United Kingdom and British Isles Geographic Expertise

Royal Courts of Justice, London

England & Wales

English Law is one of the best regarded legal systems practiced in the world and partly due to history and partly its success in giving solutions which are regarded as right, so it has become probably the most widely accepted. The foundation of English Law is obviously practiced in England & Wales, and it is legal decisions made here that are then often quoted in other parts of the world. It is also the home jurisdiction for the majority of Experts at Expert Evidence so it is a set of principles which we are very familiar with. We have certainly appeared in more cases in the English courts than any other jurisdiction.

The majority of civil disputes in banking cases, and that we have been involved with, are conducted or at least start in the High Court. The primary venue is in the Rolls Building in Fetter Lane in the centre of London. However cases can also be heard in any of the main regional legal centres. For criminal cases, although the most high profile cases are held in the Old Bailey, such as the recent Qatari retrial against the former Barclays senior managers, the bulk of banking cases are normally heard in the Southwark Crown Court, although again we often are also called to give evidence at any of the main Crown Courts around the country.

The English Civil Legal System imposes strict rules of conduct for Experts Witnesses for the work leading up to the trial and when they attend trial. These are normally known as the Civil Procedure Rules (‘CPR’) 35 which give requirements for experts to adhere to throughout the legal process. This is then enlarged upon in the Practice Direction 35, Protocol for the Instruction of Experts to give Evidence in Civil Claims – June 2005 amended October 2009 and the Guidance for the instruction of experts in civil claims 2014. Links are available to all documents by clicking on the links above.

The Old Bailey, London

The Criminal System has its own set of rules and code for the conduct of Expert Witnesses. This is known as the Criminal Procedure Rules 19 and various of the industry specialisms have their own additional set of rules which can apply. The main ones are: Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 (section 23(1) Code of Practice, Revised in accordance with section 25(4) of the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996; AAttorney General’s Guidelines on Disclosure For investigators, prosecutors and defence practitioners; and Forensic Science Regulator Information Legal Obligations FSR-I-400.

The English Civil Legal System is built around Common Law principles and hence earlier judgements are highly influential in the outcome of subsequent cases. Interpretation of previous cases is for the lawyers and not for us as experts, but where the principles are new and involve procedures which have not been previously tested, then the role of the expert in explaining how the system works is highly important. Where previous cases are thought to determine the outcome of a dispute, the role of the expert can again become relevant in looking at the comparative situations found.

The English & Welsh Legal System allows for the ability to appeal to the Court of Appeal and if the case is considered worthy , it can be then taken to the Supreme Court for a final position to be determined.

London remains not only the centre for the English and Welsh Legal Systems but also as a major financial centre. Hence the background and knowledge levels of law and finance are probably better or at least as good as anywhere in the world. Expert Evidence remains of the opinion that London is one of the best locations for the sourcing of experts.

Scotland

The Acts of Union were two Acts of Parliament: the Union with Scotland Act 1706 passed by the Parliament of England, and the Union with England Act passed in 1707 by the Parliament of Scotland was the final agreement that brought Scotland into what we now refer to as the United Kingdom. In fact the two countries had shared a monarch since 1603 with the appointment of James I (of England) and James IV (of Scotland). Although these acts brought the two countries together with both a customs and monetary union there remained two aspects which Scotland was allowed to retain. These were the Church of Scotland and that Scottish Law would be preserved.

Although very similar in some respects to English Law and as both Scots Law and English Law use the Supreme Court as the final court of appeal, there are also some differences in the names of the courts, in the way the law is practiced and some of the legal definitions used. For example, in Scotland the parties are referred to as the Pursuer and Defender while in England we use the Claimant and Defendant.

Expert Evidence has appeared in Scottish Cases a number of times and has been heavily involved in many Scottish disputes. In recent years following the financial crash of 2008 there have been significant amounts of litigation in Scotland concerning property valuations and the role of solicitors in property transactions.

In terms of principles for the conduct of Expert Witnesses, the normal CPR rules in England and Wales do not apply. The Scottish Law Society has published its own set of rules which in many cases are similar to those south of the border. These are published in the Law Society of Scotland website.

The Old Bailey, London

Northern Ireland

As the final region and country in the United Kingdom and the only part that is not within the UK mainland, it has also had its own set of differences to the legal system. The main difference here for Expert Witnesses is in the rules which apply to their contribution to a case which are covered in the various Codes of Practice for Experts PD 1/2015, PD 7/2014, PD 2/2009 & PD PD 6/2002. Please note that the expert declaration in 6/2002 has been replaced by 7/2014.

Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man

Although these remain separate and distinct legal entities and systems from those in the UK, of which they do not form part, in many respects they remain very similar and follow the lead provided by London and the English Legal Systems.

In Jersey Experts are covered in Jersey by Civil Evidence (Jersey) Law 2003 revisied to 1 January 2013 and detail and in Guernsey by The Evidence in Civil Proceedings (Guernsey and Alderney) Rules 2011.

Primary cases include:

  • Winnetka Trading Corp v Julius Baer International Ltd and Bank Julius Baer, HC08C02033 [2011].
  • John Gisborne v AMG and others, High Courts of Justice of England, Queen’s Bench Division, Commercial Court. [2011] Folio 1601 2013.
  • Harding Homes (East Street) Ltd & Ors v Bircham Dyson Bell (a firm) & Anor EWHC 3329 (Ch) [2015].
  • David Rocker v Full Circle Asset Management Ltd High Court Queen’s Bench Division EWHC 2999 (QB) [2017].
  • Thomas & Anor v Triodos Bank NV EWHC 314 (QB) [2017].
  • Regina c Cumiskey & Others. Southwark Crown Court. No. T2015-7018 [2017].
  • Thomas & Anor v Triodos Bank NV EWHC 314 (QB) [2017] (Bristol).
  • HMRC v Gabriel Bivolaru. Hendon Magistrates Court No.011800273112 [2018].
  • McDonagh v Bank Of Scotland Plc & Ors EWHC 3262 (Ch) [2018].
  • HMG Investment Holdings Ltd v National Westminster Bank Plc EWHC 3492 (Comm) [2018].
  • J Jeffrey (Builder) Limited v Santander UK PLC, High Court Manchester No.D40MA041 [2019].
  • James Shanley v Clydesdale Bank Limited, Court of Session Edinburgh, No.CA47/16 [2019].
  • Frances Elizabeth Wood v Commercial First Business Limited. High Court Bristol. No.3BS30104. [2019].
  • Unistar Group Limited & Unistar Trading Limited v HMRC. First Tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber). No.MAN/2007/1441. [2020].
  • Taray Investments Ltd & Anor v Gateley Heritage LLP EWHC 716 (QB) [2020].
  • UK Acorn Finance Ltd v Markel (UK) Ltd EWHC 922 (Comm) [2020].

Expert Evidence prides itself on assisting throughout the legal process where required and is a professional firm concentrating on the four main areas of dispute resolution; acting as expert witnesses in financial litigation, mediation, arbitration and adjudication. The firm has a civil, criminal and international practice and has advised in many recent cases. Areas of specialisation include banking, lending, regulation, investment, and tax.

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Disclaimer – Please confirm any of the above views with your solicitor. Expert Evidence takes no responsibility or provides any guarantee that the views above are correct for your particular case or jurisdiction.