What is an Expert Witness, and when might you need one?

BY: CHRIS GRAHAM
DIRECTOR

Many clients hope that they will never encounter a dispute or a claim situation when entering into their construction projects. However, construction projects are long term transactions with high levels of uncertainty and increasing complexity and therefore it’s impossible to resolve every detail and foresee every eventuality at the outset. 

The complexity of Construction Disputes can require an Expert opinion on the matters in dispute. Expert Witnesses are often needed to help resolve conflicts in Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedures.

 

Why work with BCQS for Expert Witness services in the Caribbean?

The BCQS team has extensive experience throughout the Caribbean providing Expert Witness opinions and evidence in all aspects of construction disputes to the local and regional Courts, Arbitration Panels, Tribunals, and Mediated Disputes.

BCQS International is registered and Regulated by RICS – the world’s leading professional body for qualifications and standards in land, property, infrastructure and construction. Our professionals adhere to and address the duties and responsibilities of the Expert Witness through a series of Good Practice Procedures, Guidance Notes and Ethical Standards.

The RICS notes that the primary duty of an Expert Witness is not to the client, but to the court or tribunal where your Expert Witness report or evidence is presented, therefore it is essential that:

  • Expert evidence should be, and should be seen to be, the independent product of the Expert uninfluenced by the demands of the ADR or litigation processes,
  • An Expert Witness should provide independent assistance to the tribunal or court by way of an objective, unbiased opinion concerning matters within his expertise,
  • An Expert Witness should never take on the role of an advocate and should just state the facts or assumptions upon which his opinion was based,
  • An Expert Witness should make clear when a question or issue falls outside the scope of his expertise,
  • All materials in an Expert’s report, including photographs, plans, calculations, analyses and the like, must be provided to the opposite party at the same time as the exchange of the report

Backed and guided by the RICS Rules of Conduct, the BCQS team is ready to assist our clients throughout the Caribbean and Latin America with any disputes requiring construction Expert Witness services.

If you have any questions or would like to speak with one of our advisers to see how we can assist, please contact the Head of Dispute Resolution and Director for BCQS Chris Graham on cdg@bcqs.com.