0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Peet v Mid Kent Health Authority, Court of Appeal (Lord Woolf)

15 November 2001
The issues

Joint experts/conferences in the absence of a party.

The facts

The Claimant was one of twins born in 1996 and suffering for a four limb cerebral palsy. Liability had been agreed with the NHS Trust admitting 95%. Directions were given providing for simultaneous mutual exchange of medical evidence and the instruction of a single Joint Non-Medical Expert. The Claimant’s father wished to have a Conference with the single Joint Expert in the absence of the NHS Trust. The Master was asked to give a ruling and took the view that it was inappropriate for such a conference to occur and that without the consent of both parties no conference of a single Joint Expert could be held. The Claimant’s father appealed.

The decision

The Appeal would be dismissed.

1. It was inappropriate and contrary to the over-riding objective for the evidence of a Joint Expert to be tested in the course of discussion with only one side present.

2. In the great majority of cases where there was a need for non-medical expert evidence that evidence should be given by a single expert rather than adversarial expert evidence called on behalf of the parties. Civil Procedure Rules Rule 35.7 permitted the court to require expert evidence to be given by single joint expert to be required. This avoided stress and anxiety to the claimants – the obtaining of adversarial evidence caused delay and had adverse affect on resources of the National Health Service; both in terms of cost and manpower.


The consequences of this decision may be for far reaching, particularly given that it is a Judgment of Lord Woolf himself. It would appear to give little scope for adversarial expert evidence in the vast majority of personal injury actions, excluding (at the moment) medical evidence. The idea of joint care reports as a matter of course is alarming however!

focus on...

Legal updates

Contingent loss in negligence claims

Contingent loss is relevant to limitation; specifically, the date at which a claimant’s cause of action accrues for the purposes of a claim in the tort of negligence (as many claims against professional advisers are framed).


Legal updates

Legal and regulatory monthly update - September 2019

The latest update covering delegated authority, insurance product development, the senior insurance managers regime, data protection, operational control frameworks, Lloyds market, and horizon scanning.


Legal updates

Kuoni referred to the CJEU by Supreme Court for clarification - possible impact on breach of contract, vicarious liability and assumption of responsibility claims for sexual abuse and assault

We were hoping to be able to give you some interesting insights following the judgment of X v Kuoni Travel Ltd but that will have to wait for another day.


Legal updates

The disappearance of LIBOR

Companies should undertake a comprehensive review and audit to identify those products and legacy contracts that are LIBOR-linked and carry out an in-depth risk assessment of discontinuation. Where possible, companies should look at appointing an individual to oversee the programme.


The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up