Many readers will be aware of the high profile carbon credits fraud trial that collapsed last month, when it was found that the expert witness was found to have no expertise.
As a result of which, it is claimed that more than 20 fraud trials which this expert was involved in, may need to be revisited.
When the expert was called to give evidence on carbon credits, he apparently admitted that he had never read a book on the subject, but had once watched a documentary on it.
As a result of this case, it is likely that the credibility of expert witnesses will now come under more scrutiny than ever before. It is likely that qualifications, experience and knowledge of the subject matter will be under closer inspection when an expert gives evidence in Court.
Without stating the obvious, it is imperative that solicitors choose the right expert for each case.
This is made more difficult by the Legal Aid Agency requesting 3 quotes on criminal defence cases and forcing solicitors to use the lowest quote.
However, one point that many don’t realise is that fee approvals provided by the Legal Aid Agency are not firm specific. It is therefore possible to choose your favoured expert, so long as that expert is willing to do the work at the lowest price quoted.
When considering which expert to use, solicitors should consider:
- Knowledge of the subject matter
- Experience of giving evidence in Court
- Experience of acting as an expert and how many cases they have been involved in
- Professional qualifications and whether they correlate with the area that the expert is being instructed in
- The person in the firm who will be doing the lions share of the work
Whilst expert witness registers/portals are useful, do you really know the expert you are instructing?
At Inquesta, we have two experienced expert forensic accountants, Rob Miller and Mark Holdsworth, who between them have decades of experience acting as an expert forensic accountant and giving evidence in Court.
All are qualified accountants and have acted in various types of fraud, money laundering and proceeds of crime confiscation cases, with great success.
Rob also acts on a number of commercial litigation and matrimonial matters, with work including shareholder disputes, loss of profits claims and business valuations, amongst others.
If you wish to speak to one of our experts regarding the services we offer, please feel free to contact us on 0800 093 4604.