PLEASE DON’T “HELP” US DRAFT OUR JOINT STATEMENTS
By Matt Barnes, Forensic Manager
In the case of BDW Trading Ltd v Integral Geotechnique (Wales) Ltd  EWHC 1915 (TCC), his Honour Judge Stephen Davies considered the conduct of an expert witness who had sent the first draft of the joint statement to his instructing solicitors for their comments.
HHJ Davies said “legal advisers should only invite the experts to consider amending any draft joint statement in exceptional circumstances where there are serious concerns that the court may misunderstand or be misled by the terms of that joint statement.”
He added that “any such concerns should be raised with all experts involved in the joint statement.”
The judgment makes it clear that “an expert may if necessary provide a copy of the draft joint statement to the solicitors… However, the expert should not ask the solicitors for their general comments or suggestions on the content of the draft joint statement and the solicitors should not make any comments or suggestions save to both experts in the very limited circumstances”.
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