strained read now...
 
In all likelihood
The Court of Appeal looked recently at likelihood ratios and concluded that justice is not served by dressing up an expert's guesses as pseudo-science read now...
 
Conference notice
Early notice for a brace of conferences in the Autumn read now...
 
Issue 69
Published: May 2011

Expert Witness Immunity - Supreme Court Experts?
The consequences of the decidedly disturbing decision-making in Jones -v- Kaney should put a number of issues right at the top of an expert witness's to-do list read now...
 
LSC travel cap
The basis for the LSC £40 cap for travel is contractual read now...
 
Session on expert witness immunity
The Society of Expert Witnesses changes conference programme to include analysis of expert witness immunity read now...
 
Issue 68
Published: April 2011

Expert Witness Immunity abolished
The eagerly awaited decision in the Jones -v- Kaney appeal does away with expert witness immunity read now...
 
Issue 67
Published: March 2011

Expert evidence in criminal proceedings
The Law Commission publishes its recommendation on expert evidence in criminal proceedings in England and Wales read now...
 
Who is responsible for delay?
A new practice direction for the Midlands Circuit is problematic read now...
 
First Cambridge Annual Medico-Legal Conference
A conversation between medicine and the law read now...
 
Issue 66
Published: February 2011

VAT on expert reports
Does a recent tax tribunal decision mean experts can stop adding VAT to their bills? read now...
 
Custom and practice
Ordinary trade practice might become a new area for expert evidence read now...
 
TCC guidance for experts
Revised Technology & Construction Court Guide offers precursor of what may be to come read now...
 
Issue 65
Published: December 2010

Expert witness immunity under threat - Part 2
What would be a 'good' outcome at the Supreme Court? read now...
 
Legal letterheads
How to make sure your paperwork passes muster read now...
 
New Expert Witness Register
Free Expert Witness Year Book with the 24th edition of the UK Register of Expert Witnesses read now...
 
Issue 64
Published: October 2010

Expert witness immunity under threat - Part 1
A leapfrog certificate has brought the future for expert witness immunity into the spotlight once more read now...
 
Jackson on MROs
A review of the cost of civil litigation was less than complimentary about medical reporting organisations read now...
 
Conference notice
The barrister for Mr Jones talks about the Jones -v- Kaney attack on expert witness immunity read now...
 
Issue 63
Published: October 2010

LSC comes to audit
The Legal Services Commission requires its contracted lawyers to bind experts into contractual terms that allow the LSC to come and audit the experts' work read now...
 
'Sell by date' for expert witnesses
An appeal in three shaken baby cases calls use of retired experts into question read now...
 
Conference notice
Lord Justice Moses speaks about his views on the 'sell by date' of experts read now...
 
Issue 62
Published: August 2010

Cracking brinkmanship
The amount of money that could be saved by the Ministry of Justice tinkering with expert fees in legal aid cases is dwarfed by potential savings in streamlining court timetables read now...
 
Efficient business: Part 3
In this final part, we look at the attributes of an effective use of IT and give pointers to further information read now...
 
Conference notices
Two conferences and a lecture series for expert witnesses read now...
 
Issue 61
Published: May 2010

Efficient business: Part 2
In this second part of our 'efficient business' series, we look at how to deal with bad debts and spreading your risk. read now...
 
Admissibility of fresh evidence
The difficulty faced by a party seeking to introduce fresh expert evidence as a grounds for appeal in criminal proceedings read now...
 
Conference notices
Two conferences for expert witnesses - and free Expert Witness Year Books! read now...
 
Issue 60
Published: May 2010

Efficient business: Part 1
As the new Government sets about its efficiency drive, the rest of us in business need, perhaps more than ever before, to ensure we are running as efficient a ship as possible. When times get tough, the most efficient businesses weather the storm best. read now...
 
MoJ expert fees project
Ministry of Justice accepts the need for more research into what it pays for expert evidence in legally aided cases read now...
 
Legal letterhead
Do you know what information on your business should be shown on your letterhead and web site? read now...
 
Issue 59
Published: March 2010

Data protection and the expert witness
Almost every expert witness should be registered under the Data Protection Act. Failure to be registered where necessary is a criminal offence. Are you breaking the law? read now...
 
Handling irrelevant evidence
An expert who concludes that a piece of evidence is irrelevant is, under the Rules and out of self-interest, duty bound to report that fact read now...
 
Reaching a wide audience
Would you like the opportunity to communicate with the Guardian readership, reaching an audience of 600,000? read now...
 
Issue 58
Published: February 2010

New medical report format in RTA cases
In October 2009, the Ministry of Justice set out its policy on how low-value PI claims in RTA cases will be handled, including a new medical report template read now...
 
Experts in the hot tub
Lord Justice Jackson has published the final report of his review of civil litigation costs, and his key idea for experts will get them into hot water! read now...
 
Get registered and get a free Year Book!
Join the premier source of vetted expert witnesses before the end of February and get a free copy of our Expert Witness Year Book read now...
 
