Expert evidence

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Expert evidence may be critical to your case – we can help get the right expert and comply with Court Rules.

Aside from the many other aspects which make legal disputes complex, expensive and unpredictable, before starting a case at court, in many types of dispute, expert evidence will be crucial to winning or losing.

With a sharp increase in the number of individuals and businesses considering using the civil courts without a lawyer, the expert evidence dimension makes things even more difficult and complex. Talk to us if you need help.

When is expert evidence needed?

A simple way of thinking about this question is “does my case depend on opinion”?

If it requires evidence on opinion as well as facts to succeed, you will almost certainly need an expert. Another clear indicator will be if the case involves any technical issues. In reality, as the world gets ever more complex, expert evidence becomes increasingly common. Even where opinion evidence may not be needed, parties to a dispute may still need non-legal expert help.

What types of civil dispute cases need expert evidence?

The list below is not exhaustive and does not go into the areas of personal injury and medical evidence which are not areas we deal with at Darlingtons. You will almost certainly need an expert for any dispute relating to :-

  • Landlord & tenant – especially disputes relating to dilapidations, rent reviews and possibly also service charge disputes;
  • Professional negligence – to succeed you will generally need to show that the professional failed to reach the standard of care expected for the profession and that means you will generally need another professional in that profession, of suitable experience, standing and credibility, to give evidence that the standard was not met;
  • Building & Construction cases – due to the technical nature of this type of work;
  • Computer based evidence – as advised above, may be required to help obtain evidence but may also need to be an expert that gives evidence on your behalf. For example, if you allege that en employee stole data, you would need to be able to satisfy the court that it was the employee who accessed the data, when, where and so on;
  • Boundary disputes – generally will require an expert surveyor;
  • Product liability claims – due to the need to prove a product was defective or not fit for purpose and/or dangerous;
  • Financial aspects of claims and value of claims and losses – an Accountant may be needed to help compile evidence and/or as an expert, in shareholder or partnership disputes and complex breach of contract claims. An accountant may be needed to calculate loss following a breach of contract which may involve a degree of calculation or extrapolation. Similarly an accountant may be needed in cases such as fraud where a specialist forensic accountant may be required;
  • IP disputes – market research experts may be needed in trademark or passing off cases where it may be necessary to prove that the public are confused as to similar names, advertising etc.