Society's News

Corporate Members 2022

3PB Albion Chambers Ashfords Barcan + Kirby Beale & Co Bevan Brittan BLM Burges Salmon Clarke Willmott CMS CMNO DAC Beachcroft The Family Law Practice Foot Anstey (including Enable Law) Freeths Fussell Wright GL Law Guildhall Chambers Irwin Mitchell Solicitors Lyons Davidson Marc White & Co Meade King Osborne Clarke Paragon Costs Solutions Queen Square Chambers Royds Withy King Simmons … more

BLS features in Bristol Post oldest thriving companies in Bristol

Excerpt from the article: How Bristol’s oldest companies are still thriving after more than 100 years in business They include the city’s last-surviving chocolate maker a wine merchant and a tannery. Why do some companies struggle to survive beyond a year while others flourish for hundreds? Although more than 90 per cent of small companies in Britain will survive one … 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.  Bristol Law Society’s suite of conference and meeting rooms including a suite of mediation rooms are conveniently located in the centre between the Waterfront Area and the Old City in a modern building situated on the corner of … 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.

Download the ML Forensic Newsletter