Chris Makin’s Recent Blog Posts

It’s Criminal!

Posted on 18th November 2021 by Chris Makin

Practitioners need to be aware that the authorities are taking a hard line with those who abuse the courts.  We see this in two recent matters where straightforward personal injury cases turned into very serious criminal proceedings. Interestingly, both of them concern my home town of Huddersfield, though I stress we are not all criminals […]

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Whose Fault – The Expert’s Or The Solicitor’s?

Posted on 27th October 2021 by Chris Makin

On these pages and in my blogs I have often told lurid stories of expert evidence going wrong, the assumption being that it is the expert who wrecked the case.  But is that always fair, or do you, as instructing solicitor, also bear some responsibility? I respectfully suggest that you do have a duty, particularly […]

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Border Wars

Posted on 15th September 2021 by Chris Makin

I have banged on for ages about the stupidity of going to law over border disputes.  And I’m not talking about Russia invading the Crimea, or China’s campaign to take over Taiwan.  No, much closer to home, I have in mind the passions which can be aroused when next-door neighbours argue over where exactly the […]

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An Expert Warning

Posted on 9th September 2021 by Chris Makin

Don’t let an ill-chosen expert spoil all your good work. Experienced expert witness Chris Makin offers a checklist of experts to avoid. In appointing an expert witness, the first question you should ask is whether this person spends all their time as an expert witness. If so, proceed with caution. A retired medical professional who […]

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Post-Nominals – Do They Matter?

Posted on 16th July 2021 by Chris Makin

This is a moral tale about your choice of expert. A little while ago, I wrote about Andrew Ager, an “expert” appointed by the CPS to give evidence at the trial of some men accused of the sale of voluntary carbon credits (me neither!).  His incompetence, lack of experience and malpractice were quite breathtaking, causing […]

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Can You Challenge An Expert Determination?

Posted on 26th May 2021 by Chris Makin

About a year ago, I wrote an article “Is an Expert Determination always the final answer?” – in which I explain how difficult it is for a party to a dispute settled by Expert Determination to challenge the expert’s decision.  Here is an update. I am keen that ED is used for many kinds of […]

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There Really Is An Alternative

Posted on 6th May 2021 by Chris Makin

Blood is thicker than water, and a happy family is a wonderful power for good.  Those contemplating legacies to their loved ones will still have rosy memories of the baby twins, the nephews and nieces when young, of dangling a new-born on the knee…wonderful! But when the family falls out, blood curdles and that power […]

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Beware Conflicts Of Interest

Posted on 29th April 2021 by Chris Makin

As I write this, David Cameron is getting into increasing difficulties over his relationship with the failed financier Lex Greensill, there are problems over senior civil servants having paid jobs in the private sector, and even Matt Hancock has problems over his family connections with a firm which provided PPE to the NHS.  And then […]

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Is Your Expert An Amateur?

Posted on 2nd February 2021 by Chris Makin

In a recent edition of Update, the magazine of The Academy of Experts, Merryck Lowe, a forensic partner at BDO, wrote this: “There was a time when a reasonably competent professional accountant could feel comfortable if called upon to give ‘occasional’ evidence to our Courts, without further training or experience and without feeling that only […]

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Can Your Expert Truly Sign The Statement Of Truth?

Posted on 21st December 2020 by Chris Makin

An expert’s report under CPR must conclude with the Expert’s Declaration stating that the expert knows his duty to the court and has complied with that duty.  There must then be a Statement of Truth, which used to say: But as from 1 October 2020 that statement is extended, with these words: It is relevant […]

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