Issue 57
Published: November 2009

Big risks in MoJ plan to cap expert fees
If budgetary factors force the MoJ to adopt its fee capping proposals, it is anticipated that quality, competition and supply will all be adversely affected and reduce access to justice for the most vulnerable in Society. read now...
 
Statements of Truth - take your pick!
Experts now have different statements of truth for the Family, Civil and Criminal courts! We offer some quick guidance on what is required where. read now...
 
New expert witness search engine
A new and richer way to search for expert witnesses read now...
 
Issue 56
Published: September 2009

CPR Statement of Truth is changing
The text of CPR Part 35, having remained stable (warts and all) for many months, is to undergo a major revision on 1 October 2009 read now...
 
Changes to CrimPR Part 33
Minor changes to the text of CrimPR Part 33 help to rationalise the rules read now...
 
Expert Witness Survey 2009
What is it that experienced expert witnesses most want to know about their colleagues? Well, how much they charge comes close to the top of the list! By taking part you can contribute to this snapshot of the expert witness world. read now...
 
Issue 55
Published: August 2009

Capping fees paid to experts from the legal aid fund – Summary
The Ministry of Justice has published a Consultation Paper that includes proposals to impose a cap on the fees that can be paid from the legal aid fund to expert witnesses read now...
 
Capping fees paid to experts from the legal aid fund – Scale of the spend
Proposals to cap expert fees come from a body that doesn't collect fee data! read now...
 
Conference notices
Three conferences for expert witnesses read now...
 
Issue 54
Published: May 2009

Law Commission Consultation: The Proposals
The Law Commission Consultation, on introducing a pre-trial assessment of expert evidence, contains two formal proposals and offers thoughts on three allied issues read now...
 
Tax and Fees
A recent call to the UK Register of Expert Witnesses Helpline raised the question of whether deferred payment terms were ‘conditional fees’ (which are, of course, banned for experts) and what was their effect on income tax read now...
 
Conference notices
Coming up soon: four conferences aimed squarely at expert witnesses read now...
 
Issue 53
Published: April 2009

Don't create a surrogate for scrutiny
The UK Register of Expert Witnesses response to the Forensic Science Regulator draws together contributions from 319 expert witnesses listed in the Register. read now...
 
CRFP - RIP... this time it's official!
The Forensic Science Regulator argues that the Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners (CRFP) is surplus to requirements. In March 2009, CRFP finally fell on its sword. read now...
 
Admitting expert evidence in criminal trials
An important Law Commission consultation on proposed changes to the law of expert evidence in criminal cases is imminent. read now...
 
Issue 52
Published: February 2009

Forensic Science Regulator’s Consultation on Accreditation
The Forensic Science Regulator has published an important consultation paper looking at the future of forensic practitioner registration, and it has ramifications for both the civil and criminal justice systems read now...
 
CRFP - RIP?
The Forensic Science Regulator argues that the Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners (CRFP) is surplus to requirements read now...
 
Position of the small and independent sector in the proposed new system
The Forensic Science Regulator is unsure how to deal with the small and independent forensic science sector – implementation costs have the potential to be high read now...
 
Issue 51
Published: January 2009

CRB checking the independent expert witness
Expert witnesses who work with children need to be CRB checked – How can this be done? read now...
 
2 x Legal Aid Funding consultations
The LSC has launched two consultations, one in the civil arena and the other specific to family cases. Both propose changes to expert witness fees. read now...
 
Expert Witness Year Book launched
The UK Register of Expert Witnesses launches new Year Book for expert witnesses read now...
 
Issue 50
Published: December 2008

Challenging bias in expert evidence
Apparent bias was not relevant to the question of whether or not an expert witness should be permitted to give evidence - it goes to evidential weight, not admissibility read now...
 
GMC Guidance to medical expert witnesses
In the wake of the Roy Meadow case, the GMC has taken steps to try to clarify both the role and duties of the medical expert and the risk involved read now...
 
Notice for experts registered with the UK Register of Expert Witnesses
News about drafts for inclusion in the UK Register of Expert Witnesses and a new initiative for busy expert witnesses read now...
 
Issue 49
Published: November 2008

Recessions aren't all bad news for expert witnesses!
History teaches us that when the economy gets into trouble the volume of litigation increases – that should be good news for expert witnesses read now...
 
New Book: Getting Started as an Expert Witness
A practical guide to building a successful expert witness business read now...
 
Three new Factsheets for expert witnesses released
Three new Factsheets from the UK Register of Expert Witnesses have been prepared covering family and criminal matters read now...
 
Issue 48
Published: October 2008

Bond Solon Annual Conference
The Annual Bond Solon Expert Witness Conference takes place on Friday 7 November at Church House Conference Centre in London. As well as the usual array of quality speakers, the company will be using the event to launch a new insurance scheme for experts. read now...
 
