Chris Makin’s Blog Posts about ‘Litigation’

Border Wars

Posted on 15th September 2021 by Xpand

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 Xpand

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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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: I confirm that I have made clear which facts and matters referred to in this report […]

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When lawyers wreck their case

Posted on 9th November 2020 by Chris Makin

In recent blogs I have gone on at some length about inadequate “experts”, and the damage they can do to your carefully prepared case.  Think of Prof Sir Roy Meadow, probably the most notorious example, the proponent of “Meadow’s Law” (one cot death is unfortunate, two are suspicious, three are murder) who pretended to be […]

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Family Matters

Posted on 5th December 2019 by Chris Makin

Accountants are into everything, aren’t they?  And that is especially true when things go wrong.  In these blogs you will have read (I hope) about how an accountant can act as expert in commercial litigation, can act as mediator in commercial disputes and much else besides, can investigate fraud, and can trace and quantify the […]

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Choose your expert with care!

Posted on 23rd October 2018 by Chris Makin

A sign seen in a Boston, Mass. shoe repairer’s window: “Fast Service – High Quality – Low Price – choose any two.” Is that how you choose your experts?  I sincerely hope not!  Here are my thoughts and suggestions, as a hard-bitten expert of 30 years’ experience.  I am a chartered accountant so the slant […]

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Understanding business accounts – what to look out for

Posted on 25th September 2018 by Chris Makin

Lawyers are good with words, and accountants are good with figures.  What a pity they don’t talk the same language!  Now meet an accountant who is good with words – I have to be, as an experienced expert witness – which means that I must be weak with figures.  True?  Not really!  It’s a pity […]

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We picked a first rate man for a very difficult case.