On 8 November Bond Solon held the 25th Bond Solon Expert Witness Conference at Church House in Westminster. Demand for the conference had been particularly high, leading to a fully-booked event. Nearly 500 expert witnesses were in attendance and there were over 50 expert witnesses on the waiting list.
That upsurge in demand for places was in part due to the expert witness guidance issued in May by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. The guidance stated that healthcare expert witnesses must undertake formal expert witness training and keep that training up to date with appropriate refresher courses and activities.
Demand was also driven by a number of high-profile cases involving expert witnesses who have had their expert witness evidence deemed inadmissible or criticised. Those cases were reviewed at the conference.
The keynote speech at the conference was delivered by Sir Peter Gross. Sir Peter’s paper addressed the issue of standards in the work of expert witnesses. Sir Peter was followed by Lord Woolf (pictured), who reflected on changes to the Civil Procedure Rules.
Other highlights included sessions on criminal law, family law and commercial law, as well as a judge’s view of oral evidence from experts and a justification of experts’ fees.
The conference also saw the publication of the results of The Times and Bond Solon Expert Witness Survey 2019. The survey was conducted online in September.
Over 550 experts completed the survey, making it one of the largest expert witness surveys conducted in the UK. The report can be downloaded at from the Bond Solon website at www.bondsolon.com.
Alongside the conference there was a small exhibition of goods and services. It included a stand manned by the team from Your Expert Witness, who distributed free copies of the latest issue to delegates.
Next year’s conference will be on 6 November at the same venue. Places are already filling fast – over 160 expert witnesses have already booked their place – so early booking is recommended.