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Stop press: Experts immunity from suit - lost

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  • Publish date: 20 April 2011
  • Archived on: 02 June 2015

The long awaited decision on expert immunity from being sued in the case of Jones and Kaney 2011 UK SC13 has been given. The Supreme Court ruled it should be abolished. It seems inevitable this would happen although I personally have some reservations about the rationale behind the decision, as did 2 of the 7 Law Lords.

I will not rehearse the arguments for and against, nor do them justice by merely summarising them.  However, the Supreme Court considered experts would not be dissuaded from acting as a result of the potential risk of suit.

Experts should be fully aware of their overriding duty to assist the Court and if they carry out that duty in a conscientious and professional manner, then there should be no real concerns arising from this judgement.  After all, architects, surveyors, engineers and all professionals have been open to be sued for professional negligence when carrying out their everyday professional duties.  This position has merely been extended, in my view quite rightly, to experts.