Expert Witness in Litigation

Expert Witness Services in Litigation from Abbott Holliday Partnership

Please click on the link below that best describes your case or concern. You will be taken to a range of sub-topics below that should match your particular enquiry, and should give you more information on how we approach that type of case.

Please then contact us to discuss it in more detail and we will give you a free quote to help you decide whether or not to engage us to work with you. Whatever your situation, one of our Chartered Structural Engineers will be happy to visit and inspect the building or structure in question, produce a report for your solicitor to use in your case, attend mediation and provide expert witness in court.

The report will be in the correct CPR-compliant format required for legal use, (Civil Procedure Rules) and will have been peer-reviewed by at least one other Chartered Structural Engineer in our team with experience of litigation, giving you the reassurance of the highest possible level of technical competency in the industry, which will best help you to win your case.

Structural design using CAD

Disputes and mediation

Assisting in mediation

After our CPR-compliant report has been submitted into your case files, the next stage is often mediation. As the expert in the field of Structural Engineering, and having inspected the structure in question, we will attend the mediation meeting with your solicitor and you, the client. We will be happy to provide insights as part of the mediation process. In small cases, this normally takes up to one day’s involvement. Thereafter, we would also be available to accompany you in court to give expert witness.

Insurance claim disputes

We are able to assist in insurance claim disputes relating to structural failure or faulty construction. We will inspect the structure in question and make a professional judgement on the viability of the structure’s design or construction. We can then prepare a report for you to use in your claim. If the claim continues to legal action, we can also attend mediation sessions or give expert witness statements in the witness box in court.

Non-disclosure

We are able to work with you on cases where significant structural issues have not been disclosed to you before the purchase of the building. In such cases, one of our Chartered Structural Engineers will survey the entire building, inspect and measure any defects and, where these defects were not disclosed, prepare a CPR-compliant report. As an example, this report may state that the defect would have arisen before the purchase date, is still active and worsening, and poses a risk to the inhabitants. Such a report, and expert witness services we can also provide, can be used to assist you in your case against the seller or seller’s agent.

Giving evidence in court

Giving evidence in court

We will be happy to accompany you and your solicitor to mediation and to court, (regardless of the location of the court in question), to stand in the witness box and provide expert testimony in a litigation case where the defendant is accused of structural negligence. It is normal in this case for this work to be preceded by a site survey where applicable, followed by a CPR-compliant report, which we will prepare and issue prior to the court case. We may also provide, as part of the hearing, the relevant NHBC guidelines and British Standards.

Joint Expert Witness

In cases where we are asked to provide expert witness in litigation cases, your solicitor has a choice of how much involvement we are to have in the case. We can either be a “Single” expert witness (engaged by you, the client), or a “Single Joint” expert witness, (we will represent both you and the builder). In our experience, courts normally prefer “Single Joint” witnesses but we are happy to act as either. Please contact us, or ask your solicitor to contact us, to discuss your case and quote for acting as a Joint Expert Witness.

Consulting Structural and Civil Engineers

Negligence or poor workmanship

Faulty diagnosis

There may be cases where a faulty diagnosis of a structural defect has been given to the owner or manager of a building or structure. This diagnosis may have been accepted by the owner and with that reassurance, normal use of the structure may have resumed. It may have then failed or collapsed because the diagnosis was incorrect. This may have caused costly repairs, loss of revenue or even personal injury, resulting in litigation. In such cases, please call us at Abbott Holliday Partnership so we can investigate the structure, produce a CPR-compliant report that can be used in court by your solicitor, attend mediation sessions, and provide expert witness in the witness box during the court hearing.

Inadequate design

Where inadequate design has led to a customer being left with a building or structure that is not fit for purpose, Abbott Holliday Partnership can help. Our local Chartered Structural Engineers ca be called upon to provide comprehensive documented analysis of the inadequacies. This can be in line with Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) for your solicitor to use with the court. We can then provide expert remedial design services to rectify the inadequate structure. Finally, we can provide assistance with mediation and appearance in court to provide expert witness.

