An expert witness is one who has acquired, by the achievement of a particular qualification and/or through substantial practical experience, specialist knowledge and skill in a particular field.
It is worth noting that an expert witness is distinct from a professional witness because:
A professional witness gives factual evidence of observations they are qualified to make in their professional capacity.
An expert witness gives opinion based evidence based on their or another’s observations, qualified by virtue of their expertise.
You should contact our applications department if you wish to clarify the category of your witness, as sanction will be required for an expert witness.
Authority granted for an expert witness
Where you have obtained our authority to employ an expert witness, this will also cover the expert’s attendance at any proof. However, if the cost of attending the proof is likely to exceed £2,000, our prior approval must be sought for unusually large expenditure. The rates payable for the attendance at court will be at the same levels as those for preparation of the report. We will not pay a higher hourly rate, unless this has been specifically authorised by us in advance of the court attendance.
In order to assess a claim, we need to know:
The time engaged at court.
The basis for the fee sought.
Details of any necessary travel etc.
Any vouching for outlays that have been incurred by the expert.
Expert witnesses –travel and other expenses
General rules for witness expenses:
Any travel incurred by an expert or professional witness will only be reimbursed at half the hourly rate When travelling, the most economical form of transport should be used.
All train and air fares will be paid at Standard Class.
Where an overnight stay cannot be avoided we will pay up to £100 per night for bed and breakfast, inclusive of an evening meal.
We will not pay for any alcohol, newspapers, telephone calls or sundries.
Receipts will be required for all expenses incurred.
We do not pay for secretarial fees, or pay postage or courier fees.
We also do not pay for administrative charges including telephone calls etc.