By Vicky Ioannides  (Business Development Director, DTI) and Leopold Lucas (Business Development Representative, DTI)

Joint conferences, or expert conclaves, are increasingly being used to ensure the “just, quick and cheap resolution of disputes” in accordance with the Civil Procedures Act 2010. These reports are often integral to the success or failure of a trial. The basis of the process is to gather together all the experts in one place and allow them to discuss the matters for consideration prior to the hearing, with the aim of narrowing down the issues at dispute and producing a report indicating the areas where consensus has been reached.

Reports must be independently generated by experts and delivered directly to the court. If there are errors, omissions or amendments, this can result in complications and delays which can be costly to the court process and the client.

Garling J emphasised the importance of conclaves in the case of Tinnock v Murrumbidgee Local Health District:

Conclaves of experts are, in my view, an essential element in the just, quick and cheap disposition of the real issues in cases such as the present. I am acutely conscious that they are not easy to organise nor are they always cheap. However, the benefit to be obtained from joint opinions arising from conclaves

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