Fancy some feedback?  The criminal Bar is having to come to terms with the prospect of barristers being formally assessed every year by the judiciary if they wish to continue in practice – under a system called QASA (Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates).  And civil practitioners are warned that it could be coming their way some time in the future – despite the fact that we are in reality assessed by judges and our (privately paying) clients every time we appear in court. 

In a TCC decision handed down last week Akenhead J begins his lengthy judgment (95 pages) with an assessment of all the experts called to give evidence: two architects, a building surveyor, three engineers and two quantity surveyors.  It may not be coincidental that the experts whom the judge preferred – in all disciplines – were those called by the party which won the action, namely the claimant. 

This sort of “feedback” may be more important than is realised at the outset of an instruction in the early stages of a case, as negative judicial comments can and are used in subsequent cases to attack an expert’s credibility, with potentially dramatic consequences for the case of the party who called the expert – and for the expert’s career as an expert.

It is also gratifying that two of the three experts most highly praised by the judge (who is currently head of the TCC) are professionals some of us in Chambers have worked with a number of times before and whom I happily recommend to clients.  Judicial assessment and feedback won’t do their careers any harm.  Names available on application, subject to suitable commission payments, bribes etc.

See: Hunt v Optima (Cambridge) Ltd [2013] EWHC 681 (TCC)