Experts and Money: getting it right from the start
Many expert witnesses complain about a late payment culture in the legal system. The Society of Expert Witnesses will examine the issues at its Autumn Conference. read now...
 
Forensic Accountants Conference
The Forensic Group of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales is holding a conference on Tuesday 28 October in London and repeating it on Thursday 30 October in Manchester. read now...
 
Issue 47
Published: September 2008

When is a fact not a fact?
How free are experts to weigh the evidence for themselves and how far are they obliged to take notice of the findings of others? read now...
 
Fresh expert evidence as a ground for reopening a final appeal
It is not normally possible for a party to reopen a case after an appeal has been heard, but new expert evidence can be one reason to do so. read now...
 
Failure to disclose expert report was a breach of natural justice
Should a public body have to disclose expert evidence that underpins a decision of that body? read now...
 
Issue 46
Published: February 2008

Experts under Scottish law
Expert evidence is treated somewhat differently under the law of England and Wales compared with that of Scotland. Indeed, since implementation of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) in England and Wales, the roles are becoming increasingly divergent. read now...
 
Peripatetic solicitors
A number of calls to the UK Register of Expert Witnesses helpline has drawn our attention to a difficulty that can arise when a solicitor leaves one law firm for another, taking with him a case in which an expert is involved. read now...
 
Discipline-specific Rules and Guidance
Do you work under a professional code of conduct? If so, we would like to hear from you. read now...
 
Only 20 days to go...
Any expert witness who wishes to be included in the 21st edition of the UK Register of Expert Witnesses needs to act fast. read now...
 
Issue 45
Published: October 2007

Frontier science re-assessed
Expert evidence in developing or controversial fields should have its place in court, says Court of Appeal read now...
 
New Solicitors' Code of Conduct
Major overhaul of Code of Conduct for solicitors removes an important fee-chasing tool from experts read now...
 
Bond Solon Conference
The Annual Bond Solon Expert Witness Conference 2007 is being held on Friday 2 November and is back at The Church House Conference Centre, Westminster read now...
 
Issue 44
Published: July 2007

Childhood memory evidence: warning to juries
Early memory evidence should be treated with great caution and a warning given to juries, or convictions could be challenged read now...
 
What constitutes fresh evidence?
If expert evidence is available, it should be called at trial; if it is not called, the court is entitled to the view that there is nothing in it that will assist the party read now...
 
Conference notices
The 2007 autumn conference season offers experts two conferences in central London and one in the peaceful surroundings of rural Cheshire read now...
 
Issue 43
Published: May 2007

Adjudicator's discretion to disregard expert
If a party adduces expert evidence in support of a claim in adjudication proceedings, is the adjudicator bound to take notice of this? read now...
 
How to make life easier when chasing down fees
A new free service for experts listed in the UK Register of Expert Witnesses makes it easier to create Terms of Engagement for forensic work read now...
 
Expert Witness Survey 2007
What is it that experienced expert witnesses most want to know about their colleagues? Well, how much they charge comes close to the top of the list! By taking part in our survey you can contribute to this snapshot of the expert witness world. read now...
 
Issue 42
Published: January 2007

VAT for doctors - the wait is over!
After a 3-year hiatus, the imposition of VAT on medical expert witness services is now upon us. Read on to find out what action is required. read now...
 
Little Books for Experts
The Little Books for Experts series distills the experience of two decades of working with thousands of expert witnesses into books designed to help expert witnesses read now...
 
Issue 41
Published: November 2006

Conflicts of interest
A recent Court of Appeal case has given guidance on how expert witnesses should handle potential conflicts of interest in civil cases. read now...
 
Expert evidence rules in criminal cases
The Criminal Procedure Rules were amended recently and now include rules concerned with expert evidence. Importantly, the Rules impose duties directly on experts, unlike the CPR. read now...
 
CMO and 'Opinion by Committee'
The Chief Medical Officer's report into the quality and supply of expert witness in public law Family cases has finally been published - and it is nothing if not radical! read now...
 
Issue 40
Published: October 2006

Writing reports without seeing the medical records - good or bad?
Can it be right that medics generally shouldn’t review patient medical records in claims worth less than £10,000? read now...
 
MRO mark-ups under fire - still!
A costs dispute arising out of a minor road traffic accident is heading to the Court of Appeal. Wollard -v- Fowler is an important case since it could fatally undermine the MROs. read now...
 
VAT on medico-legal reports - update
Timetable update for imposing VAT on medico-legal reports read now...
 
Issue 39
Published: September 2006

Record, retain and reveal - or else!
Experts and disclosure: the new rules for prosecution experts - and good guidance for any expert read now...
 
Fixed fees for doctors in civil cases
Courts find it difficult to control expert fees, but the Civil Justice Council seems determined to introduce fixed fees for, initially, medical experts. Doctors should wake up to the dangers and urge their own representatives to demand a full and informed debate. read now...
 
Travel claims in criminal cases
Chapter and verse on your rights to travel time expenses in criminal cases read now...
 
