The role of an expert

Useful Advice - the role of an expert

An Expert Witness is someone who by their experience can offer an opinion on a matter before the court. He or she should be able to present highly technical matters in language which can be easily understood by non experts. The expert must be able to justify his or her professional opinion under cross examination.

The bulk of an expert's work involves written reports. These are often used by the Claimant and Defendant to settle the case "out of court".

The expert's duty is to the Court. An expert does not take sides, indeed they are often referred to as an "Independent Expert Witness". This is especially important where an expert is acting for both parties (a single joint expert).

Without experts, a judge (and where applicable, a jury) would often struggle to understand the highly technical evidence that may be required to come to a fair decision in some of the highly complex cases that come before the courts in the UK.

There is an increasing tendency towards mediation - the expert will use his or her experience to try to help the parties reach agreement without resorting to the often expensive legal remedies available. I am happy to work in this capacity.

It may also be useful to engage an expert before litigation is even undertaken. I have written reports for clients contemplating litigation where my recommendation, after consultation with their lawyers, was to settle out of court. My involvement at an early stage undoubtedly saved the clients a huge sum of money and a likely defeat in court.

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