PUTTING A CAP ON THE COSTS OF A SINGLE JOINT EXPERT: AN UNHAPPY TALE WITH LESSONS TO BE LEARNT
For the second time today I am writing about a case concerning a jointly instructed expert. In Loggie v Loggie  EWFC 2 Mr Justice Mostyn had to determine who should pay the costs of an expert whose final costs were much higher than the original quotation.
During financial remedy proceedings the judge gave permission to the parties to instruct a single joint expert in relation to the valuation of the husband’s business affairs. The expert reported, however the report was far more costly than the original quotation. The (former) wife brought an application for an order that the (former) husband pay half of the costs of the expert. The judge made the order sought by the wife.
THE QUOTE AND THE COSTS
The judgment sets out the history of the dealings with the expert.
5. On 6 June 2014, I granted permission for the parties to instruct Mr Lane of Saffrey Champness on a single joint expert basis to prepare a report on the husband’s business interests. On that occasion I ordered that Mr Lane’s costs be met equally by the parties in the first instance.
That order did not limit the amount that could be paid by way of fees and expenses to Mr Lane. I could, however, have directed that there be such a limit pursuant to FPR r. 25(12)(5). The absence of such a limit was not abnormal. The consequence of the absence of such a limit is that Mr Lane was entitled to be remunerated on a quantum meruit basis and not be limited by any estimate.
THE IMPORTANT ISSUE: LIMITING THE COSTS OF EXPERTS
The moral that that judge draws in relation to family proceedings may be just as true in relation to any type of civil proceedings. The costs of the expert must be known, and agreed, prior to instructions being sent.