New podcast from Thursfields Solicitors explores role of expert witnesses in divorce cases

The role played by expert witnesses in divorce cases has been explored in a new podcast from Thursfields Solicitors.

Chris Walklett, a forensic accountant and tax expert with Bishop Fleming Chartered Accountants, was interviewed by Shane Miller, a director and head of family law at Thursfields, in the latest episode of the firm’s Family Law Uncovered podcast.

Explaining his role as an expert witness, Mr Walklett said: “A court is full of learned people – the judges, the instructing solicitors and the barristers – but there are some areas that will be outside the court’s expertise.

“That’s where the expert witness comes in, and we have the privilege and responsibility of being able to express an opinion.

“The client is the court, and the obligation and duties of an expert witness are to the court, which is looking to the expert to try to demystify an area of complexity.”

Mr Walkett went on to explain how expert witnesses are trained and accredited, plus how they have to compile detailed reports on cases to the court.

He added: “You’ve got be impartial, this isn’t about taking side or making judgements … you’ve got to be so careful that you surface the facts and do something balanced with them.”

The interview with Mr Walklett can be listened to in the fourth episode of the Family Law Uncovered series, which is hosted by various lawyers in Thursfield’s Family Law department.

The podcast covers everything from separation to divorce, including subjects such as mediation, family finance and how to do what’s best for any children involved.

Shane Miller said: “Our podcast series is shining a light on the real challenges of family law, and it was fascinating to interview Chris Walklett about expert witnesses.

“The podcast is enabling us to reach out to a wider audience to share our experience in family law and hopefully to help more people who need our legal expertise.

“The podcast is free for anyone to listen to, helping listeners to understand the relevant options available so that they can make a more informed decision on what they want to do when they are considering separation or divorce.”

The next episode in March will be focussing on how divorce has an impact on mental health and will feature Jill Roberts, a senior associate at Thursfields, interviewing Becky Hanson of Becky Hanson Counselling.

Family Law Uncovered can be found on Thursfields’ website here and also appears across all mainstream audio streaming channels such as Spotify, Apple and others.

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