Expert witness evidence aids London’s pre-eminence
If there was any doubt, the first London International Disputes Week 2019 (#LIDW2019) certainly demonstrated why London is the premier centre for major dispute resolution. The conference showcasing the impressive range of legal and support services (such as expert witness evidence) available here.
My own professional interest as a frequent expert witness on damages was particularly drawn to Mr Justice Roth’s keynote address in the final session of the week on Competition Disputes. Competition cases require extensive use of expert evidence and Mr Justice Roth’s address set out the tools and sanctions on experts in recent cases such as the three interchange disputes, BCMR, PayTV v Sky Sports and Britned disputes.
Mr Justice Roth, a Justice in the Chancery Division of the High Court of England and Wales and President of the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal described the framework that has evolved in England for securing impartial expert witness evidence, starting from the principles which Mr Justice Cresswell had laid down in his judgment in The Ikarian Reefer ( 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 68 shipping case.
He mentioned the increasingly common practice of instructing experts to meet before they prepare their first reports to agree the scope and thus avoid addressing irrelevant issues. He went on to describe how useful the tribunal recently found asking experts to present a “teach-in” at an early stage of the hearing in Britned Development Ltd v ABB  EWHC 2616 (Ch). This practice will become even more important as Judges conduct more concurrent expert evidence (better known as “hot-tubbing”) sessions, a process he recognised created much more work for Judges but did shortened the overall hearing.