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Factsheet index
... the unique information resource for practising experts

The factsheets are available in Adobe Acrobat format to experts listed in the Register. If you do not have Acrobat, you can download free Acrobat Reader software.

65
Expert Witness Survey 2013
A summary of the findings of J S Publications’ tenth survey into the views, experiences and working practices of expert witnesses. Topics covered include, amongst others: workload, experience, reports and court appearances and fees.
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64
Expert Witness Survey 2011
A summary of the findings of J S Publications’ ninth survey into the views, experiences and working practices of expert witnesses. Topics covered include, amongst others: workload, experience, reports and court appearances and fees.
Members Only
63
Family Procedure Rules
After a decade-long gestation, the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (SI 2010/2955) (FPR) came into force on 6 April 2011. They provide a single set of rules for family proceedings in high courts, county courts and magistrates courts in the style of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR)1. Most of the powers in the FPR are already available to the court, but their codification in a single set of rules is welcome nonetheless. They also give the court the freedom to be even more creative and pragmatic in its management of family cases.
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62
Expert Witness Survey 2009
A summary of the findings of J S Publications’ seventh survey into the views, experiences and working practices of expert witnesses. Topics covered include, amongst others: workload, experience (including work as a single joint expert), reports and court appearances and fees.
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61
Record, retain, reveal
The Attorney General, as part of his investigation into Shaken Baby Syndrome cases, ordered a review of the legislation that controls the disclosure of evidence in criminal cases. At the same time there was a consultation carried out by the Crown Prosecution Service under the chairmanship of the Director of Public Prosecutions which dealt with procedures for instructing expert witnesses. The result of the review was the CPS Service Disclosure Manual.
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60
Experts in Criminal Proceedings
This factsheet takes a general look at the criminal justice system. For details of Part 33: Expert Evidence, the rules that apply to all experts working within the criminal justice system, see Factsheet 55. To learn more about appearing in court, see Factsheet 56. Factsheet 61 deals in detail with disclosure of evidence in criminal proceedings. For all the rules and regulations relating to payment of your fees and disbursements in criminal cases, see Factsheets 9, 10 and 11.
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59
Experts in Family Proceedings
The family justice system exists to help families resolve disputes. If disputes or problems should arise, the system tries to enable them to be resolved quickly and with the minimum of pain caused to those involved. If at all possible, the parties are encouraged to resolve their disputes out of court, e.g. through mediation, because they are more likely to adhere to an agreement if they themselves have had a role in formulating it.
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58
Retention of Documents
The documents that are received, prepared, assessed, considered and created by an expert in the course of proceedings are papers of importance. A document which at the time of the original hearing might have been considered trifling could suddenly take on new importance. It is not inconceivable, therefore, that an expert witness might be asked for a document months or years after the case has been concluded. The expert, then, is faced with a dilemma. Which documents in a case should he retain - and for how long?
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57
Expert Witness Survey 2007
In 1995, J S Publications undertook a survey of the views, experiences and working practices of experts listed in the UK Register of Expert Witnesses. Some 2 years later, the findings of that survey were updated with a more limited investigation into the fees experts were charging. Then, in 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2005, J S Publications conducted further surveys that combined the main features of the predecessors, while adding some new topics of enquiry.

The 2007 printed questionnaire was dispatched to all expert witnesses listed in the UK Register of Expert Witnesses along with the June 2007 issue of Your Witness. Listed experts could also complete the survey on-line. There was a good response, with almost 400 forms returned or submitted on-line at www.jspubs.com, accounting for some 16% of the readership. We are grateful to all of these experts for so doing. Their data have contributed to the seventh survey of its kind in 12 years. This Factsheet presents an analysis of their replies.
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56
Giving Evidence in Court
Experts who provide reports will not always have to appear in court. In a great many cases their reports will have been agreed and, consequently, they will not be called upon to attend a hearing. This is particularly so in civil cases, like personal injury claims, where it is becoming more and more uncommon for experts to be examined and cross-examined on their evidence. An expert who works in the criminal justice system is, however, more likely to be called to give evidence in court. In 2004/05, the Forensic Science Service dealt with 140,000 cases; members of its staff were called to give evidence in court in 2,500 of these. Those unfamiliar with the workings of the court should, therefore, prepare by making themselves familiar with court etiquette and the rules governing the giving of evidence.
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55
Criminal Procedure Rules
In October 2005 the Department for Constitutional Affairs (now the Ministry of Justice, MoJ) commenced its consultation process on proposed procedural rules governing expert evidence in criminal proceedings. It was intended that these rules should form part of the newly introduced Criminal Procedure Rules (CrimPR). The main body of rules came into force on 4 April 2005. However, CrimPR rule 33, which was to contain rules specifically regulating expert evidence, was left blank pending consultation.

