Forensic accountants press for quality mark

A group of accountants is calling for a quality mark to give lawyers reassurance that expert witnesses are capable of carrying out their job.

The forensic group of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) wants the standard to avoid an account-ant’s evidence being discred-ited, as happened in some recent child murder cases. Paediatrician Sir Roy Mead-ow’s evidence was overturned in three cases, liberating a number of women convicted of killing their children.

The group’s chair Peter Silk said he wants the mark to maintain forensic account-ants’ reputations. “We’ve got to understand our responsib-ilities to the court and the public,” said Silk, adding that the work of forensic account-ants is increasingly important in modern litigation.

There are around 2,000 forensic accountants in England and Wales.