Expert Witness

Independent Expert Witnesses are often used to provide evidence to a judge presiding over dispute claims between plaintiffs and single or multiple defendants.

 

RAM have a range of Experts, each of whom are experienced practitioners in their own specialist areas of the construction building envelope. Where necessary they can act as a team, led by the Lead Expert, ensuring you have the broadest knowledge combined with brightest minds. Our experts present no nonsense direct CPR 35 compliant reports, which can be immediately understood by all competent parties. We will provide you with the earliest opinion as to the strength of your position from a technical standpoint.

 

The foregoing are just a few examples of the key points that an Expert Witness should include.

 

A good Expert report will follow these basic rules:

 

1. Start at the end: after the introduction immediately follow with your summary. This assists the non-experts (which may be the Judge) in understanding the report.

 

2. Always be prepared to revise the report, based on new information or opinion received.

 

3. Cut out unnecessary and inflammatory adjectives.

 

4. Make it brief and precise

 

5. Think of the reader

 

An Expert Witness must confirm unequivocally that they have not been instructed under any conditional fee arrangement.

 

Expert Witness

Expert Witness Case examples

*et al (and others)

 

  • Roofing (all types)
  • Windows/structural glazing
  • Walls
  • Cladding
  • Building Envelope specifications
  • Building Envelope installations
  • Insulation
  • Fire code compliance
  • Waterproofing
  • Structural
  • Design suitability
  • Drainage
  • Roof Gardens
  • Green Roofs
  • Adjudication
  • Law suits
  • Arbitration
  • Mediation
  • Dispute resolution
  • Our Expert Witness services extend to all of the various legal mediums for dispute resolution.
  • With a range of Experts available in-house, RAM can respond quickly to meet demanding technicalities and time scales.
  • Reports are focussed on the core issues and aim to provide pragmatic resolution.
  • Experts with not only qualifications but real-time working knowledge of the subject matters
  • Specialist consultants in all areas of the external building envelope, performing Expert Witness duties in strict accordance with Civil Procedure Rules (CPR 35) practice direction.
  • Expert Witnesses competent in undertaking cross examination in both oral and written evidence.
  • Expert commentary on; design, technical compliance, installation, feasibility and statutory demands.

 

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Stage One You are a person whose opinion is accepted by a Judge as having the requisite level of; education, training, certification, skills or pertinent experience to qualify as an expert in the subject matter you are advising over. It is not necessary to have any letters after your name or recognised formal qualification.
Stage Two  You must learn at least the basics of The Civil Protocol Rules (CPR) 35. This is essential so that any testimony you produce for the Judge (or other parties) to consider, is presented in a ‘common’ format. Such testimony whilst given by an expert should be capable of being understood by someone competent, but not necessarily expert in these matters.

According to guidance by the RICS, the following simple rules should be observed:


  • Begin with a statement of Truth and Compliance as set out within Practice Statement 5
  • Set out the basis of the dispute upon which the expert has been invited to give opinion
  • Set out the Experts qualifications relative to this matter
  • Consider each point and compare it to known standards, technical data and the Experts own experience
  • Comment on each point retaining impartiality and non-bias
  • Comment on each point using simple and non-elaborate language (example, do not state “...it has failed disastrously...” simply say “...it has failed...”
  • Consider what another Expert might say to counter your opinion, set out that counter opinion openly and why this may be disputed
  • Summarise and address your report to the Court, not the instructing party

Only a very small percentage of disputes of this nature ever actually reach a Judge. Those that do are arranged in special Technology & Construction Courts.


A significant proportion are settled by the parties before reaching this stage.


Experts representing each of the parties (often more than 2 parties are involved) will normally present their views.


If a consensus of opinion is not clear at this stage, then a joint meeting of Experts may be called. The Experts will normally discuss a set of pertinent points and quickly seek to establish those which they may agree on.


Non-agreed points are debated further to see if agreement can be reached.


Only those points not jointly agreed may be presented to a court.


However, even before this, the legal teams working for each party will normally try to seek agreement as to liability for given parties on any remaining unsettled points.<


An important understanding is that Expert Witnesses are not engaged to undertake advocacy on behalf of their instructing party. This is the role of the legal team. The Expert Witness is engaged purely to present their opinion as to the compliance, suitability and quality of the subject.