Issue 38
Published: July 2006

Expert Witness Survey
Facts, figures and trends from the world of the expert witness, including a summary of average fees being charged by experts read now...
 
Experts and a smoking statistic
The case of McTear -v- Imperial Tobacco Ltd holds some salient lessons for experts who refer to published research, and a surprising relevance to the GMC's view on the conduct of Professor Meadow read now...
 
Ode to Unpaid Fees
A little light relief for any expert who is being made hotter under the collar by unpaid bills read now...
 
Issue 37
Published: June 2006

VAT on medico-legal work: are you ready?
The results of our survey work for HMRC and the latest on the plans for extending VAT to medico-legal work read now...
 
Criminal Procedure Rules: an opportunity missed?
Overall, the proposed CrimPR Part 33 on expert evidence will leave most experts under-whelmed. read now...
 
Does working without charge taint an expert?
The McTear -v- Imperial Tobacco Ltd case highlighted a fascinating side issue about whether an expert's decision to work without charge should taint his evidence read now...
 
Issue 36
Published: May 2006

Why are the big guns joining in?
The Attorney General has asked the Court for permission to intervene in the GMC appeal against the judgment of Collins J in the Meadow case. But why? What motives are behind the arrival of the big guns? read now...
 
Expert's CV leads to a 'cruel and unusual' prosecution
The dangers that can lie in a CV should not be underestimated, as one expert found recently as he stood before the beak. read now...
 
Dramatic decline in the quality of instructions
The legal profession recognises that there are problems with the quality of instruction of expert witnesses. And the cause? The CPR. read now...
 
Issue 35
Published: April 2006

Literature referred to in a report
Should the trial judge read and consider any literature referred to in an expert’s report, and what happens if he does not? read now...
 
Judicial discretion in appointment of experts
The judge’s powers at a case management conference are wide and varied, but how far should the judge go in the exercise of discretion? read now...
 
1 expert, 2 experts, 3 experts, more...
When a party decides not to rely on the evidence of an expert, is court permission needed to use a second? And will the first report need to be disclosed? read now...
 
Issue 34
Published: February 2006

Mr Justice Collins on witness immunity
The serious disincentive to undertake expert witness work created by the GMC decision on Meadow has been comprehensively demolished by the High Court extending witness immunity to encompass all disciplinary proceedings. read now...
 
Mr Justice Collins on the GMC
In comprehensively overturning the GMC decision in the Prof. Sir Roy Meadow case, the High Court described the GMC's action as verging on the 'irrational'. read now...
 
Mr Justice Collins on the EWI
Experts of Wanton Interventions? The Expert Witness Institute's attempt to intervene in the Meadow appeal leads Judge to warn against unnecessary interventions. read now...
 
Preparing for the demise of the MRO industry
If recent court rulings signal the start of a trend, medical reporting agencies could soon be consigned to history. Here is the Register's three-step guide to help doctors prepare for such an outcome read now...
 
Issue 33
Published: February 2006

Better use of experts in the criminal court
The UK Register of Expert Witnesses urges the Criminal Rules Committee to show that the real reasons for past problems have been recognised and addressed. read now...
 
Improving expert effectiveness in legal aid cases
Lord Carter's Review of Legal Aid Procurement is a welcome opportunity for experts to engage with decision makers over the best way to get value for public money when instructing expert witnesses. read now...
 
Call for delay in the imposition of VAT on doctors
The UK Register of Expert Witnesses has told the VAT authorities that changes should not now, after a 2 year hiatus, be rushed into effect. read now...
 
Only 20 days to go
Any expert witness who wishes to be included in edition 19 of the UK Register of Expert Witnesses needs to act fast. read now...
 
Issue 32
Published: November 2005

VAT on medico-legal work -have your say.
After two years deliberation following the European court ruling that doctors should charge VAT on their expert reports, HM Customs and Excise have launched a consultation to help them understand the impact this change will have and thereby ensure suitable transitional arrangements are in place. read now...
 
Expert evidence in criminal cases
Have your say on the rules to govern expert evidence in criminal proceedings read now...
 
VAT on medico-legal reporting
VAT on medico-legal reports is coming - the UK Register of Expert Witnesses lets you influence its implementation and has help and guidance on what you need to do! read now...
 
Notice for experts registered with the UK Register of Expert Witnesses
Drafts for inclusion in the UK Register of Expert Witnesses will soon be in the post! read now...
 
Issue 31
Published: November 2005

MROs wipe consultants off the map
Orthopaedic and other medical consultants are seeing a dramatic impact on their medico-legal caseload following the 'arrangement' put in place last November between the CJC and MROs. Help us to quantify the effect and add force to the calls for corrective action. read now...
 
Securing better pay for legal aid work
After last year's ill-informed attempt by the LSC to reduce their spend on expert witnesses by the simple expedient of cutting expert fees in half, Lord Carter's Review of Legal Aid Procurement is most welcome. read now...
 
