From 1 April 2013, Part 35.4 of the (CPR) requires that an estimate of costs in respect of expert evidence is provided in multi-track cases (eg cases with a value of £25,000 and above).
Further amendments clarify the issues that any expert witness will be asked to address and allow the court to specify issues the expert evidence should address.
The effect of this change is that Experts will have to be very careful in discussing with their instructing solicitors before accepting an appointment exactly what they are to do.
CPR 35.4 now states the following:
35.4 Court’s power to restrict expert evidence
(1) No party may call an expert or put in evidence an expert’s report without the court’s permission.
(2) When parties apply for permission they must provide an estimate of the costs of the proposed expert evidence and identify –
(a) the field in which expert evidence is required and the issues which the expert evidence will address; and
(b) where practicable, the name of the proposed expert.
(3) If permission is granted it shall be in relation only to the expert named or the field identified under paragraph (2). The order granting permission may specify the issues which the expert evidence should address.
(3A) Where a claim has been allocated to the small claims track or the fast track, if permission is given for expert evidence, it will normally be given for evidence from only one expert on a particular issue.
(Paragraph 7 of Practice Direction 35 sets out some of the circumstances the court will consider when deciding whether expert evidence should be given by a single joint expert.)
(4) The court may limit the amount of a party’s expert’s fees and expenses that may be recovered from any other party.