NATIONWIDE EXPERT WITNESS SERVICE LTD (“NEWS”)

Charges, Terms & Conditions

Expert Witnesses

1.0 Charges

We aim to have a flexible fee structure, including deferred payment arrangements, although these should be agreed at instruction stage. In cases of deferred payment a charge will be added dependent on period of deferment.

1.1 Preparation of Reports – Fees

Dependent on the nature of the Expert Witness engaged the normal fee spectrum is £80 to £149 per hour, plus VAT, charged in units of 15 minutes, with a minimum time engagement of 1 hour. The exact hourly rate will be specified in our written quote.

1.2 Time Scale

Reports will be produced within 28 days of receiving full written instructions, authorisation from the Crown to view productions where appropriate and material for examination from the clients.

1.3 Urgent Reports

Requirement for personnel to work at weekends or over public holidays will attract an additional charge of 30%.

1.4 Scottish Legal Aid Board Funded Cases

“NEWS” are engaged to carry out a wide range of tasks by Clients who are funded by the Scottish Legal Aid Board (S.L.A.B.)

In such cases the following terms and conditions apply.

1.4.1 Written instructions, including Sanction Grant letter from SLAB must be forwarded to “NEWS” prior to work commencing.

1.4.2 ALL SOLEMN MATTERS, WHERE THE EXPERT’S FEE IN CUMULO IS IN EXCESS OF £750 MUST BE PAID WITHIN 28 DAYS OF RECEIVING THE REPORT. INTERIM PAYMENTS CAN BE RECEIVED FROM S.L.A.B BY INSTRUCTING SOLICITOR SUBMITTING FORM SLA/ROL/6 AVAILABLE FROM THE S.L.A.B.WEBSITE.

1.4.3 IN SLAB FUNDED CASES WHERE TOTAL EXPERT FEES REMAIN UNDER £750 “NEWS” WILL ALLOW SOLICITORS TO SETTLE THE ACCOUNT ON COMPLETION OF THE CASE OR WITHIN 4 MONTHS OF PRESENTATION OF THE REPORT, WHICH EVER FIRST OCCURS.

1.4.4. Where Crown productions have to be examined the instructing Solicitors must obtain the written authority of the Procurator Fiscal to allow “NEWS” staff access to the items subject to investigation. In addition the Scottish Police Authority defence access fees have to be sanctioned by S.L.A.B. and paid by the instructing solicitor.

1.4.5 Where solicitors fail to submit accounts to S.L.A.B. within the set period from conclusion of the case or fail to obtain the appropriate sanction on receipt of our written quote the instructing solicitors will be liable for settling the invoices raised by N.E.W.S. in respect of the case if they are informed that sanction has been obtained by the instructing solicitor.

2.0 Preparing a Report

The report will be compiled in accordance with Law Society of Scotland Guidelines. All relevant material will be considered and reported on.

2.1 Interviewing of clients will take place at either our offices, the instructing Solicitor’s office or the client’s home address if appropriate. If alternative premises have to be rented this cost will be charged as a disbursement at cost price.

2.2 The report will be supplied to the instructing Solicitor or Client and will not be disclosed to third parties without written approval of the client or other lawful authority.

3.0 Disbursements

3.1 Obtaining medical reports, maps, photographs, plans, police reports etc. charged at cost price plus 10% to cover postage and time.

3.2 Travel

Mileage charged at 40 pence per mile.

Air fares by prior approval with Client (may be cheaper than travel time and mileage)
Rail Fares – standard class

3.3 Accommodation

Overnight accommodation maximum £120 per night plus VAT and subsistence to a maximum of £30 plus VAT per day

4.0 Case Conferences, Updates and Additional Material

Our standard charge of £80-£149 per hour charged in units of 15 minutes, plus VAT is applied, this includes telephone conferences.

4.1 Copy Reports etc. can be supplied at a cost of £1.50 per page to a maximum charge of £25.

4.2 Copy Ordnance Survey Maps and other copyrighted material supplied at cost price + 10%.

5.0 Court Attendance- Fixed Day Rates

Expert Witnesses- half day:£450. first day:£800.

Medical Consultants- half day:£550. first day:£1,000.

6.0 Cancellation

Charges for cancellation of a Court appearance that has been previously booked into “NEWS” Court Diary and/or led to Citation of Expert Witness or led to booking experts day in work diary.

Experts Medical Consultants SLAB FUNDED COURT: Schedule Fee Hourly Rate
More than one week’s notice Nil Nil Nil Nil
Less than one week’s notice £150 £200 Nil Nil
Less than 48 hours’ notice £360 >£450 £328 4 hours at hourly rate
Less than 24 hours’ notice £450 £800 £328 4 hours at hourly rate

If clients fail to attend appointments with experts without giving 24 hrs notice a charge of 3 hrs of the expert’s normal hourly rate will be charged.

7.0 Payment of Accounts

7.1
Accounts are due within 28 days of receiving our invoice. With the exception of specific cases outlined at 1.4.3.
7.2 Any fee outstanding for more than this period will be subject to a penalty charge of 5% per month (28 days) above Bank of England base rate, calculated on date invoice raised.

7.3 Deferred payment schemes are available by negotiation at the time of instruction and they must be confirmed in writing by “NEWS.”

8.0 Miscellaneous

Complex or unusual cases involving multiple experts and/or investigative work can be negotiated on a fixed fee, dependent on volume and location of the work. All such matters have to be agreed in writing prior to the commencement of work.

9.0

All prices quoted are exclusive of VAT.

10.0

All contracts with “NEWS” are based on the Law of Scotland etc.