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Problems for solicitors and their experts

Alec Samuels considers the various issues that can impact the solicitor-expert relationship and the risks to clients

1 November 2016

The relationship between solicitor and expert can be a sensitive matter, though potentially rewarding to both and essential for the administration of justice. The expert would probably prefer to be in the office, on site, or in their surgery or hospital rather than the legal and litigation scene, which is not their comfort zone. Consequently, they may run into problems in the course of making their report and becoming involved in the litigation process itself.

In principle, the earlier an expert is instructed, the better. They can then form an idea of the nature of the case, advise as to what should be done, and give some indication of the likely outcome of their work, for example quantum of damages. Their contribution may promote an early settlement.

The dangers for the client are that the costs of a premature instruction may prove to be abortive, because the case may be wi...

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