As part of a dispute that has progressed to court, an expert witness is instructed by one or both parties and will provide their professional opinion on the matter in dispute. They must be qualified to give such an opinion, such as having extensive experience in the matter and a suitable level of specialist expertise, as well as being willing to attend court to take questions from the other party’s legal team.
An expert witness’s duty is primarily to the court, rather than to the party paying or instructing them; their report is used by the judge to help them make their determination. They must be impartial and form their opinion given all the evidence available. In the case of building or boundary disputes, the expert witness is likely to be a building surveyor; other matters may require a valuation surveyor, quantity surveyor, or engineer for example. They will generally visit the property(ies) in question to inspect and gather evidence to produce their report.
We work with many local and national law firms to provide expert witness services covering many disputes including boundaries, rights of access, trespass, defective building works, and building disrepair. Within Vickery Holman, we also have expert witnesses covering landlord and tenant disputes, valuation matters, development sites, and property management disputes.