By a majority decision (5-2) the UK Supreme Court in Jones v Kaney [2011] UK SC 13, in a leapfrog appeal from a first instance decision, has held that there is no longer any justification for the immunity of expert witnesses from civil suit for breach of duty in relation to their involvement in litigation.

Previously they could be prosecuted for criminal offences, such as perjury or perverting the course of justice, and could be subject to disciplinary proceedings for unprofessional conduct. They are now subject to civil suit for breach of duty. Lord Phillips, with whom four of the Supreme Court Justices agreed, held that there was no evidence that experts would be discouraged from providing their services; they could and usually did insure against the risk. A witness of integrity, faced with having to change his view, would do so.

The absolute privilege of an expert witness from claims for defamation remains unaffected.