Expert evidence -v- the 'reliable' witness: striking the balance
When is evidence from an honest lay witness considered to be more reliable than uncontroversial expert evidence? read now...
 
Issue 30
Published: October 2005

Meeting experts – expert meetings
The autumn conference season offers expert witnesses the chance to hear from an impressive array of speakers – and get stuck into some workshops read now...
 
Money Claim Online: how to sue in the 21st Century
Sue your solicitor debtors online from the comfort of your PC read now...
 
SJEs can rely on joint and several liability for their fees, but what of non-SJEs?
Joint and several liability means all parties are 100% liable. So if you need to sue for payment, 100% can be recovered from one party – and you should select the party most able to pay! read now...
 
Issue 29
Published: September 2005

Evolving role spelt trouble for immunity
When an expert’s role develops from adviser to expert witness, immunity applies to all work done on the case read now...
 
Have you lost money when a medico-legal agency has folded?
We are gathering data on the stability of the medico-legal reporting organisations (MROs). If you have lost money because an MRO has gone bust, you can feed your experience into this effort to document the MRO marketplace. read now...
 
The regulation of expert witnesses
Spookily, both the Society of Expert Witnesses and the Bond Solon conferences look at the fallout of the GMC decision in the case of Meadow read now...
 
How would you change the way experts are used in Legal Aid cases?
Lord Carter is conducting a review of legal aid procurement, and he wants to explore the scope for greater efficiency in how expert witnesses are used. Now is the perfect time for experts to have their say. read now...
 
Issue 28
Published: July 2005

Draft disclosure danger
Preparatory reports by experts can remain privileged, even if they have been disclosed to the instructing party read now...
 
Judicial approval for witness training – but coaching is not allowed
‘Witness preparation training is to be encouraged, but only if it is done properly’, says Barrister Penny Cooper read now...
 
Some thoughts on Meadow and the GMC
Did Meadow get his just deserts, or does GMC now stand for ‘Gone Mad, Completely’? Whichever it is, the outcome does not solve the problems in the criminal court read now...
 
Are you charging enough for your work?
Do you know how your charging rate compares with those of experts in similar areas of expertise? The UK Register of Expert Witnesses 2005 survey data will give you the answer. read now...
 
Issue 27
Published: June 2005

Prof. Sir Roy Meadow: villain or scapegoat? Vote now!
Is Prof. Sir Roy Meadow a villain – as often portrayed in the press – or is he just a bloke doing his best being made a scapegoat for failings in the legal system? Vote on-line now! read now...
 
Taking experts out of the court
The US courts set out four criteria for determining whether expert testimony meets the requirement that it constitutes ‘scientific knowledge’. Is this the way forward? read now...
 
In extremis, experts may pay for wasted costs
If an expert acts ‘in flagrant, reckless disregard of his duties to the Court’, then he could leave himself open to a wasted costs order read now...
 
Issue 26
Published: May 2005

Getting paid - enforcing judgment
Following on from earlier e-wire instalments, this final part of our 'Getting Paid' series looks at what happens after the County Court has awarded judgment against a non-paying lawyer. read now...
 
Proper and improper use of a witness summons
Is an SJE compellable as a witness if the expert’s fee has not been paid in full? read now...
 
What are ‘material instructions’?
Careless phrasing of instructions and submission of materials to expert witnesses can lead to unintended troubled waters - a situation experts will want to avoid! read now...
 
Issue 25
Published: April 2005

Why not ask ‘black-listed’ lawyers for money up front?
You’re bound to have lawyers on your books who put off paying your fee well beyond what you consider to be a reasonable time period. Next time you’re asked to work for them, try this approach… read now...
 
A simpler VAT for medics?
The likely introduction of VAT on medico-legal reports is going to bring many medics into the arena of VAT for the first time – and the Flat-Rate Scheme is likely to be a most welcome simplification to many. read now...
 
When is training coaching?
There’s a fine line to be drawn between expert training and expert coaching. Step over it, and in an extreme case you could be charged with perjury. read now...
 
Issue 24
Published: January 2005

Attack on fee levels: a quick response option
The UK Register of Expert Witnesses offers a quick way for busy experts to add their voices to the LSC Consultation on the quality and fees of expert witnesses read now...
 
Controlling the use of reports when bills remain unpaid
When one party fails to pay their share of an SJE’s fee, what rights does the expert have to prevent use of the report? read now...
 
VAT on court fees
Chapter and verse on what to do if the Court tries not to pay the VAT element of your bill read now...
 
UK Register of Expert Witnesses Deadline Notice
Drafts for inclusion in the new edition 18 of the UK Register of Expert Witnesses are due by Friday 21 January read now...
 
Issue 23
Published: December 2004

Quality of expert evidence – some Christmas reading
The Legal Services Commission consultation on expert witnesses makes proposals aimed at improving the quality of expert evidence yet provides no evidence that the current quality of expert evidence is below par. Is there a problem with the quality of expert evidence? read now...
 
