The ever-changing landscape of environmental, health and safety legislation has significantly altered how organisations do business. Recent economic conditions, case law and changes in the sentencing guidelines for environmental and health and safety law are also increasing the number of cases brought forward requiring expert opinion both in defence and prosecution.
At RSK, we have found that it is the ability to understand and explain the complex technical issues that lie behind such disagreements that is vital to a project or case’s success. Our team of experts has extensive experience of delivering expert witness support in a range of disciplines. Our services can be tailored to offer assistance across the spectrum of project scales. We have supported legal consideration of local, site-specific cases and complex cases having both national and international significance.
Through the continuing growth of our group, our expert witness service provision now encompasses disciplines throughout engineering, building materials, environmental, health and safety, horticultural, agricultural and land management issues. Our group is regularly asked by the legal community to provide assistance from our expert witnesses so that they can grasp the complexity of concerns, and those who are involved in the dispute may require our expert advisers to help develop their case.
Our team is also knowledgeable with regard to civil disputes that arise, including design, site investigation, materials and structural issues, and sometimes a combination of these aspects. RSK can provide a wide range of expert witnesses to assist parties in such disputes, variously acting for claimants, defendants or, in some circumstances, for all parties on a ‘single-joint’ basis. Our services are based on compliance with the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR 35). All our senior experts have experience of providing expert reports, participating in experts’ meetings and, ultimately, giving oral evidence in court or during arbitration, inquiries and, increasingly, mediation. Occasionally, similar skills are required for assisting the police, the Crown Prosecution Service or defendants in criminal cases.
Our areas of expertise include
- BUILDING MATERIALS: Building material and structural failure disputes, and litigation cases involving asbestos are also areas where RSK staff have been able to offer expert witness evidence.
- ECOLOGY AND RURAL SCIENCES: Our experts in agriculture, agronomy, arboriculture, soil and land drainage provide robust evidence for criminal prosecutions and defence. Our ecologists supply ecological data to inform land use change, new infrastructure projects and large-scale planning applications.
- HEALTH AND SAFETY: RSK’s specialist health and safety experts provide support on general compliance matters, industrial safety, food safety, construction safety and fire.
- LAND CONTAMINATION, GEOTECHNICS AND ENGINEERING: RSK has assisted with dispute resolution cases relating to the liabilities associated with contaminated land/Part 2a determinations. In addition, the company has provided geotechnical evidence concerning foundations, pipelines and other infrastructure, and specialist engineering expertise to help with flooding and sustainable drainage issues.
- PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT: Numerous clients have been helped to obtain planning consent on a wide range of contentious projects through expert witness services for key environmental impact assessment areas, including archaeology and cultural heritage, ecology and landscape and visual impact.
- WASTE MANAGEMENT AND COMPLIANCE: RSK has been involved in several waste-related expert cases involving construction waste, particularly a Crown Court case involving four operational waste processing sites.
RSK provides these services through a combination of its group companies, including long-established and respected professional consulting via the RSK, ADAS, Structural Soils and Acies brands.