Policy on Joint Meeting of Experts

Subject to Civil Justice Council guidance 2017: 70-83

  1. Only experts should attend.
  2. There should be a clear agenda supplied in time for consideration, the joint meeting and preparation of the joint report in time to meet the Court-ordered timeline.
  3. Counsel should draft the agenda (with expert assistance if requested).
  4. The agenda should be agreed in advance by both sides' lawyers.
  5. The agenda should determine which matters are for discussion; all other matters are excluded.
  6. The agenda should consist of a series of questions. As far as possible, those questions should be closed.
  7. The purpose of the meeting is to produce a summary, following closely the lines of the agenda, on those matters which can be agreed and those matters that cannot be agreed with reasoning. The summary should also indicate where progress might be made (if realistically possible) on those matters that cannot be agreed.
  8. The summary should be produced by the expert for the claimant acting as “scribe”, and completed and signed by all of the participants before the meeting ends if possible and if not as soon as possible afterwards.
  9. Experts should not agree to attend a meeting of experts' if their instructions preclude their reaching agreement; such attendance would be contrary to the spirit of the 'expert meeting' and would merely waste time and money. Experts must not accept instructions to avoid reaching
    agreements (Civil Justice Council guidance 2017: 77)
  10. The responsibility for arranging the meeting belongs to the solicitor but may be delegated, by agreement, to a lead expert.
  11. In most circumstances experts meetings will only be appropriate where.
    i) there is a real possibility of trial, and
    ii) experts' reports have been exchanged.

Authors: Louis Clearkin & Charles Claoué May 2018