TimesOnline.com UK edition reports:
The surge in credit-crunch related litigation means that expert witnesses are in increasingly short supply, according to Sweet & Maxwell, the legal information publisher. A survey found that 28 per cent of law firms say that they are finding it “extremely difficult” or “difficult” to find the right expert witness for their case. Even before the credit crunch, figures from City law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain showed that litigation was on the up – with the number of High Court commercial disputes jumping 25 per cent in 2006 (latest figures available) to nearly 62,000 after years of decline. The sudden surge in litigation has meant that some experts have started to run out of capacity to take on more work, Sweet & Maxwell says.
One forensic accountant said his team had “almost more work than we can handle” and other expert said that with the “massive surge” in banking litigation, expert witness work was taking up “almost all my time”. Things could get even worse. Professor Alan Riley, of The City Law School, predicts international litigation is set to boom. “As the credit crunch bites, all the chickens will come home to roost. Flawed business models that may look fine in climbing markets are exposed in harsher economic times and as a result, all sides head to the courts or arbitrators.”