The Supreme Court judgment in Jones v Kaney [2011] UKSC 13, handed down on 30 March 2011, abolished expert witnesses' immunity from suit for professional negligence claims arising from their views or evidence in relation to legal proceedings (see our e-bulletin dated 31 March 2011).

In a subsequent decision (Baxendale-Walker v Middleton and others [2011] EWHC 998), the High Court has held that Jones v Kaney does not affect the immunity of an expert witness against a claim by an opposing party, as opposed to his or her own client, nor does it affect the law on judicial immunity.

The claimant, a former solicitor, was struck off the roll of solicitors in September 2006 following findings of misconduct. He then brought an action against the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (and their relevant employees), as well as Deloitte & Touche LLP (and two of its partners), alleging in essence that they were involved in a fraudulent conspiracy to procure his striking off.

The High Court struck out all of the claims, in part on the basis that they had no real prospect of success, but also on grounds of immunity from suit. The claimant has applied for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal. The application for permission is due to be heard in July.