The following Construction practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
ARCHIVED: This Practice Note has been archived and is not maintained.
This article appears as originally published in Construction Law on 1 April 2018 and is not maintained.
Digby Hebbard and Thomas Edwards of Fladgate review recent court cases that highlight the consequences of failing to manage expert witnesses adequately. Be careful in selection of experts as well, they warn.
Expert evidence is required in most construction and engineering disputes
Experts will usually prepare written reports and may be cross-examined
Expert evidence can be determinative on the outcome of construction disputes
Several recent judgments highlight adverse effects of performance and/or management of experts
Careful deliberation should be exercised in expert selection and management
Construction and engineering projects are inherently complex. Specialist technical skills are required in order to design and deliver them. When disputes arise in connection with construction projects, yet further technical input will normally be required to understand the issues and, critically, to support claims for liability and quantum (and the defences thereto). Such technical input is provided by expert witnesses.
Expert witnesses in construction disputes may, for example, consider (i) whether a designer acted with reasonable skill and care; (ii) if tunnelling was on the critical path of the programme; (iii) the cause of cracking in foundations or water penetration; and (iv) whether a particular element of the facility complies with the technical
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