• A reputation for professional excellence with integrity

    A reputation for professional excellence with integrity

  • Accurate understanding and technical analysis

    Accurate understanding and technical analysis

  • National and International Experience

    National and International Experience

  • 34 years in private legal practice

    34 years in private legal practice

  • A focus on events and consequences, not gossip

    A focus on events and consequences, not gossip

  • Helping lawyers, brokers, accountants, surveyors and other professions

    Helping lawyers, brokers, accountants, surveyors and other professions

  • There when you need him

    There when you need him

Legal Viewpoint August 2018

20 Aug 18

Experts’ Independence

It’s a pretty important principle in litigation that expert witnesses, who provide evidence of specialised or technical complexity to assist judges, do so dispassionately and independently of the parties, even though they may be found, engaged and paid by the parties. It’s no surprise therefore that in BDW Trading Ltd v Integral Geotechnique (Wales) Ltd [2018] EWHC 1915 (TCC), a law suit by a property developer against consulting engineers for overlooking asbestos on a development site, the defendant’s expert was duly reprimanded for consulting his instructing lawyers upon a draft ‘experts’ joint statement’ and then making consequential changes to the final version. “…the expert should not ask the solicitors for their general comments or suggestions on the content of the draft joint statement and the solicitors should not make any comments or suggestions save to both experts in the very limited circumstances identified in the TCC Guide.”

Exaggerated Injury Claims may be Criminal Contempt

The frequency of exaggerated or fraudulent injury claims is continuing to trouble the courts. In Abellion London v Ahuja & Anor [2017] EWHC 3818 (QB), which was adjudicated last October but has only recently been published, a High Court Judge has allowed  a bus company’s application for committal proceedings for contempt of court against two claimants who sought damages for serious whiplash from a traffic collision which was subsequently proved to have been very low speed and incapable of causing the alleged injuries. “The fact is that, on the evidence which I have recited, it is arguable on behalf of the applicant that this was, effectively, a conspiracy by both respondents to bring a fraudulent claim by convincing… the medical expert that the accident had been significantly more serious than it was… and that this was then perpetuated through witness statements and evidence given in court.”

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Professional Risk Expertise

Mike Willis has worked with a diverse range of professions including...

The FMWL Approach …

  • Accurate understanding and technical analysis;
  • Focus on duty, causal event(s) and consequences; not gossip…
  • Sensitive but objective empathy;
  • Overarching commerciality; and
  • Clear aims, with vision where necessary to explore indirect routes to solutions.