“the data giving rise to the costs base is in my judgement accurate and has been demonstrated to be so by the meticulous investigation of Mr Hanna”
Dispute Resolution, Arbitration & Expert Witness
With the world’s ever increasing want to press matters to litigation, the construction industry being no exception, Hills have for some time provided a legal service advice section. The aim of this section is to provide advice to clients, contractors and sub-contractors on contractual matters with advice on mediation, adjudication and arbitration proceeding should these be required.
Since the introduction of the Housing Grants Regeneration Act which brought with it Adjudication, Hills have represented clients either as claimant or respondent in a large number of cases. However, with the Courts’ increasing desire to resolve disputes quickly Hills have become involved in mediation/conciliation working on the Exeter Courts Scheme and have currently two Accredited Mediators in the dispute resolution team.
Hills’ staff have also been and continue to be listed on a number of professional body panels as Arbitrators receiving a number of cases being referred to this form of resolution each year.
It can be argued that all Chartered Surveyors are experts in their field and therefore should be able to act as Expert Witnesses. However, to adequately fulfil this role, a Surveyor also requires knowledge of court proceedings and the law of evidence, as well as the ability and experience to prepare expert reports in a clear and logical manner.
The Woolf reforms, introduced primarily to speed up the civil procedure system and reduce cost, have also gone a long way to clarify the role of the expert witness. These changes clearly identify the Expert’s responsibility to the Court and his duty to partake in discussions with other Experts to reach, where appropriate, and agreed opinion, and to prepare statement showing issues on which agreement has and has not been reached.
Thus, as Surveyors involved in expert witness work, we have within Hills not only an expert knowledge of construction and quantity surveying matters, but also an understanding of the “Civil Procedure Rules” together with the “Code of Guidance on Expert Evidence” as well as the RICS guidance notes “Surveyors Acting as Expert Witnesses”, which are required to properly undertake the role of an Expert Witness.
We also have within Hills surveyors, who in addition to being capable of preparing expert reports, have also had experience of presenting evidence and facing cross-examination in Court, something that few surveyors actually ever get to experience as 98% of cases are settled between the receipt of expert reports and the court hearing.
Hills have acted for various clients from private individuals to large corporate companies.
“the data giving rise to the costs base is in my judgement accurate and has been demonstrated to be so by the meticulous investigation of Mr Hanna” His Honour Judge David Wilcox, Edmonds v Lawson Developments, High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division,Technology and Construction Court