Changes to Statement of Truth for CPR expert witnesses

New wording for Expert Witness’s Statement of Truth

Charles Lazarevic - forensic accountant

Charles Lazarevic – Changes to CPR

A reminder to all solicitors that are currently instructing expert witnesses under CPR that from today PD35, paragraph 3.3 requires experts to include the following additional sentence in their Statement of Truth:

“I understand that proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against anyone who makes, or causes to be made, a false statement in a document verified by a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth.”

The new wording reflects the seriousness with which courts view any false statements contained in a written report and follows the Court of Appeal’s guidance on dealing with such situations (not just for expert witnesses) following the decision in Liverpool Victoria Insurance Co.Ltd v Zafar [2019]EWCA Civ 392 to give the expert a suspended sentence.  Dr Zafar had included information in his report at the request of his instructing solicitors that directly contradicted his actual findings on examination of the claimant and included an opinion on prognosis suggested by the solicitor.

The Court of Appeal decision discusses the appropriate sentence at some length and concludes that a prison term of no less than 12 months would have been appropriate in such situations and that it should be served immediately.

Presumably this additional wording will be introduced for Family Court or Criminal Court cases in due course.

This is a timely reminder to those that need forensic accountancy evidence that my firm chose “Vero Consulting” for its title to emphasise that truth forms the foundation for all our work.  If you would like to discuss the implications of this change to CPR, please let me know.

Charles Lazarevic

1 October 2020

Vero Consulting’s Russian speakers for forensic accounting and expert witness assignments

Business valuations for Russian clients

Business valuations in Russia

For our Russian clients we have created a new web page in Russian with details of some of the many expert witness reports and cross examination cases. These have included cases heard at arbitrations or courts in the UK and Cyprus for Russian companies and individuals. 

We are a nimble and conflict free boutique firm of highly experienced forensic accountants.  Our team can conduct assignments in any of nine European languages.

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Checklist for Concurrent Expert Evidence

Expert Witness Concurrent Expert Evidence
Expert’s giving concurrent expert evidence

Assisting lawyers: preparing expert witnesses to give concurrent expert evidence

I have prepared a checklist for lawyers to consider when instructing experts to give concurrent expert evidence (commonly called “hot tubbing”) in court or at an arbitration. This guidance is based on my experience of giving concurrent expert evidence in arbitrations and in court.

Checklist:

• Always remember – the expert witness’s overriding duty is to assist the court/tribunal with their expertise.

• Draft the expert report in the knowledge that the judge/arbitrator may invite the expert with the apparently superior knowledge or more controversial position to take the lead in presenting the expert evidence.

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Termination of agency – calculating the compensation

Challenges valuing termination of agency

Termination of Agency

Valuation of Commercial Agencies for Regulation 17

In this blog I explore the challenges when valuing the termination of agency for compensation using a recent reported case to illustrates these difficulties. Compensation is payable by a principal to a commercial agent by Regulation 17 (2) of the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993 (“the Regulations”).

The Regulations define a commercial agent as a “self employed intermediary who has continuing authority to negotiate the sale or purchase of goods on behalf of their principal or to negotiate and conclude such transactions on behalf of and in the name of that principal”. 

In this blog I use the Software Incubator case, for which I wrote expert reports and provided oral evidence in court, to illustrates some of the difficulties in estimating the profitability of the agency before assessing the compensation due. Read More

Audit forensic accounting finally takes centre stage in audit reforms

Audit failings blamed for collapse

The Conservative Party’s Manifesto set out the party’s aims for audit reform within the following statement: “We are also strengthening the UK’s corporate governance regime, and will reform insolvency rules and the audit regime so that customers and suppliers – and UK taxpayers – are better protected when firms like Thomas Cook go into administration. We will also carefully study the results of the ongoing investigation into its collapse.”

Sir Donald Brydon’s review dated December 2019

On 18 December Sir Donald published his 138-page report into audit reform.  His terms of reference were set by the Government at the beginning of the year and included the ambitious aim of “seeing the UK at the forefront of corporate governance internationally. This includes maintaining a leadership position internationally in terms of the evolution of the audit”.  

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Is the Lands Tribunal demanding more persuasive evidence?

Compensation is payable following compulsory purchase of land and businesses

Major UK infrastructure projects require compensation for compulsory purchase of land and businesses

CPO Valuation: Compensation for business losses

I recently attended Francis Taylor Building’s annual compulsory purchase legal update seminar.  Richard Glover QC chaired the afternoon seminar and presented the session on CPO valuation and business extinguishment compensation, which was a philosophical but highly thought provoking look at the Lands Tribunal’s latest business loss compensation decision, a case in which I gave evidence.   

Filling in the evidential gaps

Intriguingly he started by describing recent research by Peter Carruthers (http://tiny.cc/no-conscious-thought), a Professor of Philosophy, who concludes that judgments, decisions, intentions and goals are not tied to sensory experiences and never figure in working memory or become conscious. Professor Carruthers points out that we only ever recognise our decision-making from what does become conscious, such as visual imagery and the words we hear ourselves say in our heads.  As such, Carruthers concludes that conscious thought, judgment and volition are all illusions.

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