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Jonathan Addo
Jonathan Addo
  • Jonathan Addo

  • Partner
  • British Virgin Islands
Jeremy Child
Jeremy Child
  • Jeremy Child

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  • London
Stuart Cullen
Stuart Cullen
  • Stuart Cullen

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Julie Engwirda
Julie Engwirda
  • Julie Engwirda

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Peter Ferrer
Peter Ferrer
  • Peter Ferrer

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  • British Virgin Islands
Claire Goldstein
Claire Goldstein
  • Claire Goldstein

  • Partner
  • British Virgin Islands
Hazel-Ann Hannaway
Hazel-Ann Hannaway
  • Hazel-Ann Hannaway

  • Partner
  • British Virgin Islands
Nick Hoffman
Nick Hoffman
  • Nick Hoffman

  • Partner
  • Cayman Islands
Andrew Johnstone
Andrew Johnstone
  • Andrew Johnstone

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Paula Kay
Paula Kay
  • Paula Kay

  • Partner
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Phillip Kite
Phillip Kite
  • Phillip Kite

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Vicky Lord
Vicky Lord
  • Vicky Lord

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  • Shanghai
Paul Madden
Paul Madden
  • Paul Madden

  • Partner
  • Cayman Islands
Henry Mander
Henry Mander
  • Henry Mander

  • Partner
  • Cayman Islands
Ian Mann
Ian Mann
  • Ian Mann

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William Peake
William Peake
  • William Peake

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  • London
Lorinda Peasland
Lorinda Peasland
  • Lorinda Peasland

  • Consultant
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Chai Ridgers
Chai Ridgers
  • Chai Ridgers

  • Partner
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Nicola Roberts
Nicola Roberts
  • Nicola Roberts

  • Partner
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  • Singapore
Paul Smith
Paul Smith
  • Paul Smith

  • Partner
  • Cayman Islands
Andrew Thorp
Andrew Thorp
  • Andrew Thorp

  • Partner
  • British Virgin Islands
Jessica Williams
Jessica Williams
  • Jessica Williams

  • Partner
  • Cayman Islands
Jayson Wood
Jayson Wood
  • Jayson Wood

  • Partner
  • Cayman Islands

Abandoning the single joint expert

The primary rationale for appointing a single joint expert is to save costs. The very basic premise is that appointing one expert jointly ought ultimately to be less expensive than the parties appointing one expert each.

Accordingly, in the Cayman Islands, the Financial Services Division Guide actively encourages litigants to consider using single joint experts in an appropriate case. Appropriate cases are typically those in which there is a technical or scientific issue which can be resolved fully, quickly and comparatively cheaply by an independent expert instructed jointly. Factors such as the amount in dispute, the importance and complexity of the issue and the likelihood of there being a wide range of expert opinion in relation to it, are all likely to be relevant (to a greater or lesser degree as the circumstances dictate) to the issue of whether a single joint expert ought to be appointed.

It is important to bear in mind, however, that even if the parties do agree to instruct a single expert jointly (or the Court, of its own volition, so orders), that does not necessarily debar a party from subsequently abandoning that expert and/or applying to adduce further evidence from their own expert.

The English High Court has recently revisited this point within the context of proceedings involving a single expert report regarding acoustic engineering (Hinson v Hare). The principles that the court will take into account when exercising its discretion to allow additional expert evidence to be adduced, which are largely derived from the English Court of Appeal’s decision in Daniels v Walker, are as follows:

  1. A party agreeing sensibly to a joint report is not prevented from relying on the evidence of another expert, although to do so does represent a departure from the norm.
  2. In a substantial case, the correct approach is to regard the instruction of a joint expert as the first step in obtaining expert evidence on a particular issue. Hopefully, in the majority of cases, that first step will also be the last step.
  3. If a party, for reasons which are not fanciful, wishes to obtain further evidence, they should be permitted to do so, subject to the broad discretion of the court.
  4. The Court may be less likely to allow further evidence if the amounts at stake are modest. The proportionality of obtaining further evidence may well be scrutinised.
  5. All relevant circumstances are to be taken into account, but principally the court must have its eye on the overall justice to the parties. This includes balancing the grievances caused to the parties if an order is (or is not) made.

The Daniels line of authorities is likely to be highly persuasive, albeit not binding, in the Cayman Islands.

Abandoning the single joint expert

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