Armchair Passenger Transport Ltd v Helical Bar Plc and Another: QBD 28 Feb 2003

Objection was made to the use of an expert witness who had formerly been a senior employee of the defendant.
Held: The court set out criteria for testing the independence of a proposed expert witness: ‘i) It is always desirable that an expert should have no actual or apparent interest in the outcome of the proceedings.
ii) The existence of such an interest, whether as an employee of one of the parties or otherwise, does not automatically render the evidence of the proposed expert inadmissible. It is the nature and extent of the interest or connection which matters, not the mere fact of the interest or connection.
iii) Where the expert has an interest of one kind or another in the outcome of the case, the question of whether he should be permitted to give evidence should be determined as soon as possible in the course of case management.
iv) The decision as to whether an expert should be permitted to give evidence in such circumstances is a matter of fact and degree. The test of apparent bias is not relevant to the question of whether or not an expert witness should be permitted to give evidence.
v) The questions which have to be determined are whether (i) the person has relevant expertise and (ii) he or she is aware of their primary duty to the Court if they give expert evidence, and willing and able, despite the interest or connection with the litigation or a party thereto, to carry out that duty.
vi) The Judge will have to weigh the alternative choices open if the expert’s evidence is excluded, having regard to the overriding objective of the Civil Procedure Rules.
vii) If the expert has an interest which is not sufficient to preclude him from giving evidence the interest may nevertheless affect the weight of his evidence.
Nelson J
[2003] EWHC 367 (QB)
England and Wales
CitedDimond v Lovell HL 12-May-2000
A claimant sought as part of her damages for the cost of hiring a care whilst her own was off the road after an accident caused by the defendant. She agreed with a hire company to hire a car, but payment was delayed until the claim was settled.
CitedLiverpool Roman Catholic Archdeacon Trustees Inc v Goldberg (No 2) 2001
The claimant brought proceedings for professional negligence against a barrister specialising in tax. The Defendant wished to rely upon the expert evidence of another tax barrister in the same set of chambers as him, who was a friend of many years’ . .
CitedRegina (Factortame Ltd and Others) v Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (No 8) CA 3-Jul-2002
A firm of accountants had agreed to provide their services as experts in a case on the basis that they would be paid by taking part of any damages awarded. The respondent claimed that such an agreement was champertous and unlawful.
Held: The . .
CitedClark v Tull (T/A Ardington Electrical Services) CA 1-May-2002
. .
CitedLocabail (UK) Ltd, Regina v Bayfield Properties Ltd CA 17-Nov-1999
Adverse Comments by Judge Need not be Show of Bias
In five cases, leave to appeal was sought on the basis that a party had been refused disqualification of judges on grounds of bias. The court considered the circumstances under which a fear of bias in a court may prove to be well founded: ‘The mere . .
CitedWhitehouse v Jordan HL 17-Dec-1980
The plaintiff sued for brain damage suffered at birth by use of forceps at the alleged professional negligence of his doctor. The Court of Appeal had reversed the judge’s finding in his favour.
Held: In this case most of the evidence at issue . .
CitedField and Another v Leeds City Council CA 8-Dec-1999
The parties were involved in a dispute as to repairs on a tenanted property. The court had ordered an independent surveyor’s report. The claimant objected to the use by the defendant of an employee for this purpose, and was involved in their claims . .
CitedPorter and Weeks v Magill HL 13-Dec-2001
Councillors Liable for Unlawful Purposes Use
The defendant local councillors were accused of having sold rather than let council houses in order to encourage an electorate which would be more likely to be supportive of their political party. They had been advised that the policy would be . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 29 January 2021; Ref: scu.263155