Given the high-profile cases in which there had been criticism of the expert's role within the criminal justice system, this whole area was viewed as somewhat delicate. It seems that, whatever rules were to be formulated, there was a general consensus that the Criminal Procedure Rules Committee had to get it right. Referring to the rules in general, the Committee stated that the single code would be designed to be accessible, consistent and bring about a cultural change in how cases were managed.

As participants in the consultation process, we at the UK Register of Expert Witnesses gave keen scrutiny to the draft. The drafting of Part 33 afforded the Committee a unique opportunity to recognise and address past problems in relation to expert evidence. It was also to be welcomed that some attempt was being made to codify all the regulations governing experts in the criminal courts and to bring these under the umbrella of the Rules in the same way as CPR Part 35. So, have they got it right?
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54
Expert Witness Survey 2005
A summary of the findings of J S Publications’ sixth survey into the views, experiences and working practices of expert witnesses. Topics covered include, amongst others: workload, experience (including work as a single joint expert), reports and court appearances and fees.
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53
Protocol for the Instruction of Experts to give Evidence in Civil Claims
The Civil Justice Council eventually took the initiative – cutting through the confusion created by the regrettable inability of the Academy of Experts and Expert Witness Institute to work together – to establish a single, authoritative Experts Protocol. The expert witness community has welcomed this development. The Protocol is written in clear English and provides some important extensions to existing guidance.
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52
Copyright for Experts
A guide to experts in relation to the identification and use of copyright materials belonging to another and some pointers for those experts who might wish to identify and preserve copyright in materials of which they are the author or creator.
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51
A Practical Guide to Securing Payment from Lawyers
Late payment of fees remains one of the most frequently encountered subjects in correspondence received and is a subject guaranteed to raise the temperature at any expert witness conference. Here, we examine ways in which the risk of late payment can be minimised and look at the practical steps that can be taken for fee recovery in the worst cases.
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50
VAT for experts
In Your Witness e-wire 12 we considered the likely impact of the European Advocate General's opinion in the cases of Peter d'Ambrumenil -v- Commissioners of Customs and Excise and Margarete Unterpertinger -v- Pensionversicherungsanstalt. On 1 May 2007, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC; formerly HM Customs and Excise) announced that medical experts will be required to charge VAT on the supply of services that do not relate directly to medical care or intervention. Services that will attract VAT (subject to the VAT registration limits) include the provision of reports in medico-legal work.

