Expert Witness Services

Expert witnesses may be appointed by:

  1. The Plaintiff or the Defendant in Court proceedings
  2. The Claimant or the Respondent in alternative dispute resolution proceedings( such as arbitration, adjudication and mediation)
  3. A Tribunal /Arbitrator/Adjudicator

Appointment of the expert witness

The expert witness appointed under items one and two above, is directly employed by a party to provide evidence relating to the dispute. An agreement is prepared between the expert and the client which clearly defines the relationship between these two parties.

The High Court rules (which experts must comply with) impose restrictions and responsibilities on experts.

An expert appointed under item three above is directly employed to assist the Tribunal /Arbitrator/Adjudicator to better understand certain issues relating to a dispute.

Functions of the expert

In addition to the expert witness’s responsibilities prescribed by the High Court Rules, the expert may assist its client to understand technical aspects of the dispute beyond the knowledge base of the expert’s client and professional advisors (such as lawyers/barristers).

The over-riding responsibility of the expert however, is to provide assistance to the tribunal and to remain impartial.

The common functions performed by an expert witness are:

  • In conjunction with the client’s appointed legal counsel, to prepare a statement of evidence for presentation to the other parties to the dispute and for use at any hearing or proceedings that may follow.
  • Provide assistance as required with the interpretation of the statements of evidence prepared by the appointed experts for the other parties.
  • Attend any hearing and present the expert evidence and provide further clarification by way of cross-examination by the other parties or their legal counsel.

Confidentiality

The expert witness is in a contractual relationship with their appointer/client, is required to maintain privacy and will not divulge any information relating to the dispute or the affairs of their client to the media or others not involved in the process without first obtaining specific permission to do so.

If required, the expert should be prepared to sign a confidentiality agreement or a specific statement of confidentiality to the proceedings.

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