When might you need an expert witness?
An expert witness will provide the authoritative, impartial and technical expertise imperative to your case. You may need an expert witness at:
- Local Planning Inquiries
- Public Inquiries
- Judicial Review
- High Court Cases
Some local planning inquiries need evidence to be presented by technical experts to inform the development of the Local Plan and the designation of land uses.
National infrastructure schemes, and complex and sensitive planning applications requiring Environmental Impact Assessments will often be heard at public inquiries. The detailed technical information is presented and challenged in front of a scrutiny panel.
Judicial review can be made on the lawfulness of a decision or for disputes between regulators and regulated businesses. Environmental judicial review claims have become increasingly more common and more complex.
For High Court Cases, where there is legal challenge between parties, a Judge will be provided with evidence for and against the claim from either party.
Who do you need to represent you?
The person giving the evidence can be important, not just the evidence they present. An expert witness should be well-trained, accurate and confident in presenting the facts at Public Inquiries and High Court cases. Your expert witness should not be drawn into argument, and should be clear and accurate in presenting the evidence they and their team have gathered.
It requires a very high level of experience and skill to present complex, in-depth information whilst being scrutinised, and in a manner that is confident and convincing to the Judge and/or jury.
What does the Expert Witness do?
There are Civil Procedure Rules which require expert witnesses to be independent and provide clear, accurate witness statements and reports.
Witnesses are required to present at inquiries or court cases, and provide supporting reports. The preparation is usually very intense and demanding, and requires robust and well-presented communication.
Their role is to give a clear and unbiased account of their research and findings to help those making decisions, regardless of who has instructed them.
Three essential traits your expert witness should have:
- Well-established professional standing in the related area to the case
- Professional training as an expert witness and/or witness of fact, and an excellent communicator
- A successful track-record of working on cases with solicitors and barristers, and particularly with high-profile planning barristers
At Engain, we have a breadth of experience as expert witnesses, and have presented evidence in Public Inquiries, court cases, and International High Court cases. We have worked with leading environmental planning barristers on nationally and internationally complex and high-profile development projects, and can confidently present the information the relevant authorities need.
To discuss your project requirements, please contact our experienced team