Q&As

Where a party has the court’s permission to instruct an expert with a particular medical specialism but, it has proven impossible to find any suitable experts within that specialism, what case law or guidance is there on instructing an expert from a different medical specialism?

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Produced in partnership with Peter Edwards of Devereux Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 31/07/2018

The following PI & Clinical Negligence Q&A produced in partnership with Peter Edwards of Devereux Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Where a party has the court’s permission to instruct an expert with a particular medical specialism but, it has proven impossible to find any suitable experts within that specialism, what case law or guidance is there on instructing an expert from a different medical specialism?

For procedural issues of this nature the first port of call is the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR), followed closely by any relevant Practice Direction/s.

CPR 35.4(1) provides that no party may call an expert or put in evidence a report of an expert without the permission of the court. When applying for permission, a party must identify the field in which expert evidence is required and the issues which the expert evidence will address and, where practicable, the name of the proposed expert.

Of direct relevance are the provisions of CPR 35.4(3) which provides that:

‘If permission is granted it shall be in relation only to the expert named or the field identified under [CPR 35.4(2)]. The Order granting permission may specify the issue/s which the expert evidence should address.’

The first issue to consider is the exact terms of the order granting permission for expert evidence to be called.

It has been assumed for the purposes of this Q&A, that the order granting permission did not specify the name of a particular expert (since, otherwise, there would be no difficulty in finding a

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