Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co

UK 200 2014 position: 28

Experts in the firing line — Weatherford Global Products Ltd v Hydropath Holdings Ltd and Others

By Carly Thorpe

In complex construction and engineering cases, where the technical nature of the matters in dispute means that the court’s decision will often largely depend on the credibility of each party’s experts, choosing the right expert is essential.

Weatherford Global Products Ltd v Hydropath Holdings Ltd and Others concerned the manufacture and supply of a product known as the ‘Clearwell Product’ by Hydropath to Weatherford. The Clearwell Product was an electronic box that was to be attached to oil pipes to prevent scale building up on the inside of the pipes. Due to concerns over the safety of the Clearwell Product, Weatherford stopped placing orders with Hydropath in 2009 and began to develop its own product. In 2012, Weatherford commenced proceedings against Hydropath for breach of warranty relating to the safety of the Clearwell Product.

The key questions to be determined by expert evidence were as follows. Was the Clearwell Product safe? And had Weatherford, and the other parties, inappropriately used confidential information obtained from Hydropath when developing its own product from 2009 onwards? …

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