Giving evidence in court is not a game

It is imperative that legal advisors of both Applicants and Respondents in court cases analyse both the experience of any instructed expert and the appropriateness of their fee quotation.

In the judgement of ICC Judge Barber in Reynolds Vs Stanbury, which was laid down on 23rd September 2021, the judge criticised the expert witness for failing to comply with their overriding duty to assist the court in oral testimony.

The judge observed the valuation report by the Applicant’s expert to be of very poor quality.

The judge asked the expert to confirm whether their report was accurate and complete, and the expert stressed that the valuation was done at a high level, although they didn’t go into extensive detail given their instructions and budget.

Due to the low fee quote provided, the expert supplied a correspondingly low-quality report and service. In court, attention was brought to the inadequacies of the expert’s report due to the lack of comparable evidence.

The judge reminded the expert that they were under oath and should not treat giving evidence in court as a “game”. The expert apologised.

The judge confirmed that the expert’s report was an unimpressive, results-driven piece of work and their attempts to defend it in oral testimony were entirely unpersuasive.

The judge determined that very little weight could be placed on the expert’s written and oral evidence.

As an expert witness, I always consider that the report I produce may require a robust defence and as such, my fees reflect adequate time expenditure as to not conflict my instructions and duties.

Please contact me to discuss your expert witness requirements.

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