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Cross border expertise

Your Expert Witnes cross border expertiseExperts practicing across national borders have an added responsibility – to ensure their work is presented according to the codes required in the country of delivery. Professionals working in the USA, where legislation differs from state to state, or in parts of mainland Europe, will be more familiar with this extra challenge than we are … but devolution cometh.

The offices of property specialists Smith & Garratt Rural Asset Management overlook the River Tweed from the ancient hamlet of Ladykirk – about 300 yards north of the Scottish Border. Principal surveyor Hugh Garratt acknowledges that professionals along the Border have to be mindful of the increasing differences in law and procedure between England and Scotland.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 June 2012 13:32

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Interpreter’s “bite” mistake halts trial

A yet further instance of problems seeming to arise from the new system of appointing court interpreters happened on Friday 13 April. According to reports, a four-day burglary trial at a London Crown court collapsed after a Romanian language interpreter admitted mistakenly telling the court that the defendant had allegedly been ‘bitten’ rather than ‘beaten’ by the victim of the alleged offence.

Defence solicitor Dhaneshwar Sharma is reported as saying that the interpreter’s mistake came to light when the Crown asked for medical evidence of the bite mark. He went on to say that one result of the collapse was that a 13-year-old would have to give evidence again at the new trial, and that it is “…traumatic enough for an adult to give this kind of evidence, let alone for a girl of her age”.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 June 2012 13:32

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Gordon Pollock joins Barnett Waddingham

imageGordon Pollock joins Barnett Waddingham to spearhead drive into expert witness workBarnett Waddingham, the UK’s largest independent firm of actuaries, administrators and consultants has appointed Gordon Pollock to help lead the expansion of the firm's expert witness work.

Gordon, who was formerly a partner at Mercer worldwide and chairman of the Association of Actuaries, has extensive private sector pensions experience acting as scheme actuary to a number of household name pension schemes, as well as providing corporate actuarial advice to FTSE 100 companies. Prior to his early retirement from Mercer, he was their UK chief actuarial officer and had acted as an expert witness for Prudential Assurance Company Limited in the recent Prudential Staff Pension Scheme court case.

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 March 2012 16:16

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CPS savings should not be at the expense of quality advocacy, report says

On 12 March Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) published its follow-up report to the Thematic Review of the Quality of Prosecution Advocacy and Case Presentation. The report examines the progress made by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in improving the quality of the advocacy undertaken in-house.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 March 2012 09:25

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Lost in translation: the case of the missing interpreters

The controversy surrounding the appointment of a central agency to provide interpreters for court proceedings shows no sign of abating, if a report in the Law Society Gazette is anything to go by.

According to the journal, a clerk at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court resorted to using Google Translate to pass details of a Lithuanian defendant’s next hearing when no interpreter could be supplied by the contractor, Applied Language Solutions (ALS). Ironically, ALS includes Google among its list of private-sector clients.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 March 2012 09:26

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