Society's News

Notification of Bristol Law Society AGM

The Annual General Meeting of Bristol Law Society will take place virtually on Tuesday 17 November.  Attendees will be able to join from 5.45pm and the meeting will start promptly at 6pm.  If you wish to attend, please email and the joining details will be forwarded to you a few days before the meeting. Please see below all the … more

Corporate Members 2020

3PB Albion Chambers Ashfords Barcan + Kirby Burges Salmon Clarke Willmott Cooke Painter Ltd Clyde & Co DAC Beachcroft Devereux & Co Enterprise Chambers The Family Law Practice Foot Anstey (including Enable Law) Fussell Wright Gregg Latchams Ltd Guildhall Chambers Irwin Mitchell Solicitors Kelcey & Hall Lyons Davidson Marc White & Co Meade King Michelmores LLP MS Rubric Osborne Clarke … more

No 12, The Meeting Rooms – Conference, Meeting and Mediation Rooms for Hire

Please note that the BLS office is shut to members at present as we continue to work from home during the pandemic. We can be contacted on In the meantime, our office is now operating as the Bristol Nightingale Court and accordingly, we are unable to hire out our facilities until further notice. (Oct 2020) Bristol Law Society’s suite … more










By Helen Gregory, Forensic Director

There are many reasons why forensic accountants are invited to attend mediations but care needs to be taken not to prejudice their ability later to act as expert witnesses.

Forensic accountants who are instructed to give expert evidence owe an overriding duty to the court and it is that duty that can, if care is not taken, sometimes create a tension in the context of mediations.

If a mediation takes place early on in proceedings or even before proceedings have been issued, it is not uncommon for the forensic accountant to be asked to “gild the lily” and present the ultimate client’s case in a manner that puts its “best foot forward”. Although what is said during a mediation will be subject to legal privilege, this does not absolve experts from the need to comply with the relevant legal and professional standards. For that reason, if they are subsequently instructed to give expert evidence to the court, that evidence needs to be consistent with what ever was said at the mediation.

More importantly, if forensic accountants have already been instructed to give expert evidence, this may constrain what they are able to say at the mediation. There may be discussions during the mediation to which the forensic accountants should not be privy for fear of adversely affecting their opinions.

One option is for forensic accountants to attend mediations but to be invited to sit in a separate room for part of the day or otherwise to be available on the telephone to respond to specific questions of a technical nature.

In all but the largest of cases it is likely to be prohibitively costly to employ one accountant to provide informal, “shadow” advice and another to act as an expert witness. However this ought not to be necessary as long as the risks are understood and relatively straightforward safeguards are put in place to preserve the expert’s independence.

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