Dana v Freudenberg is the latest in a line of cases of ‘car crash’ expert evidence and just another, albeit extreme, example of the breakdown of the primary duty of experts to the Court.
Samuel Townend QC provides a review of recent authority on the topic and raises the question of whether the principles of the Ikarian Reefer reflected in the CPR can be made to work or whether a new approach is needed.
This is followed by a discussion on the problems and possible solutions.
Samuel Townend QC
Samuel Townend is a silk practising from Keating Chambers. He has a heavy practice across the spread of Chambers’ work, both domestic and international, known for being “excellent on his feet and conducts himself brilliantly in litigation”, “a first-class mind”, and “very accessible, works well with instructing solicitors as part of a cohesive team.” (Chambers UK and Legal 500 2021).
Along with mainstream construction, energy and professional negligence work, for all of which he is recommended in the directories, his particular specialities are offshore construction and marine engineering including dredging, together with infrastructure and utilities. This has resulted in Samuel also being listed in domestic and international directories for international arbitration. Samuel is known to be “a first-class advocate with the tenacity of a pitbull and manners of an English gentleman” (Legal 500 2017). He was nominated for Construction and Energy Junior of the Year at the 2019 Legal 500 awards.
Whether instructed as sole counsel, leading junior, or co-counsel, Samuel is an energetic and enthusiastic member of the team known to be “very pragmatic and not afraid to roll up his sleeves to help out” (Legal 500 Energy 2021) and to be “an excellent advocate” (Legal 500 Professional Negligence 2021). Samuel relishes getting stuck into the most legally complex and factually detailed disputes, providing “great advice” and championing the client in whatever forum is specified.
Samuel regularly acts for clients in the courts of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and he has a thriving practice in international and domestic arbitration (recently acting in arbitrations to final hearing in Australia, Singapore, Paris, the IDRC and, most recently, a fully remote ICC arbitration), along with all forms of alternative dispute resolution.
It is a reflection of the high regard in which he is held by the industry, that Samuel was appointed Standing Counsel for the National House Building Council (NHBC), the market leading insurer of new and refurbished residential properties in the UK, for whom he acts for claims, recoveries and against personal guarantors. He recently successfully appeared in the Court of Appeal for NHBC in Herons Court v NHBC Building Control Services Ltd  EWCA Civ 1423, concerning an attempt to extend s.1 of the Defective Premises Act 1972 to approved inspectors.
Samuel is an Accredited Mediator, Adjudicator and Dispute Resolution Board panellist and also regularly acts as mediation and negotiation advocate.