In the recent decision of Mayr & Ors v CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP  EWHC 3669 (Comm), the High Court has commented upon the obligations of experts.
The case concerns the Turkish pharmaceutical industry and expert evidence was commissioned by the parties to comment upon it. However, the claimant’s expert failed to engage properly in the experts’ joint meeting. A number of meetings took place but the issues between the experts were not narrowed.
The High Court judgment is very critical of the claimant’s expert who, in answering questions in the experts’ meetings, stated that he was “considering his response” and that he was due to “serve a supplemental report” at a later date once he had formed a settled view on whether he agreed or disagreed with the defendant’s expert. Such deflection in response to the questions posed occurred on more than on occasion.
Due to the conduct of the claimant’s expert, the court did not grant the claimant permission to adduce evidence of the Turkish pharmaceutical industry at trial.
It will be interesting to see if the multi-million pound claim proceeds in light of this judgment and/or whether there will be any allegations directed to the expert in failing in his obligations to the detriment of the claimant.
Experts should be clearly aware of their obligations to the court and the duty to comply with court deadlines. Failure to do so can lead to severe consequences for the furtherance of the case. Experts should be advised of their obligations at the outset of instructions and continually reminded of them too.
This article was authored by Chris Dexter, healthcare partner.