Review of infant death cases
The Attorney General has announced that 28 cases of parents convicted of killing their children (out of 297 reviewed) will be investigated further because of concerns over the medical expert evidence. read now...
 
Notice for experts registered with the UK Register of Expert Witnesses
Drafts for inclusion in the UK Register of Expert Witnesses will soon be in the post! read now...
 
Issue 22
Published: December 2004

The Use of Experts Consultation Paper
The long-awaited Legal Services Commission consultation on expert witnesses raises issues of importance right across the English justice system. So, whether or not you undertake Legal Aid work, you should consider responding to the LSC proposals. read now...
 
Science on trial
Certainty. The courts want it; science can’t provide it. And that causes problems. Yet there are procedural changes that could improve the court's handling of science-based evidence. read now...
 
No one expects a judicial inquisition!
In criminal cases, the trial judge should refrain from asking the expert witness questions during the trial. But if the judge does, will this render a conviction unsafe? read now...
 
Issue 21
Published: October 2004

When is fresh expert evidence admissible?
The court has now held that in cases involving judicial review of the decisions of expert tribunals or bodies, it is permissible to adduce new expert evidence. But under what circumstances? read now...
 
Experts across Europe
Whilst the courts help to impose harmonisation across the EU, will court procedures be so easily reconciled? read now...
 
Consequences of delay or failure to instruct
Time constraints imposed by the courts are there to ensure that cases are conducted speedily and efficiently. In a recent case, failure to instruct an expert resulted in an unfair trial claim. read now...
 
Issue 20
Published: September 2004

Ways to get paid when an MRO goes bust
With many medics being stung for thousands of pounds following the recent collapses of several medical report organisations, what are the opportunities for experts to go straight to the lawyer for payment? read now...
 
Case management priorities: importance for experts
The active case management process under CPR sets a timetable for conduct of the case. Appreciating the lawyer’s main concerns will help you better manage your professional relationship. read now...
 
When can the Court agree to more than one expert?
The number of independent experts, save in exceptional circumstances, should be limited to one. But what are the circumstances under which more than one expert can be called? read now...
 
Issue 19
Published: August 2004

Getting paid - contested bills and the small claims procedure
So you’ve lodged a claim but the solicitor has responded with a defence, and your fee note remains unpaid. What next? Here’s a self-help guide to contested proceedings. read now...
 
Contracting with the client, rather than the solicitor, has its problems
What are the important considerations when you are asked to send your Terms of Engagement direct to the client? read now...
 
Does the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 affect expert witnesses?
The expert witness is handed a portfolio of evidence and asked to opine as to its proper interpretation. Is it really possible, in such circumstances, to hold that the expert witness is capable of forming a reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing? read now...
 
Issue 18
Published: July 2004

When can a solicitor disclaim personal responsibility for expert fees?
Terms of Engagement are of paramount importance if experts are properly to set out their commercial stalls. But when solicitors completely ignore requests to confirm their acceptance of the expert’s terms, where does the expert stand? read now...
 
VAT for beginners
With medics facing the prospect of having to start charging VAT on their reports, here’s a brief guide to VAT and a cautionary note for medics tempted to register in their own name. read now...
 
When will the judge allow the appointment of a new expert?
Despite the courts taking a dim view of delays, a decision by the Court of Appeal allowed the replacement of an expert after the solicitor stated, under oath, that the substance of the expert’s opinion was not the reason for the request. read now...
 
Issue 17
Published: June 2004

New opportunity for experts to promote themselves to litigators
Bring your forensic insights to key UK litigators – and market your expertise at the same time! read now...
 
Revalidation and the medical expert witness
Do medics need to be licensed by the GMC, and therefore undergo revalidation, to act as expert witnesses? read now...
 
Discarded expert’s report could be an own goal!
When a party loses confidence in the expert and seeks leave to instruct a replacement, to what extent can privilege be claimed in relation to disclosure of the first expert’s report? read now...
 
Issue 16
Published: May 2004

Bean counters turned trailblazers
With the media spotlight turning away from expert witnesses, what are the implications for the regulation of experts of recent criticism, and what can the professional bodies do to avoid being overtaken? read now...
 
Interest on late payments
There is potential for confusion over the rate to be used when calculating interest on late payments unless you specify the Late Payments of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 in your Terms. read now...
 
Letters of joint instruction are not binding
There is no rule that a party shall be bound by the instruction to a joint expert given by the other side. Indeed, under rule 35.7 which allows for the use of a single joint expert, each instructing party may give instructions to the appointed expert. read now...
 
Issue 15
Published: February 2004

Troubled times at Expert Reports Ltd
Yet another medical report agency has run into trouble, leaving experts to carry the financial can - more than £4 million. What can experts do about it? read now...
 
Pursuing a solicitor for fees due from a medical report agency
Is the solicitor still personally responsible for an expert’s fee if the instructions have been sent via a medical report agency? read now...
 
