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Liverpool Roman Catholic Arch Diocese Trust v Goldberg

16 July 2001
The facts

This was a case in which the Trust sued the Defendant QC for negligent advice. I am reporting the case only because of the comments of Evans-Lombe J with regard to an issue relating to expert evidence. The Defendant relied upon expert evidence from Mr Michael Flesch QC. It transpired that Mr Flesch had a close friendship with Mr Goldberg. He admitted that his personal sympathies were engaged to a greater degree than would be normal of an expert witness. This admission rendered his evidence unacceptable. An expert owed duties to the Court, see Ikarian Reefer 1993.

The decision

Justice had to be seen to be done as well as done in fact and where it could be demonstrated that there existed a relationship between the proposed expert and his party calling him which a reasonable observer might think was capable of effecting the views of the expert, his evidence should not be admitted however unbiased it might appear to be.

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