Legal Expert Witness

If you’re facing a legal dispute, litigation or complex insurance claim, we are in a position to assist.

We conduct a detailed investigation, examine the facts, carefully consider opinions presented by others, and form a balanced and expert view.

In providing technical Expert Witness services we generally adhere the following process:

1. Initial Review
As a part of a Client's/legal practitioner's initial instructions the documents considered most relevant are to be provided to us for assessment.

We ‘scan’ the provided documents (if not available electronically) and suggest an 'initial' scope of work to enable preliminary technical advice to be provided to the Client/legal practitioner.

2. Preliminary Assessment/Conference
We will generally  undertake a preliminary assessment of the provided documents and information, including a site inspection where appropriate. This work then will allow us to formulate a preliminary 'engineering view' of the matter.

Subsequently, a discussion takes place between us and the Client/legal practitioner as to the initial engineering view formed.

This discussion can take place either in a teleconference or in a face-to-face meeting.

3. Preliminary Observations Report
Depending on the results of the opinions provided in the sequence 2 above, and after the provision of any additional documents, a more detailed analysis of documents and information is then undertaken.

On completion of the more detailed analysis, a 'Preliminary Report' is prepared which summarises various engineering or technical issues.

This report may include:
• a number of sketch diagrams and summaries in relation to a particular technical issue; or
• recommendations as to further investigations and analysis.

This preliminary report is usually intended to assist a Client in objectively assessing his/her legal position, therefore it may not be prepared in accordance with the various court rules, nor would it normally be suitable for submission to a court.

This report would also normally be submitted to the legal practitioner to preserve its 'privilege'.

4. Factual Report
This step in the process involves undertaking additional investigations and analysis suggested in the Preliminary Report.

If the investigations and analysis include site inspections, literature research, document summaries, etc., then these are documented in a 'factual report' which is normally prepared in a form suitable for submission to a court.

It is also to be especially noted that, depending on the complexity of the matter, the factual report may not include expert opinions or conclusions, as it is primarily intended to provide the objective and relevant technical facts.

5. Analysis and Opinion Report [Draft]
Following completion of the factual report, any further engineering analysis [e.g. calculations] are undertaken, and concluded expert engineering opinions are expressed in a separate report.

This report is normally prepared in accordance with the relevant Court rules, and usually includes:
a) The various assumptions & limitations of the opinions expressed.
b) A 'comments' section which provides the reasoning behind the various conclusions.
c) A 'technical appendix' which includes lists of the various documents & references supporting the opinions, together with appropriate calculations, diagrams, etc.

A 'draft' of this report is then submitted to the Client's legal practitioner for comment.

Subsequently, and depending on the nature of the matter, a conference to discuss the draft report might be appropriate and the report is finalised shortly after.

6. Reports in Reply
Depending on the nature of the matter, it is often necessary for us to prepare a response to reports prepared by other experts engaged in the matter on behalf of other parties.

These reports are normally prepared in a 'responsive' form, in which various issues raised by other experts are assessed and responded to by us in a sequential manner.

7. Conclave Attendances
Following the submission of the various reports, it is common for a Court to direct that a conclave (or Joint Conference) of experts is to take place. The purpose of the ‘conclave’ or ‘joint conference’ is to establish areas of agreement/disagreement between the experts, and to see whether some areas of common ground can be found between the experts.

8. Court Attendances
Whilst concurrent evidence following the conclave process is increasingly becoming the 'norm' in the majority of legal jurisdictions, from time to time the traditional method of giving evidence is still followed.


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