Field 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 investigation department.
Held: The judge’s decision to exclude the evidence at an interim hearing when the impartiality had not been demonstrated. However, the court could not properly have rejected evidence from such a party without seeing a report prepared by him. He would otherwise have been qualified to report. The fact that a proposed epert witness was an employee of a party need not always debar him from acting. He needed to demonstrate that he was properly qualified, and that he understood that he first duty was to the court and not to his employer or the party calling him.
Waller LJ said: ‘The question whether someone should be able to give expert evidence should depend on whether, (i) it can be demonstrated whether that person has relevant expertise in an area in issue in the case; and (ii) that it can be demonstrated that he or she is aware of their primary duty to the court if they give expert evidence. ‘
Lord Woolf MR, Waller LJ, May LJ
Times 18-Jan-2000, Gazette 03-Feb-2000, (2000) 17 EG 165, [1999] EWCA Civ 3013, [1999] CPLR 833
Bailii
Environmental Protection Act 1990 82
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedToth v Jarman CA 19-Jul-2006
The claimant appealed dismissal of his claim for damages for nervous shock, associated with the alleged negligence of the defendant doctor in treating his son. It was said that the medical expert had not disclosed a conflict of interest.
Held: . .
CitedArmchair 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 . .
CitedKennedy v Cordia (Services) Llp SC 10-Feb-2016
The appellant care worker fell in snow when visiting the respondent’s client at home. At issue was the admission and status of expert or skilled evidence.
Held: Mrs Kennedy’s appeal succeeded. ‘There are in our view four considerations which . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 04 February 2021; Ref: scu.258646