Experts' costs estimates
Make sure you give an accurate and meaningful estimate at the outset
The Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2013 (SI 2013/262) apply to applications made for permission to adduce expert evidence after 1 April 2013. CPR 35.4(2) has been amended by the addition of the words in italics below:
When parties apply for permission they must provide an estimate of the costs of the proposed expert evidence and identify:
(a) the field in which expert evidence is required and the issues which the expert evidence will address; and
(b) where practicable, the name of the proposed expert.
CPR 35.4(3) now specifies that, if permission is granted, the order granting permission ‘may specify the issues which the expert evidence should address’.
These provisions, which had applied previously only to cases in the Commercial Courts or the Technology and Construction Court, are now a requirement in all cases in the civil courts. The changes are designed to give the court, at an early stage, a clearer idea of the expert evidence being proposed and to allow the judge, if he or she thinks fit, to limit the expert evidence to specific issues. When approached by an instructing solicitor you will, therefore, need to ensure that you are sufficiently briefed to enable you to give an accurate and meaningful estimate at the outset, and that the solicitor understands the issues the report will be required to cover. In the event that the court imposes a limit on the issues to be covered, both you and your solicitor will need to be vigilant to ensure that you have proper notice of any order.