For those experts not already wrestling with the complexities of VAT, we offer this simple guide. Note that historically the VAT registration threshold increases annually on 1 April. The figure (£67,000) used in this factsheet was set in the 2008 Budget for implementation on 1 April 2008.
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49
Expert Witness Survey 2003
A summary of the findings of J S Publications’ fifth survey into the views, experiences and working practices of expert witnesses. Topics covered include, amongst others: workload, experience (including work as a single joint expert), reports and court appearances and fees.
Members Only
48
Answering Written Questions
The Civil Procedure Rules 1998 require that evidence shall be given in a written report ‘unless the court directs otherwise’. Clearly, though, there are dangers in a court receiving a written report that has not been scrutinised for inconsistencies or ambiguities – especially when, as is often the case nowadays, there will be no opportunity to cross-examine the expert at a later stage in the proceedings. Hence, the provisions of Rule 35.6, the subject of this Factsheet, that enable parties to seek clarification of an expert’s report by means of written questions, the answers to which will then form part of the report.
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47
Expert Witness Survey 2001
A summary of the findings of J S Publications’ fourth survey into the views, experiences and working practices of expert witnesses. Topics covered include, amongst others: workload, experience (including work as a single joint expert), membership of organisations, reports and court appearances and fees.
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46
The Auld Report and Experts
Presents the material from the Auld Report on the criminal justice system that relates to expert witnesses.
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45
Expert Evidence in Employment Cases
Employment tribunals constitute a specialist jurisdiction within the UK’s system of civil justice. Being specialist, it is easy to underestimate their importance. Yet they deal with cases brought under increasingly complex, and controversial, areas of legislation, and their workload is growing by leaps and bounds.
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44
The Single Joint Expert
The background and rules governing the appointment and role of the Single Joint Expert are covered in detail, together with information on when it may, and when it may not, be reasonable to appoint an SJE, the practical issues of being selected, instructed and paid as an SJE and summarises are provided of the leading cases relating to SJE appointments.
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43
The Witness Summons
The background and use of the witness summons is covered in detail, together with information on who may be summoned, the reasons an expert might be summoned and the practicalities of their use and their service. Payment issues and setting aside are also discussed.
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42
ADR for Experts
Alternative Dispute Resolution - or ADR - is increasingly being considered as an alternative to litigation and can take many different forms. This factsheet explains each type, how ADR works in practice and the areas to which it is best suited.
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41
Marketing your Services as an Expert Witness
This factsheet contains a wealth of practical help that is relevant to both the established practitioner wishing to expand upon existing activity and the newcomer wondering how best to get started. Gives detailed coverage of the most widely used marketing tools and also suggests other avenues to explore that could benefit even the most experienced of expert witnesses.
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40
The Expert Witness Institute Conference
The 2001 Expert Witness Institute (EWI) conference was held on Wednesday 26 September 2001 in the auspicious surroundings of The Royal College of Physicians, Regent’s Park, London. It was attended by some 57 delegates, and its topic for this year was ‘The Expert Witness - in Support of Justice’. Once again, the majority of its cast of speakers hailed from the judiciary and the legal professions (barristers and solicitors).
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39
Expert Witness Survey 1999
A summary of the findings of J S Publications’ third survey into the views, experiences and working practices of expert witnesses. Topics covered include, amongst others: workload, experience (including work as a single joint expert), membership of organisations, reports and court appearances and fees.
Members Only
38
Pre-action Protocols
The pre-action protocol was one of the major innovations of the Woolf Reforms, and this factsheet explains the rationale behind the introduction of this new document as well as how it is working in practice. By way of example, the personal injury protocol is included for consideration, together with comments.
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37
Guidance for Experts
Your Witness 27 considers the unhappy situation that has arisen with the circulation of two ‘rival’ codes of guidance for experts. A main difficulty with both codes, though, is that they attempt too much. J S Publications has extracted from both codes the guidance they offer experts, and combined it in this single document, which eschewed repeating CPR provisions that are to be found in Part 35 and its Practice Direction. Finally, some text has been added to cover issues raised by experts listed in the UK Register of Expert Witnesses, in the hope that this will prompt others to identify further topics relating to CPR on which they feel guidance is needed.
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36
The Access to Justice Act 1999
Contains the official summary of the Access to Justice Act. Amongst other topics, this covers the replacement of Legal Aid by Community Legal Service and the introduction of conditional fees.
