ROYAL COURT OF
The purpose of this practice direction
is to provide guidance to parties on how to approach applications to adduce
expert evidence under Rule Court Rule 6/20(2)(d).
Other than in cases where a party has
suffered personal injury, the Court will not normally permit expert evidence
from more than two different disciplines to be called.
Each party may only call evidence from
one expert for each discipline.
Where the claim involves more than one
plaintiff or defendant, where possible the relevant plaintiffs or defendants
shall endeavour to instruct the same expert.
The need for expert evidence will
ultimately be determined by reference to the overriding objective.
In ordering expert evidence, the Court may
have regard to what expert evidence is necessary to:-
- determine a case at
- enable the parties to
explore settlement of the case and/or to take part in some form of
alternative dispute resolution process.
The parties shall further explore
whether any area of expert evidence can be provided by a single expert jointly
instructed by the parties.
If by the time of any directions hearing
dealing with expert evidence, the identity of the expert a party proposes to
retain has not been communicated to another party, orders may be made requiring
a party to inform any other party of the identity of the expert retained within
a specified timeframe.
In a case involving personal injury, the
parties at the time of any directions hearing considering expert evidence will
set out the number of experts and the nature of expert evidence required
including whether any category of expert evidence might be provided by a single
expert in accordance with paragraph 5.
The obligations expected from experts
are set out in Schedule A.
Directions may be given for meetings of
experts. The requirements for such meetings are set out in Schedule B
This practice direction shall
come into force on 1st June 2017
of an Expert
- Expert evidence shall be
the independent opinion of the expert uninfluenced by any other
pressures. The duty owed by an
expert is to the Court and is to provide objective unbiased opinions on
matters within his or her expertise.
- An expert should not
argue the case for a party.
- An expert must consider
all material facts whether they are supportive of or contrary to the
ultimate conclusion of the expert.
- An expert shall make
- if a question or issue
falls outside his or her expertise;
- if the expert is unable
to reach a definite opinion and the reasons why;
- the facts or assumption
upon which the opinion is based; and
- all written materials
relied upon, attaching a copy of such materials if these have not already
been provided to the other party
- If the view of an expert,
after providing an opinion, changes on any material matters, this should
be communicated as soon as possible to all parties and where appropriate
to the Court setting out where the opinion has changed and the reasons
- An expert’s report
must give details of the expert’s qualifications, any literature or
other material relied on in making the report, must contain a statement
setting out the substance of all facts and instructions material to the
opinions expressed, set out what steps the expert has taken where any
examination measurement test or experiment is carried out in order to
produce the report and where there is a range of opinion on the matters
dealt with in the report, summarise the range of options and give reasons
for the expert’s own conclusions;
- A report should contain
a summary of conclusions reached;
- A report must set out
any qualifications to the opinion;
- A report must contain a
statement that the expert understands the obligations set out in this
- The parties and their
legal adviser shall explore with an expert retained whether or not there
is any purpose in holding a meeting of experts and when such a meeting
should take place.
- The purpose of any
meeting is for experts to ascertain areas of agreement and disagreement,
whether any steps may be taken to resolve areas of disagreement and where
there are any other issues which the experts should address.
- Parties should not
normally attend experts’ discussions.
- Legal representatives
may only attend to advise on the law including procedure, otherwise they
should not intervene in the discussion.
- Experts may hold
discussions in the absence of legal representatives.
- In advance of any
meeting the parties should endeavour to agree an agenda on issues to be
- Following a meeting of
experts a joint statement shall be prepared for the parties and the Court
setting out the outcome of the meeting and setting out the conclusions