Expert Evidence in a Post Pandemic World: A Focus on Witness Conferencing and Single Joint Experts (2 September 2022)
On 2 September 2022, as part of Singapore Convention Week, the Asia Pacific Institute of Experts was pleased to present a two panel sessions of preeminent practitioners to discuss the current hot topics in expert evidence. The conference was opened by Leslie Chew SC (President of the Asia Pacific Institute of Experts), who welcomed the guests, thanked Reed Smith for generously hosting the event and broadly introduced the two sessions.
The first session discussed witness conferencing and was introduced and moderated by Jonathan Ellis (Managing Director, Secretariat). The first speaker was the Hon’ble Tom Bathurst AC KC (Barrister, Sixth Floor Selborne Wentworth Chambers) who brought his extensive experience of both bar and bench to give the perspective from Australia, the jurisdiction which pioneered witness conferencing as early as 1987. Next was Leslie Chew SC, who discussed the prevalence in Singapore with specific examples of how it has been practically is implemented. Finally, Timothy Cooke (Partner, Reed Smith) gave an overview of the different possible formats of witness conferencing and the considerations one must take into account when dealing with witness conferencing. The session closed with a lively question and answer session, including audience members sharing their experiences with witness conferencing and their suggestions to the nuggety problems that may occur.
The second session was opened and ably moderated by Gregory Vijayendran SC (Partner, Dispute Resolution, Rajah & Tann LLP, Singapore) who introduced the topic of single joint experts. The first speaker was Abdul Salim Ahmed Ibrahim (Advocate & Solicitor, Director, CIVIC Legal LLC, Singapore), who provided a walkthrough of the Singapore new Rules of Court in relation to single join experts. He was followed by Mohan R Pillay (Chartered Arbitrator & Founding Partner, Pinsent Masons MPillay LLP, Singapore) who discussed the applicability of single joint experts in arbitrations and the difficultly that may be faced with appointing a single expert. Sam Widdowson (Partner, Accuracy) discussed his practical experience of being a tribunal appointed expert, including the methodologies he employed to successfully navigate a situation where two party appointed experts were at an impasse. The last speaker of the day was John Gibson (Director of Asia, Marine Engineer, Brookes Bell, Singapore) who drew on his extensive experience of providing evidence and the potential issues that can arise with single joint experts. A number of questions from the floor and online were posed to the panel, who gave both practical advice and guidance to the situations that were on guests minds.
The event was closed by Gregory Vijayendran SC before the guests and the speakers were treated to a networking session over drinks and canapes.
Click HERE to view the Conference photos.
Jonathan Ellis - Managing Director, Secretariat