Given the complex and technical nature of motor vehicles, when things go wrong, we are often asked to advise on the provision of expert evidence, which can be crucial and the difference between winning or losing.
In England and Wales, the relevant rules appear in Part 35 of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) and are easy enough to understand and follow, even for a layperson.
In Scotland, there is no equivalent rule that sets out what is required but direction can be found in relevant case law, which is a little more challenging to find and interpret for the uninitiated.
Indeed, much the same considerations apply both North and South of the border about the provision of expert evidence and relate to matters such as the experts overriding duty to assist the court, the facts and assumptions that may be considered and commented on by the expert, his/her relevant knowledge, qualifications and expertise, admissibility and reliability of the expert, and disclosure of prior connections.
In Northern Ireland, the High Court of Northern Ireland issued a “game changing” Practice Direction in 2019 on point, which emphasises the extent of the duty owed by anyone instructed to give or prepare expert evidence for or in contemplation of court proceedings.
Importantly, while the source may differ, the general themes relating to expert evidence and the approach adopted by the courts are broadly the same across all three jurisdictions.
What is equally clear across the board, a report on the back of an envelope from a local “friendly” garage is not likely to cut the mustard!
As ever, if you have any doubts, queries, or concerns, then speak with Lawgistics.