Chris Makin’s Recent Blog Posts

Hostage Taking And Mediation – What’s The Difference?

Posted on 12th June 2024 by Chris Makin

You may be tempted to reverse the question and ask what the similarities are between the two. Surely there can’t be any?  But read on. I recently attended the advanced mediation training course run by the Association of Northern Mediators up near Malham Tarn, in the rugged but beautiful North Yorkshire.  It’s been run for […]

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 More inept expert witnesses (and solicitors)…

Posted on 9th May 2024 by Chris Makin

…and an annoyed judge. Those who have read my articles and blogs in recent years will recognise that I have a “thing” about inadequate or incompetent experts.  This “thing” developed over many years; as an expert chartered accountant I found it tiresome to have as an opposing expert a chartered accountant who may have been […]

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RIP Michael Cohen

Posted on 3rd April 2024 by Chris Makin

I recently attended the funeral of a man you have probably never heard of, but who was of enormous importance to all you litigators, whether civil & commercial, family, criminal or ADR. After several years as a boring old chartered accountant – annual accounts, audits, tax returns, business plans, I was asked to act as […]

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Mediation: Have The Floodgates Finally Opened?

Posted on 19th December 2023 by Chris Makin

On 29 November the Court of Appeal gave its judgment in the long-anticipated case of Churchill -v- Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council [2023] EWCA Civ 1416.  It started life as a simple dispute between an individual and a council over Japanese knotweed but assumed such importance that there were no fewer than seven bodies admitted […]

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When Your Expert Costs You Money!

Posted on 23rd October 2023 by Chris Makin

You kind readers of this journal, or of the blog page on my website, will have noticed that I go on and on (and on and on…) about incompetent or even dishonest expert witnesses.  It is over 12 years now since the expert’s immunity from suit was removed – see Jones -v- Kaney [2011] UKSC […]

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Statement Of Truth? Forget It!

Posted on 9th August 2023 by Chris Makin

Those of you (thank you!) who have had the patience and loyalty to read some of my past articles will be aware that I am quite scathing about the performance of some expert witnesses. In some cases it’s merely incompetence, but with others it’s more serious. Looking at the incompetents first, we have such inept […]

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Family Inheritance Mediation

Posted on 5th July 2023 by Chris Makin

I want to talk today about a particularly difficult problem which mediators are asked to address, namely disputes over family inheritance. The reason they are so difficult is that it’s seldom about the money, or at least about money alone. Underlying many of these disputes are long-held resentments, questions of self-worth, fairness, and questions of […]

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Back To Basics – When And How To Use Your Expert

Posted on 27th April 2023 by Chris Makin

What follows should be familiar to all solicitors engaged in contentious work, but it does no harm to remind ourselves of the basics. How can I, a humble chartered accountant, feel able to propound on such matters? Because I have practised for over 30 years as an expert witness; also for many years as a […]

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When Experts Pay For Their Failings – However…

Posted on 11th January 2023 by Chris Makin

You may have read lots of articles and blogs from me about inadequate or incompetent experts, and having an expert who doesn’t know his job doesn’t help your case.  There are often costs consequences, a strident example being Patricia Andrews & Ors -v- Kronospan Ltd [2022] EWHC 479 which I discuss at length in my […]

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Aggressive Experts – What’s The Problem?

Posted on 4th January 2023 by Chris Makin

I’ve been reading again the case of Siegel -v- Pummell [2015] EWHC 195 (QB). The facts are simple.  Mr Siegel was injured in a motor accident, and Mr Pummell (think about it!) admitted liability.  There was a trial on quantum and Mr Siegel succeeded in securing a reasonable amount, but he claimed his costs on […]

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We felt that you had a most reassuring and controlled approach to the issues. A party from a Chris Makin mediation