Incorrect setting-out

Often a building firm may incorrectly measure dimensions from a plan when building structural elements such as foundations or the perimeter of the walls. They may also get the levels wrong, so that one part of the building ends up being higher than another, when it is supposed to be level. This can obviously have catastrophic issues for the building, which are often not noticed until much more of the structure has been completed. You may have taken the contractor or the architect to court, as one or both of them may have failed to check the setting out, or checked it and proceeded despite errors. If this has happened to you, please contact us to provide expert witness for your case by way of a report, mediation or giving evidence in court.

Litigation on poor workmanship and defective materials

If you are taking legal action against a designer or builder as a result of negligence or poor workmanship, we will assist with your case. After inspecting the structure and the defect in question, we will list our findings in a report that will be compliant with CPR (Civil Procedure Rules). This format of report can be used by your solicitor. The report will state our findings and professional opinion about whether the design or construction was faulty and that the defects were a result of these shortcomings. Furthermore, we can attend mediation sessions with your solicitor and if required, we can also give evidence in court for your case, (expert witness). All our engineers are Chartered. Chartership is the hallmark of quality and professional excellence amongst the Structural Engineering community, meaning you will have the very best chance of winning your case. Please call to discuss your own situation and we will give you a quote for the initial stages of the proceedings.

Poor street maintenance and pot holes

If you have had an accident on a public road or pavement, or as a result of poor street maintenance, please contact us to discuss it. In the past, we have helped claimants win in cases like these, by providing a professional assessment of pot holes, trip hazards on pavements, oversized speed humps causing damage to vehicles and broken road surface incidents. We will visit the site of the incident, take measurements and photos, monitor for movement where movement is suspected and provide a CPR-compliant report for your solicitor to present as part of the case. We can also provide expert witness in court if the case progresses that far.

Professional negligence

Many separate people and organisations are responsible for the planning, design, construction, repair and ongoing maintenance of the buildings in which we live and work. There are plenty of risk areas for professional neglect and as the occupier or owner of the building, you’re the one they will impact but they will rarely be your fault. In cases such as these, you will need evidence to back up your claim of professional negligence. Please call us to discuss whether or not we can provide you with this evidence in the form of a CPR-compliant report and independent expert witness services. There’s every chance that we will be able to pin-point the cause of the issue as negligence in design, construction or maintenance, and we can be clear about this in our report, which may be of critical importance in your case. We can also accompany you to mediation to provide our professional opinion on the defect in question.

Personal injury

Personal injury

We can assist in insurance claims but also in litigation proceedings connected with injury on construction sites, injury as a result of collapsing structures or injuries sustained through tripping and slipping. As well as producing a CPR-compliant Structural Engineer’s report, we can also assist in mediation and provide expert witness in court. Please contact us or pass our details to your solicitor so we can understand your case, walk you through our process and provide you with a quote.

Trip hazards

Often in cases that involve trip hazards, the court asks to see a report from a relevant professional expert, detailing the hazard in question, conducted by a surveyor or structural engineer. We are available to conduct such surveys and create CPR-compliant reports, (Civil Procedure Rules), which your solicitor can use in the case. Additionally, all our structural engineers are chartered, which offers you reassurance that the most reliable and accurate professional opinion is being presented. Furthermore, if we are called to the stand to provide evidence in the witness box, our expert witness will be of the highest quality and professional competence.

Consulting Structural and Civil Engineers

Surveys and reports

CPR-compliant reports on structural defects

After visiting the structure in question and performing a full survey on all aspects of the structure and the defect, we will produce a report that is CPR-compliant. This means the report will be prepared in line with Civil Procedure Rules, which ensure that the content of the report will provide the information in the format the legal team needs. This will provide you with expert testimony to the defect or failure of the structure. Please give us a call to discuss your case and our quote.

Divorce settlements

When a property has to be sold as part of a divorce settlement, the property normally has to be valued. If the valuation surveyor sees a structural problem, one of our local Chartered Structural Engineers will be happy to visit the property to conduct a survey and produce a report on the structural condition of the property.

Every commission is handled personally by one of our highly experienced chartered engineers

Consulting Structural and Civil Engineers