Civil news: revised expert witness guidance available


A number of changes have been made to our guidance on applying for prior authority for an expert witness in family cases.

Prior authority is needed when instructing an expert who charges higher rates than the codified rates set out in our regulations.

We have worked closely with representative bodies on these changes which aim to:

  • improve operational processes

  • give greater certainty to providers

  • reduce the number of prior authority applications

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What are the changes?

  • setting out recommended additional hours where there are additional parties to be assessed by an expert for a psychological or psychiatric assessment

  • all parties covered by a prior authority granted to the lead solicitor

  • inclusion of cases of physical and domestic abuse in the risk assessment provisions

  • setting out that where a court order lists all the documents required to be translated documents there is no need to apply for prior authority

  • new guideline rates in annex 5 for some experts

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Further information

Expert witnesses in legal aid cases – to view revised guidance

Published 22 September 2020


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