Control Of Expert Evidence
Control of expert evidence in relation to the Technology and Construction Court
[rtbs name=”technology-and-construction-court”]Expert evidence is frequently needed and used in Technology and Construction Court cases. Experts are often appointed at an early stage. Most types of case heard in the Technology and Construction Court involve more than one expertise and some, even when the dispute is concerned with relatively small sums, involve several different experts. Such disputes include those concerned with building failures and defects, delay and disruption, dilapidations, subsidence caused by tree roots and the supply of software systems. However, given the cost of preparing such evidence, the parties and the Technology and Construction Court must, from the earliest pre-action phase of a dispute until the conclusion of the trial, seek to make effective and proportionate use of experts. The scope of any expert evidence must be limited to what is necessary for the requirements of the particular case. At the first case management conference, or thereafter, the Technology and Construction Court may be asked to determine whether the cost of instructing experts is proportionate to the amount at issue in the proceedings, and the importance of the case to the parties. When considering an application for permission to call an expert, the Technology and Construction Court is to be provided with estimates of the experts’ costs: see Civil Procedure Rules 35.4(2). The permission may limit the issues to be considered by the experts: see Civil Procedure Rules 35.4(3). This should ordinarily be linked to the party’s costs budget. The parties should also be aware that the Technology and Construction Court has the power to limit the amount of the expert’s fees that a party may recover pursuant to Civil Procedure Rules 35.4 (4).