New provisions for concurrent expert evidence or “hot-tubbing”

The Civil Procedure Rule Committee has approved amendments to Practice Direction 35.11, which governs the procedure for concurrent expert evidence, or "hot-tubbing", which was formally introduced into English civil procedure by the Jackson reforms. The amendments implement a number of recommendations made by the Civil Justice Council report on Concurrent Expert Evidence & ‘Hot-Tubbing’ in English Litigation since the ‘Jackson Reforms’ which was published on 1 August 2016.

The new PD reserves the term "concurrent expert evidence" solely for hot-tubbing, in contrast to the CJC report which had used it as an umbrella term to encompass a number of other methods of giving oral expert evidence, including evidence on an issue-by-issue basis (where all parties' experts give their evidence in relation to a particular issue, before moving on to the next issue). The PD does however expressly recognise these other methods; it provides that, to the extent evidence is not given concurrently, the court may direct it to be given in any appropriate manner, including on an issue-by-issue basis.

Maura McIntosh has published a post on Practical Law’s Dispute Resolution blog which outlines the new provisions. Click here to read the post (or here for the Practical Law Dispute Resolution blog homepage).

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