Chris Makin’s Blog Posts about ‘Litigation’

When your expert costs you money!

Posted on 23rd October 2023 by Xpand

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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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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Experts – a miscellany

Posted on 21st December 2022 by Chris Makin

If you have read my previous articles in this publication, much of what follows will be familiar. But please read on, because I have tried to set out briefly, and after many years of bitter experience as an expert, some helpful comments and guidance for experts and those – you – who instruct them. 1 […]

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When the Experts’ Meeting goes wrong

Posted on 14th December 2022 by Chris Makin

“It is ordered that the experts of like experience shall liaise, and shall produce a joint statement, setting out those matters on which they are agreed, and those matters on which they have failed to reach agreement, and their reasons for not so agreeing.” This is fairly standard wording in civil cases. In criminal cases the […]

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Avoid the iffy claims

Posted on 30th November 2022 by Chris Makin

Some months ago I wrote about the case of Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company Ltd -v- Dr Asef Zafar [2019] EWCA Civ 392 which concerned a fraudulent claim by a taxi driver, in my home town of Huddersfield (though we are not all criminals here!).  You can read about it on my blog. A medical expert had […]

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When your SJE gives the “wrong” answer

Posted on 9th November 2022 by Chris Makin

The Single Joint Expert (SJE) was developed by Lord Wolf in his Access to Justice, and has featured in the Civil Procedure Rules ever since they were launched. The SJE is very popular with the courts, and no wonder. For example, where there is need to value the family business where a clean break is […]

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Who writes your expert reports?

Posted on 21st September 2022 by Chris Makin

A silly question, I know, but let’s persevere. It is a rock-solid principle of litigation that the expert must be independent, and that their opinions must be their own.  The leading case is Whitehouse -v- Jordan [1980] UKHL 12, where Lord Wilberforce said:  “The report of the expert must be, and be seen to be, […]

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You managed to move entrenched parties to address difficult issues and resolve a situation that looked impossible.