Expert Witness are the leading independent providers of experts and their services in the UK. Established in 1996 we aim to promote our experts in a simple and convenient way via our website, directory and dedicated telephone Searchline.
Our Expert Witness website has a simple to use search facility that provides easy access to experts within given disciplines . Ranked top of Google since 2006; this ranking is based on merit and not "paid-for advertising." We constantly monitor our web statistics and look to improve on our service.
To further assist solicitors and legal professionals in finding the right expert witness we run a telephone Searchline service at the cost of a standard national call on 0161 834 0017. Solicitors, barristers chambers, local councils, legal professionals and the media can freely contact us to be provided with relevant experts' details (most calls are replied to within one hour.)
Our hardback printed directory is easy to navigate and runs to over 1,000 pages. Its user-friendly design references over 32,000 areas of expertise.
We also publish the Expert Witness Journal, www.expertwitnessjournal.co.uk a quarterly publication that highlights experts cases, specific area of expertise, law amendments and all expert witness news.
We are certified by the Information Commisioner's Office and adhere to Data Protection Laws.
What is an Expert Witness?
An Expert Witness can be anyone with knowledge or experience of a particular field or discipline beyond that to be expected of a layman. The Expert Witness’s duty is to give to the Court or tribunal an impartial opinion on particular aspects of matters within his expertise which are in dispute.
In England & Wales and many other jurisdictions the Court must give permission for an Expert Witness to give evidence.
An Expert Witness is not an expert adviser who is normally appointed by a party to assist in the formulation and preparation of a party’s claim or defence. An expert adviser does not have an overriding duty to the court but to the party instructing him.
An Expert Witness will provide an independent expert opinion in their area of expertise on the subject matter in accordance with the instructions they are given. These instructions will be shown in the Expert Witness’s Report which will be seen by the other side and the Court. Provide the opinion in the form of a report and/or evidence before a Court (or other tribunal) as required.The report is required as it is not usually possible for the Expert to give evidence without it.
Ensure the Expert’s Report provided to you contains the information required by the Court Rules. If you proceed you will have to give a copy of the report to the other side in the dispute. At that time a copy of the other side’s Expert’s Report will be given to you. Comply with the specific procedure rules applicable and any Court or tribunal Orders in the case.Provide truthful, impartial and independent opinions whether or not these opinions favour your case.
An expert witness has an overriding duty to the Court (or other tribunal). This duty supersedes any duty owed to you even though you are still responsible for paying the expert’s fees. The Court expects an expert witness to be independent and impartial and will discount the evidence of one who is or is seen to be partisan.
Your role as an expert witness
When expert evidence is called for in a court of law…it’s time to call in the expert witness. In so many trials, it is the carefully considered evidence of expert witnesses that can ensure a just outcome.
A court of law is a place where a fact is not a fact until it is proved -- or in certain cases, disproved -- by incontrovertible evidence. Here, the role of the expert witness becomes paramount.
The weight of responsibility
Often, the evidence put forward in a trial by an expert witness can be a deciding factor in tipping the balance in favour of a well-informed, reliable well considered judgment
To be an expert witness, you need to be an expert. This may seem obvious, but note that an expert is not the same as an expert witness. Briefly, the expert is anyone with specialist knowledge not commonly held, or likely to be understood by a layman. When there is no intention to place an expert’s opinion before the court, that person is referred to as an expert advisor and may take on a number of behind-the-scenes roles.
An expert offers special expertise in a particular field. As an expert witness however, he or she needs to offer additional skills and abilities – courtroom skills and report writing, for example -- which can be enhanced by training and developed over time.
When in court, the expert witness methodically presents opinion evidence based on evidence of fact. The subsequent report -- which the expert witness also prepares -- would be written within a specified time scale in compliance with specific legal guidelines.
To summarise, an expert witness is an also an expert, but one whose specialist knowledge supports considered opinions which may be placed before a court (or other judicial or quasi-judicial body – for example, a tribunal or arbitration).
Fundamentally, the role of the expert witness is to provide technical analysis and opinion which will assist the court in reaching its decision. The opinion evidence put forward by the expert witness is based on evidence of fact.