Expert Reports in Litigation. We regularly receive enquiries from new clients regarding various matters such as disputes with developers of new build properties, where the client has obtained a report themselves prior to instructing a solicitor.
We often find that whilst the client has sometimes paid a substantial fee for these reports to be produced, they do not meet the criteria that are required to be able to rely on the report should proceedings be issued.
Getting the correct expert reports for litigation
Often, a report is not produced by an expert witness and it is not compliant with Civil Procedure Rule (“CPR”) 35, which governs expert evidence in court proceedings. A report must be compliant with CPR 35 in order to rely on it as evidence of your claim and to issue court proceedings. A compliant report means that it is written by an expert who would be able to present the evidence at a Court hearing and be cross-examined on the same. The report must include a Statement of Truth as set out within the CPR, and confirm that the expert’s duty is to the Court and not the person who has instructed them.
This often means that should a client wish to proceed with their potential claim, they have to obtain a second report from an expert witness and therefore incur further costs as they will not be able to rely on a report which does not satisfy the requirements of CPR 35.
Expert evidence can be crucial in determining the value of any claim and as such, it is important that an expert report address the issues in the dispute in full.
How we can help
Our Dispute Resolution team is on hand to assess the most appropriate expert for your matter. We can draft detailed instructions to the expert to ensure that any report produced addresses all the relevant issues to your claim and provides a full valuation (insofar as possible), to enable you to proceed with the best possible expert evidence. The report will be fully compliant with CPR to ensure you do not have to pay for a report twice.
18 April 2022
Jess Leadbetter, Solicitor