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Experts in business and intangible asset valuation

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Top tips for effective expert evidence

This issue has been co-authored by Thayne Forbes, Stuart Whitwell and Paul Cliff, from Intangible Business, based on their forensic experience gained from giving expert evidence over the last 25 years. This work has involved the production of over 100 expert reports, and oral testimony including under cross-examination on 12 occasions. This article also reflects the views of others involved in the dispute resolution process, in particular from the parties, lawyers, arbitrators and judges.

The authors’ specific expertise is in the fields of global accountancy, marketing, valuation, lost profits and excessive or wasted costs. They have provided independent expert evidence in disputes involving issues of both liability and quantum. However, although this article draws mostly on their specific expertise and experience, much of what follows can properly be regarded as of general application in the preparation and presentation of effective expert evidence.

  • Expert evidence has to be understood by various audiences
  • Be as simple as possible
  • Independent, relevant and clear
  • Keep within the expertise held
  • Sober and careful terms
  • Follow CPR Guidelines
  • Be persuasive
  • Consistency
  • Focus on key issues
  • Recognise alternative assumptions
  • Be helpful
  • Understanding and experience
  • Respond effectively
  • Deal with challenging questions
Contributor: Thayne Forbes, Stuart Whitwell & Paul Cliff