New guidance came into effect in July for surveyors who provide expert evidence to be relied upon in civil proceedings before a wide range of tribunals.
The document, published by the RICS and available for use by its members, explains the need for clear instructions and terms of engagement and outlines the format of a written report. It also clarifies the differences between the roles of expert and advocate, gives guidance on what to do in situations of conflict of interest and helps remove pressure upon experts to support their clients' cases irrespective of their honest professional opinion.
Announcing the publication of the guide, RICS said: 'This practice statement is also published in the form of an accompanying client guide, a copy of which can be supplied by the expert witness to the prospective client.
This guide may be provided without copyright permission, however the expert witness must make clear to the prospective client that his/her copy is for his/her use only, and that any reproduction of the guide for the use of a third party would breach RICS copyright.'