Part 35 Compliant Expert Witness Report–What Is It and Why Is It Important?

care expert wintess Yvonne Spijkerman

If you’ve been asked to obtain a Part 35 Compliant Expert Witness Report, but are struggling to determine what that means…don’t panic. This blog aims to break down exactly what a Part 35 entails, help you understand what is required of you, and why the report might be important to your case.

What is an Expert Witness?

Broadly, the role of an expert witness is to provide an impartial, independent expert opinion based entirely on the evidence or information at their disposal. 

An expert witness will be an individual with a deep level of knowledge and understanding of a specific field or industry, with a much higher degree of experience in that particular discipline than the average layperson. 

A Part 35 Compliant Expert Witness Report is required when a court demands an evidence-based, specialist opinion to help resolve a dispute or case. Often this report— a detailed account which puts forward the expert witness’ judgement on which they are an authority—can result in the early conclusion of a case. The aim is to work with solidly fact-based evidence, rather than information guided by one party’s preference for a favourable result.

Circle Case Management expert witness team

Why do we need a Part 35 Report?

Since December 2014, Part 35 Reports have been part of the Civil Procedure Rules, with the express aim to monitor and regulate the use of expert witness evidence in court. It’s imperative, then, that reports comply with the strict guidelines outlined by the relevant authorities.

If parties involved in a case are instructed by courts to find an expert witness report, the account must be both up-to-date and impartial. Crucially, the involvement of the expert witness is for the benefit of the court and a successful, just trial conclusion. Not to assist one particular party’s case.

Indeed, the written report must include a statement from the expert, verifying their understanding of their responsibility to the court and confirm that the report meets the necessary criteria.

Other Part 35 options available

There are other routes to go down when providing a Part 35 Expert Witness Report during a court case. For economic reasons, the two parties may consider using the same expert witness to provide a single report. But, if the two parties cannot settle on one expert between them, a secondary expert may be allocated for each party.

Once the report is finalized, it’s possible for more questions to be submitted to the expert—as long as they continue to conform to the stated guidelines if they are to be used as evidence. These questions can also only be submitted to clear up already existing points from the first report, unless authorized by the court.

expert witness panel

How can we help?

A Part 35 Compliant Expert Witness Report can be a vital component towards winning or defending your case in court. If you’d like to speak to the team here at Circle Case Management about our expert witness services, to discuss the role of an expert witness, or to speak to one of our expert witness panel, available to provide reports covering a wide range of medical and social care issues, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We are here to help.

Posted on October 28th 2022

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