What do lawyers charge for their time?
With experts being regularly criticised for their fee levels, how do your fees compare with hourly rates for partners in law firms? read now...
 
Issue 14
Published: January 2004

The Cannings Appeal: how the criminal court ought to deal with disputed expert evidence
Where expert evidence from distinguished and reputable experts is the only evidence before a criminal court, and there is serious disagreement between those experts, the court should not feel confident to arrive at a guilty verdict. read now...
 
Judge calls for a less confrontational court process
Efforts are being made by the judiciary to make the courtroom a much less hostile environment for expert witnesses. read now...
 
Out of the common room into the lion’s den?
The adversarial nature of litigation is for neither the faint-hearted nor those lacking in preparation. When academics are called upon to assist the court, they should take care to be well prepared before leaving the cloistered world of academia and entering the hurly-burly of the courtroom. read now...
 
Issue 13
Published: December 2003

VAT on medico-legal reports is in the pipeline, Part II
The definitive view of HM Customs and Excise on how medics should react, in the short term, to the recent ECJ decision on VAT and medical reports is now available. Our earlier advice stands: there is no need to rush off and register for VAT. read now...
 
Notice for experts registered with the UK Register of Expert Witnesses
Drafts for inclusion in the UK Register of Expert Witnesses will soon be in the post! read now...
 
Issue 12
Published: December 2003

VAT on medico-legal reports is in the pipeline
A recent European Court of Justice decision seems likely to remove the current exemption from VAT for medical reports. So should medical experts rush now to register for VAT? read now...
 
Could costs sanctions against experts be on the cards?
In a string of recent cases, judges have openly criticised experts who have, in their view, failed to comply with the Civil Procedure Rules. Does Judge Jacob’s judgment in Ove Arup suggest costs sanctions are on the cards for expert witnesses who fail in their duties? read now...
 
The adequate instruction of experts
The courts and bodies seeking to represent expert witnesses continue to struggle with the question of ensuring competence in experts. Here we recount the sad tale of a clearly incompetent expert who was well out of his depth. read now...
 
Issue 11
Published: November 2003

A solicitor’s personal responsibility for expert fees
Solicitors have a personal responsible for payment of your fees – and don’t let them tell you otherwise. Here’s chapter and verse on their duties which you can quote back at them! read now...
 
The court is no place for scientific debate
Recent high profile cases mean the press spotlight will continue to fall on experts involved in alleged child abuse cases. read now...
 
How to sue your solicitor – a simple guide
While suing a solicitor for unpaid fees is a last resort, some 30% of respondents to the 2003 UK Register of Expert Witnesses survey claimed to have taken this measure in the last 12 months. Here is a plain-English guide to the steps involved. read now...
 
Issue 10
Published: October 2003

Do fixed fees in RTA cases affect experts?
A number of callers on the Register helpline have been invited by solicitors to conclude that the introduction of fixed fees in Road Traffic Accident cases has some impact on the amount they, as experts, can charge. Can this be true? read now...
 
Minimising the risks of late payment of fees
In our 2003 expert witness survey only 39% of experts could claim that bills were being paid on time in even half of their cases, a statistic that has changed little over the years. We look at how to minimise this risk. read now...
 
Are you charging too little for your time?
Our recent expert witness survey included questions relating to the fees charged by experts. How do your fees compare? read now...
 
Issue 9
Published: September 2003

Courts frown on delay
Experience under CPR leaves little doubt that the court will not countenance avoidable delay in the instruction of experts, or in the exchange of their reports. Which makes it all the more frustrating that the Rules Committee seems so reluctant to consider some simple measures to tackle the problem. read now...
 
When will the judge allow the appointment of a new expert?
Despite the courts taking a dim view of delays, a recent decision by the Court of Appeal allowed the release of a defence expert and the appointment of a replacement after the defence solicitor stated, under oath, that the substance of the expert’s opinion was not the reason for the request. read now...
 
Court report resource for expert witnesses
The UK Register of Expert Witnesses adds a court report section to its web site. This new service provides experts with access to the more important cases concerning expert evidence. read now...
 
Issue 8
Published: August 2003

Calls for specialist post-mortems in SIDS cases
In the aftermath of the Sally Clark case and the houndings in the press of some of the experts involved, voices are recommending that only specialist paediatric pathologists carry out post-mortems on infants suspected of having died as a result of abuse. read now...
 
Experts and legal privilege
While legal privilege is generally a matter for lawyers, not for experts, the consequences of disclosing a privileged document can render an expert’s report impotent – an important concern if you want to avoid disputes over payment for work done! read now...
 
Asbestos-related opportunities for experts
New regulations due to be fully in force by Spring 2004 are set to place the duty to manage and assess asbestos-related risks on employers and property owners. It is a certainty that the implementation of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 will create an explosion of litigation in all asbestos-related areas. read now...
 
