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’ standing. In his expert report, the proposed expert said that he did not believe his relationship with the defendant would affect his evidence, but accepted that his personal sympathies were engaged to a greater degree than would probably be normal with an expert witness.
Held: The court may take a different view from that of the parties as to whether an expert has a conflict of interest which might lead the court to reject the independence of his opinion. By the admission that his personal sympathies were engaged to a greater degree than would probably be normal with an expert witness, the expert had rendered his evidence unacceptable on the grounds of public policy that justice must be seen to be done as well as done.
Evans Lombe J said: ‘However, in my judgment, where it is demonstrated that there exists a relationship between the proposed expert and the party calling him which a reasonable observer might think was capable of affecting the views of the expert so as to make them unduly favourable to that party, his evidence should not be admitted however unbiased the conclusions of the expert might probably be. The question is one of fact, namely the extent and nature of the relationship between the proposed witness and the party.’
Evans Lombe J
 1 WLR 2337,  4 All ER 950,  Lloyds Rep Prosecution 518
England and Wales
Cited – Toth 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: . .
Cited – 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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 10 May 2022; Ref: scu.244629