The experts' experts

Your article 'How infallible is the expert's voice' (The Lawyer 12 March) brings to the fore a matter of serious concern, namely the lack of professional guidelines for those who offer their services as an expert although they have may not the expertise and/or independence to carry out the task to the high standard required.

So what ethical guidelines should experts set for themselves? I suggest that these should be:

1. To only accept an appointment if they consider that they have the necessary current expertise.

2. To confine participation in the case to that part for which the expertise is relevant.

3. To hold to their expert opinion regardless of the needs of the party hiring their services.

4. To give their opinion with clarity and brevity having beforehand thoroughly researched and thus confirmed its relevance to the case or parts thereof.

The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators trains professional persons to give expert evidence based on the above guidelines because it is well aware of the malpractice highlighted in this article.

KRK Harding

Secretary General

The Chartered Institute of

Arbitrators.