Issue 7
Published: July 2003

New LCD fee scale guidance in criminal cases
The LCD fee scale bands for experts acting in criminal cases have experienced a 10-20% increase. Our commiserations go to experts in fire assessment, explosives and fingerprint examination. read now...
 
Expert Witness Survey 2003
What is it that experienced expert witnesses most want to know about their colleagues? Well, how much they charge comes close to the top of the list! By taking part you can contribute to this snapshot of the expert witness world. read now...
 
Cross-border disputes present opportunities for experts with language skills
Increasing trade between European countries, the introduction of the Euro and internet commerce have meant an up-turn in cross-border litigation, particularly in consumer law cases. Perhaps now’s the time to learn another language! read now...
 
Issue 6
Published: April 2003

Mediate to accumulate?
With the CPR imposing a duty on both the court and the parties to fully explore the possibilities for negotiated settlement before embarking on expensive litigation, are you missing out on an additional revenue stream? read now...
 
Can a judge disregard expert evidence?
The answer is ‘Yes’ - but not unconditionally! The Court of Appeal gave guidelines on how and when to appeal in circumstances where the trial judge had given inadequate reasons for ignoring expert evidence. read now...
 
Can a jury disregard expert evidence?
A jury is not always bound to accept expert evidence, but a recent Court of Appeal ruling has made it clear that there will be grounds for appeal if the reasons are not apparent or appear perverse. read now...
 
What do you suppose Sally Clark's defence lawyer thinks about expert witnesses?
You can hear his views on experts and expert evidence at the Society of Expert Witnesses conference at Haydock Park on 16 May 2003 - and we have negotiated a discount for you! read now...
 
Issue 5
Published: March 2003

Experts beware the Irish lawyer
Q: When is an expert’s fee not normally the responsibility of the instructing lawyer? A: When in Ireland. In Ireland, the responsibility for the payment of an expert’s fee usually lies with the client, not the lawyer. So when approached by an Irish lawyer, what should you do to minimise payment problems? read now...
 
CPR drops expert’s protocol
CPR changed again to accommodate the rivalry between the two Codes of Guidance for Experts. read now...
 
Can you get round the allowances for experts in criminal cases?
Payment rates for experts in criminal cases are set to remain static until at least April 2003, but what can you do to sway court personnel to exceed these guidance figures? read now...
 
EU changes to copyright law
A forthcoming EU Directive does not impose charging for copyright material when the material is for use in court cases read now...
 
Issue 4
Published: January 2003

R -v- Sally Clark
Stepping back from the axe-wielding media frenzy, we take a rather more rational look at what may be the main issues for expert witnesses to consider arising from the Sally Clark appeal. read now...
 
Is there property in an expert witness?
No privilege attaches to the ‘documents or chattels’ on which as expert is asked to base an opinion. But what recent decisions have demonstrated that human rights issues have a bearing on whether the same applies to an expert’s opinion on other facts observed? read now...
 
Driving through the media jungle and finding a pothole or two
When should experts expect payment from journalists for their advice or opinion? read now...
 
Woolf: 4 years on
The LCD failed to put in place a research programme to monitor the effectiveness of Lord Woolf’s reforms. Analyses have had to rely on ad-hoc surveys conducted by third parties. ‘Data’ suggest that while delays in bringing cases to court may have been curbed, cutting the cost of litigation has almost certainly not been achieved and it’s anyone’s guess whether it’s easier for individuals to enforce their rights! read now...
 
Issue 3
Published: December 2002

A chance to shed some light on the mushroom farm!
The LCD is interested to discover the extent to which solicitors fail to give timely notice to experts of a direction for a meeting of experts. read now...
 
Are CPR Practice Directions binding?
Do Practice Directions have the same force as the Rules themselves? read now...
 
Members of the UK Register of Expert Witnesses read on
Drafts for inclusion in the UK Register of Expert Witnesses will soon be in the post! read now...
 
Issue 2
Published: November 2002

What's the difference between an SJE and a single expert?
There's a mighty big difference. If you get it wrong, you could breach the rules of privilege and disclosure and end up in court yourself! read now...
 
Latest on criminal justice reform
So what does the Government propose to do about expert evidence in criminal cases? It mostly comes under the unenlightening 'Considering further'! read now...
 
Delicious irony!
What danger could possibly lurk in the promotion of no-win, no-fee services? Well, lots when you combine it with a game of street football! read now...
 
Issue 1
Published: October 2002

General Pre-action Protocol shelved
LCD plans for a General Pre-Action Protocol have been scotched by the lack of support from the legal profession and experts. The consultation exercise elicited a paltry 100 responses! read now...
 
Can experts work for a contingency fee?
A recent Court of Appeal ruling has unexpectedly clarified the law relating to contingency fees, and in particular whether expert witnesses might be paid on that basis. read now...
 
Conference and training update
A round-up of the autumn expert witness conference season and up-coming training opportunities. read now...
 
 
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