If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being in a legal dispute regarding construction issues, it is likely the other party will engage a construction professional to prepare evidence and act for them as an independent expert.

All legal proceeding forums, whether they be the small claims tribunal for claims less than $15,000, or the high court, will take more notice of evidence provided by an industry professional, or expert.

If you do not engage a construction professional to act as your own independent expert, you risk the possibility of the judge/arbitrator/chair basing his/her opinion on the other party’s expert’s evidence alone, because your own individual evidence may not be acceptable by the court to be either independent or expert.

What does an expert witness do?

An expert witness is someone who by virtue of education, training, skills, knowledge or experience, is believed to have expertise and specialised knowledge in a particular subject beyond that of the average person, sufficient that others may officially and legally rely upon the witness's specialised opinion about an evidence or fact issue within the scope of his expertise, referred to as the expert opinion, as an assistance to the fact-finder (usually a mediator, arbitrator, adjudicator or judge).

An expert witness reviews the case under scrutiny, investigates as considered necessary, produces evidence and states his opinion regarding the evidence.

An expert witness often appears in formal legal proceedings to answer questions relating to his evidence and/or opinions.

 

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Latest News

Major structural failures of Schools in Scotland due to lack of Clerk of Works

Over the last few years construction work at many Schools in Scotland has been carried out under Public Finance Initiative Schemes (PFI), where the building contractor self-certifies their own work as being to the correct standard and quality, without being subject to external monitoring or inspection.  This is a model of financing public construction projects that has become common in many countries since it was first developed in UK and AUstralia.  Many of these schools have suffered serious structural failures in the last few years and have needed major re-construction or repair, causing serious disruption to schools and an unexpected additional financial cost.

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