The discussion, titled ‘The Role of Expert Witnesses in International Commercial Dispute Resolution’, was held in cooperation with Reed Smith, Crowell & Moring, and PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) Middle East in Qatar.
The panel speakers included Robin Knowles, Judge of the Commercial Court of England and Wales; Reed Smith, Dubai Partner Antonia Birt; PwC Dispute Advisory Centre of Excellence Leader and EMEA Forensic Co-Leader Sirshar Qureshi; and Crowell & Moring Doha office Counsel Matthew Williams.
This event explored the role of the expert witnesses in international commercial litigation. Expert witnesses are not called as a matter of course, they are only used where the subject area is such that the court is not able itself to address a matter without the assistance of an expert.
The session began with opening remarks from the QICDRC registrar, regarding why expert witnesses might be needed, how they fit into the litigation process in the common law courts, and the contours of their role in that legal tradition. This was followed by the panel discussion, where experts weighed in on the role and importance of expert witnesses.
Expert witnesses can be critical in litigation, but the precise ambit of their roles is not always clear.
With the help of today’s panel, the role of experts in international commercial litigation in courts was explained in detail, including to whom they owe their primary duties, the mechanics of their evidence, and what the court would expect of them in the witness box.
"The audience was well-informed and engaged. The issues we discussed are of great importance and, the way in which we receive expert witness evidence in England and Wales is of direct relevance to the way in which it is received in Courts such as this. I hope that all who attended found it useful,” said Knowles.