TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT FOR THE EMPLOYMENT OF GBB (UK) LIMITED AS EXPERTS
ON BEHALF OF A PARTY INVOLVED IN A DISPUTE BEFORE ANY COURT OF LAW, AT ARBITRATION OR ANY OTHER TRIBUNAL
1. Recital of Appointment – The Appointor has appointed The Expert to provide advice and services in accordance with these Terms of Engagement.
2. Definitions – Unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) ‘The Appointor’ means the lawyer, insurer, Government department, local authority, firm, or other body or persons instructing The Expert.
(2) ‘The Expert’ means the person appointed hereunder to render expert advice and services, including the giving of evidence, but not formal advocacy.
(3) ‘The Client’ means the person(s), Government department, local authority, firm, or company to whom The Expert has been instructed to provide such advice and services.
(4) ‘Fees’ means (in the absence of written agreement to the contrary) the reasonable charges of The Expert based on The Expert’s normal hourly rate for work of the type instructed. A daily rate shall be applied to any day or part of any day of a hearing, including preparatory work and waiting time. Unless otherwise agreed, time spent travelling may be charged at the full hourly rate. Value Added Tax or the equivalent tax will be charged where applicable.
(5) ‘Disbursements’ means all reasonable expenses necessarily incurred in rendering expert advice and services, including the giving of evidence. By way of example, they include the costs of relevant photography, video recordings, computer software, reproduction of drawings and diagrams, printing and duplicating, the cost of obtaining published documents, including those withdrawn, as well as all appropriate out of pocket expenses including car mileage, first class rail travel, business class air fares, reasonable refreshments and four star hotel accommodation where an overnight stay is necessary. Value Added Tax or the equivalent tax will be charged where applicable.
(6) References to the masculine gender shall be deemed to include the feminine.
3. The Appointor – The Appointor will:
(1) Provide full instructions in writing supported by legible copies of all relevant documents.
(2) Deal promptly with every reasonable request by The Expert for authority, information and documents.
(3) Not alter, or permit others to alter, the reports of The Expert.
(4) Ascertain the availability of The Expert for every hearing, meeting or other appointment at which The Expert’s attendance will or may be required and give The Expert immediate written notification together with adequate notice.
(5) In Legal Aid cases:
(a) Inform The Expert at the outset if the case is, or is expected to be legally aided;
(b) Provide The Expert with sufficient details of the case and promptly answer any queries that will enable The Expert to prepare any required estimate of charges;
(c) Not require The Expert to provide any services before the grant of authority by the Legal Aid Board for his fees and disbursements;
(d) Apply to the Legal Aid Board for prior approval of The Expert’s anticipated fees and promptly inform The Expert accurately of the outcome of the application;
(e) Apply as above for additional fees required by any further work not originally authorised;
(f) Make timely application to the Legal Aid Board or to the Court for interim and final payments for The Expert’s fees and disbursements as invoiced and promptly remit to The Expert all such payments upon receipt;
(g) Use his best endeavours to ensure that The Expert’s fees and disbursements are recovered in full by way of the Legal Aid Fund and in the case of the Crown Court from the Lord Chancellor’s Department;
(h) So advise The Expert if he is a Legal Aid Franchise with devolved powers in the relevant category of work and ensure the prompt remittance of interim and final payments as invoiced;
(i) Use his best endeavours to ensure that The Expert’s fees and disbursements are promptly remitted in full in the event of termination or suspension of a Franchise Agreement or of a Legal Aid Certificate. Where a taxation of costs is necessary it will be applied for, pursued, or defended (as applicable) in a timely manner.
(6) In privately funded cases ensure that he is at all times in funds to discharge and promptly discharge the fees and disbursements of The Expert.
(7) Unless otherwise agreed, pay in full The Expert’s fees and disbursements irrespective of the outcome of any taxation of costs. All fees are subject to strict 30 days payment terms.
4. The Expert – The Expert will:
(1) Undertake only those parts of a case in respect of which The Expert considers that he has adequate qualifications and experience.
(2) Use reasonable skill and care in the performance of the instructions received.
(3) Act with objectivity and independence with regard to his instructions and, in the event of a conflict between his duties to the Client and to the Court or Tribunal, will hold his duties to the Court or Tribunal paramount.
(4) Promptly notify The Appointor of any matter including, a conflict of interest, or lack of suitable qualifications and experience which could disqualify The Expert or render it undesirable for him to have continued involvement in the case.
(5) Endeavour to make himself available for all hearings, meetings and other appointments of which he has received adequate written notice.
(6) Not without good cause, discharge himself from the appointment as Expert.
(7) Preserve confidentiality save as expressly or by necessary implication authorised to the contrary.
(8) Not negotiate with an opposing party or adviser unless specifically instructed by The Appointor so to do. For avoidance of doubt this clause does not apply to any Order of a Court or Tribunal.
(9) Attend such Meetings of Experts as Ordered by the Court or Tribunal or as required by The Appointor. At any such Meeting adhere strictly to the terms of reference set down in writing.
(10) Provide all relevant information to allow The Appointor to defend The Expert’s fees or disbursements at any taxation of costs.
(11) Promptly respond to any complaint of The Appointor and within a reasonable time provide a statement of explanation or a means of rectification.
5. Intellectual Property Rights – The Intellectual property rights of all original work created by The Expert shall remain vested in The Expert unless otherwise agreed in writing. The Expert asserts all his Moral Rights.
6. Fees and Disbursements
(1) The Expert may present invoices at such intervals as he considers fit. Payment of each invoice is due on presentation, subject to any written waiver or indulgence granted by The Expert.
Note: The Judicial Committee’s Guidelines make a) payment upon a contingency fee basis unacceptable and b) the placing of pressure upon The Expert by The Appointor to provide extended credit terms or any other arrangement for inclusion in The Appointor’s approved list of Experts improper, as they compromise the Expert’s independence and impartiality.
(2) For the avoidance of doubt in the following circumstances The Expert shall be entitled to charge fees on such basis as he considers appropriate:
(a) Where The Expert’s time has been reserved by subpoena or otherwise for a specific hearing, meeting or other engagement, or
(b) Where specific instructions have been given to The Expert for an inspection/examination and report, and where, due to settlement of the dispute or any other reason not being the default of The Expert, the reservation of time has been cancelled and / or instructions have been withdrawn.
(3) The Appointor and the Client shall be jointly and severally liable for payment of The Expert’s fees and disbursements.
(4) The Expert shall at his discretion be entitled to invoice and recover interest at 1.5% per month on all unpaid invoices after 30 days. The full amount of his administrative, legal and other costs of recovering unpaid invoices is chargeable.
(1) In the event of a dispute over the amount of The Expert’s fees such sum as is not disputed shall be paid forthwith irrespective of any set off or counterclaim which may be alleged.
(2) Any dispute arising between The Appointor or The Client and The Expert shall be referred to Mediation in accordance with The Academy of Experts’ Mediation Guidelines. Upon the application of any party the Faculty of Mediation of the Academy of Experts will appoint a Mediator.
(3) Any dispute or difference not resolved by Mediation as in (2) above within 30 days of the appointment of the Mediator shall be referred to a single arbitrator who, if not agreed upon by the parties within 14 days thereafter, shall be appointed upon the application of wither party by the President of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.