Daniels and Walker Applications – Having the Confidence to Challenge a Single Joint Expert

Financial remedy proceedings in courts have witnessed a rise in the appointment of single joint experts, particularly in cases where valuations cannot be agreed upon. However, what happens when a party disagrees with the expert’s valuation? In such instances, it is essential to understand the process and options available to challenge the expert’s report. This article explores the significance of Daniels and Walker applications and the importance of having the confidence to challenge a single joint expert.

The Role of Single Joint Experts

Under the family procedure rules, courts often order the appointment of a single joint expert to provide valuation evidence. The primary responsibility of the single joint expert is to report to the court in an impartial and unbiased manner. The aim of this process is to facilitate dispute resolution and reach an agreed valuation, especially when parties have sought advice from their independent experts before the involvement of a single joint expert.

Disagreements with a Single Joint Expert’s Report

In cases where a party does not agree with the contents of a single joint expert’s report, they have the right to raise questions and seek clarifications. The expert is obliged to address these questions. However, if a party remains dissatisfied with the valuation even after receiving answers, they can apply to the court for permission to instruct their own expert.

The Daniels v Walker Case

The leading case shedding light on the matter of challenging a single joint expert’s report is Daniels v Walker [2000]1WLR. In this case, Lord Woolf stated that if a party, for valid reasons, wishes to obtain further information before deciding whether to challenge a specific part or the entirety of the expert’s report, they should be permitted to do so, subject to the court’s discretion.

Unusual Nature of Such Applications

It is worth noting that applications of this nature are uncommon. Challenging a single joint expert’s report requires establishing good reason for the application to be made. Matters involving business valuations are often complex, making it crucial to seek early advice on valuations to better understand the situation and available options.

Conclusion

When faced with disagreements over a single joint expert’s valuation in financial remedy proceedings, it is important to navigate the process with confidence and seek proper guidance. The Daniels and Walker case provides the basis for challenging the expert’s report, but it is crucial to establish a valid reason and follow the court’s discretion. Consulting with professionals experienced in family law, such as Shane Miller, Director and Head of the Family Department, or a member of Thursfields’ Family Law team, can offer valuable advice and support.

For further advice on challenging a single joint expert’s valuation or any other family law matters, please contact Shane Miller, Director and Head of the Family Department, or a member of Thursfields’ Family Law team at 03452073728 or via email at info@thursfields.co.uk

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