Do I need an expert? (2016) 27 3 Cons.Law 17 [Archived]
Do I need an expert? (2016) 27 3 Cons.Law 17 [Archived]

The following Construction guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Do I need an expert? (2016) 27 3 Cons.Law 17 [Archived]
  • Presumption in favour of an expert
  • Proceeding without an expert report

This article appears as originally published in Construction Law on 6 April 2016 and is not maintained.

The courts have discretion in controlling how much, and whether, expert evidence is required or permissible. Barrister Paul Newman of 3PB reviews recent case law that touches upon the question of whether in the opinion of the courts expert evidence is required.

Key points:

  1. Use of experts in construction disputes is a common occurrence

  2. Presumption in favour of their appointment in professional negligence cases

  3. Being an expert in your own case – diminished credibility?

  4. Pantelli Associates Ltd and ACD (Landscape Architects) Ltd

  5. Wattret v Thomas Sands Consulting Ltd

In construction disputes the need for an expert witness is often self-evident and an application to adduce expert evidence is not challenged. The contractor may say that he is entitled to an 18-week extension of time with associated loss and expense; the employer very firmly says that he is not. It is a simple matter of the employer’s entitlement to liquidated damages.

Each of them wheels out, in the manner of war machines, experienced professionals to de-construct the progress of the works in question and to look at the causes of delay and their financial consequences.

Building defect claims likewise often make little progress without the services of an expert witness. The employer may know that his ‘tilt and turn’ windows