Members Only
35
Experts and Assessors: the New Rules and Practice Direction
Contains the text of Part 35 which is of most direct concern to expert witnesses together with the Practice Direction that supplements this and a cautionary tale underlining just how vital it is to adhere to both of these.
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34
The Woolf Reforms: an Overview for Expert Witnesses
Gives the background that preceded Lord Woolf’s enquiry together with the problems and solutions he highlighted in his various reports. Provides a synopsis of the various procedures that have been introduced as a result of the Woolf reforms, such as case management and the various ‘claims tracks’, whilst also drawing attention to some of the problems that have so far come to light.
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33
The Funding Code for Civil Litigation
Legal aid per se has now been scrapped in favour of a new system of determining which civil and family cases are to be helped from public funds. This factsheet looks at the criteria to be used in doing this and how legal representation will be granted, with particular emphasis on personal injury cases.
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32
Modernising Justice: a summary of the Government's proposals
This factsheet reproduces the Lord Chancellor’s Department’s summary of the government proposals for modernising justice in England and Wales. Amongst other matters, it covers the government’s objectives, the introduction of the Community Legal Service, changes to the civil courts and criminal justice.
Members Only
31
Taxation and the Expert Witness
Taxation of costs is a complicated issue and this factsheet explains some of the fundamental concepts as they relate to expert witnesses.
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30
Privilege
This factsheet deals at length with the issues of privilege and disclosure in civil litigation, covering the issues of reports, instructions and discussions. It also includes a number of cautionary tales.
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29
Taking Instructions
This is a helpful guide to the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of accepting instructions from a solicitor. It details the need for clear, formal instructions from the solicitor, together with acceptance of these by the expert, and the necessity for all relevant material to be provided early on. It lists the type of things a solicitor will be looking for in a report and the practicalities that should then be dealt with.
Members Only
28
Expert Witness Immunity from Suit
This factsheet examines the differences between preparing a report for litigation and the various other services that an expert could be asked to perform in terms of immunity from suit. Case law relating to such circumstances is also included.
Members Only
27
Expert Reports: Requirements and Characteristics
This factsheet explains the role that an expert’s report can play in court together with its purpose and scope. It also elaborates on various procedural issues and provides useful advice concerning content, structure, style and layout. Relevant extracts from the Civil Procedure Rules and Practice Direction are included, together with the full text of the expert’s declaration and statement of truth for inclusion in reports.
Members Only
26
The Society of Expert Witnesses Spring Conference
A report of the most recent Society Spring conference.
Members Only
25
Training Opportunities
Lists full details of the main providers of training courses together with information on the types of courses on offer. Many providers give discounts to experts listed in the Register.
Members Only
24
Fees Survey 1997
Provides an analysis of the responses received to the 1997 fees survey. Findings are broken down by professional category, and details supplied on workload, mean hourly rate for reports and court appearance. The question of cancellation fees is also covered.
Members Only
23
Meetings of Experts
Explains how such meetings have come about and the implications of the Civil Procedure Rules in respect of these. It also lists the guidelines as contained in the Code of Guidance for Experts and gives in-depth examination of the various practicalities concerning the management of such meetings (ie who should participate, when they should be held, how best to prepare for and manage them and whether or not they are binding).
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22
Conditional Fees and their likely impact
The scope of Conditional Fee Agreements has recently been widened to plug the gap left by the withdrawal of legal aid. This factsheet explains what they are, how they work and their implication for both solicitors and expert witnesses.
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21
The Small Claims Track
An increase to the upper level of claims being heard in the small claims track affects expert witnesses both as providers of expert evidence in small claims hearings and as potential claimants in disputes with solicitors over unpaid fees. This factsheet provides the background to this change and explains how a claim is allocated to this track. It also gives information on the form the hearing is likely to take and explains the importance of the ‘no costs’ rule.
Members Only
20
The Bond Solon Conference
A report on the most recent annual expert witness conference organised by Bond Solon Training Ltd.
Members Only
19
The Society of Expert Witnesses Autumn Conference
A report on the most recent Society of Expert Witnesses Autumn Conference.
Members Only
18
Civil Justice and Legal Aid Reforms
This was the keynote address by Lord Irvine of Lairg, The Lord Chancellor, to the Solicitors’ Annual Conference on 19 October 1997. It covers the reasons behind the move to reform civil justice and the recommendations made by both Lord Woolf and Sir Peter Middleton and is reproduced in its entirety.
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17
The Middleton Report
In June 1997 the Lord Chancellor announced that he had invited Sir Peter Middleton, a former Permanent Secretary at the Treasury, to conduct a review both of Lord Woolf’s recommendations for the reform of the civil justice system and of the previous government’s proposals for the overhaul of the legal aid system . Sir Peter completed his report in September, and in a speech at the Law Society’s Annual Conference in Cardiff on 18 October 1997, Lord Irvine welcomed the recommendations it made. The full text of the report was published 2 days later. We reproduce here the ‘executive summary’ that prefaces the Middleton Report, together with the text of the section of Chapter 2 which relates to expert witnesses.
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16
Expert Witness Training
A number of organisations provide training courses for expert witnesses, and this factsheet offers the views of experts themselves on the benefits to be derived from such training. It also gives advice on how to select the most appropriate and cost-effective course for your needs, together with a list of the main players in this market.
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15
Terms of Engagement for Experts
Use of Terms of Engagement can often avoid misunderstandings as to what expert witnesses and instructing solicitors can expect from each other. This factsheet considers various matters that an expert would be well advised to include in such Terms, together with a framework that can be adapted according to individual circumstances.
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14
Professional Indemnity Insurance for Expert Witnesses
Addresses the issue of why professional indemnity insurance is needed and potential liability of the expert witness.
Members Only
13
Expert Witness Organisations
Provides information on the background of the three organisations representing expert witnesses and an outline of the aims of each one. Also details the membership criteria plus services provided along with current subscription rates.
Members Only
12
The Legal Aid System and its Reform
Provides an overview of the system prior to April 2000 and how this has been replaced by the new scheme managed by the Legal Services Commission.
Members Only
11
Expert Witness Allowances in Criminal Cases
Contains an extract from Appendix 2 of the Guide to Allowances under Part V of the Costs in Criminal Cases (General) Regulations 1986, as revised by the Lord Chancellor Department’s Legal Aid Division in April 2003. Also includes the schedule of rates payable to experts for preparation of case and attendance at court.
Members Only
10
Regulations Governing the Payment of Expert Witnesses in Criminal Cases
Extracts from the Costs in Criminal Cases (General) Regulations 1986, the Legal Aid in Criminal and Care Proceedings (General) Regulations 1989 and the Legal Aid in Criminal and Care Proceedings (Costs) Regulations 1989.
Members Only
09
Payment of Expert Witnesses in Criminal Cases
Highlights the differences in the way in which expert witnesses are paid for giving evidence in court in criminal as opposed to civil cases. Also defines what is allowed in terms of travelling and hotel expenses and claims for cancellation and postponement.
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08
Getting Paid in Legal Aid Cases
Delays in payment are a constant source of complaint to expert witnesses - especially so if legal aid is involved. This factsheet considers the reasons for this and what the expert can do to speed up payment.
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07
Fees and Disbursements
Defines the difference between fees and disbursements and explains the nature of the contract between expert witness and solicitor plus the solicitor’s duties in respect of payment of fees. Also gives practical advice on how best to secure payment.
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06
Expert Resource List
Lists details of the more recent publications concerning expert evidence and expert witness skills.
Members Only
05
Expert Witness Survey 1995
An analysis of the results from the expert witness survey undertaken by J S Publications covering topics such as: frequency of enquiries and instruction, business practices, payment, training and membership of expert witness organisations.
Members Only
04
The 'Cresswell' Principles of Expert Evidence
A summary of the key duties and responsibilities of the expert witness as provided by Mr Justice Cresswell in his judgement in the case known as The Ikarian Reefer (1993).
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03
The Woolf Report: recommendations concerning expert evidence
Gives a synopsis of Lord Woolf’s recommendations concerning expert evidence - covering the use of single experts, the responsibilities of experts, experts’ reports and meetings of experts, amongst others.
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02
Expert Evidence
Defines the meaning of the terms ‘expert witness’ and ‘expert evidence’ and explains when they may - and may not - be required in civil litigation. Clarifies the duties of an expert witness, together with a number of ethical considerations, and the difference between acting as an adviser and a witness.
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01
Civil Litigation and the Expert Witness
Explains the structure of the English civil litigation system together with the various stages that a case will go through from initial claim to possible appeal. Gives a detailed analysis of the expert witness’ involvement at each juncture.
Members Only

 

Disclaimer
The information contained in the factsheets is supplied for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Neither J S Publications nor the authors accept responsibility for any loss that may arise from reliance on information contained herein. You should always consult a suitably qualified adviser on any specific problem or matter.

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