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Services as an Expert Witness
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An expert witness in litigation involving taxation must be familiar with the litigation process and be able to provide a clear exposition of the relevant taxation provisions, how those issues affect the litigation and an objective view of the strengths and weaknesses of a client's case.


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Professional Negligence Litigation

Professional negligence litigation is increasing particularly in respect of claims relating to tax advice.  In such litigation it is essential to be able to identify and explain clearly the relevance of the tax issues to the key concepts of duty, damage, quantum and mitigation. Tax legislation often involves treating hypotheses as if they were real. Negligence litigation requires the consideration of hypotheses as to what would have occurred had the alleged negligent action not taken place. When the two are combined, the potential for a highly confusing interaction of competing hypotheses is created. The role of the tax expert in such litigation is to carefully unpick and explain those competing hypotheses.

‘Simon McKie's expert advice in respect of a professional negligence claim concerning taxation advice was invaluable. He clearly explained the extremely complex provisions which were relevant to the claim and identified the key tax issues in respect of duty, damage, quantum and mitigation. The quality of his advice and the clarity of his oral and written explanations were instrumental in assisting our client in their defence and resolution of this matter.’

 Simpson & Marwick, Solicitors



Comprehensive, Clear and Relevant Reports

We pride ourselves on the comprehensiveness, clarity and relevance of our reports. Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, Solicitors commented:

‘Your expert witness report was thorough, clear, practical and to the point. In an area of great technical complexity it identified the key issues with objectivity and precision.’



Mediation

The expert can be particularly valuable in mediation. Mediation requires the ability to quickly evaluate complex arguments in respect of the effects of taxation provisions and to be mindful of any weaknesses in either side's case so as to inform the client's negotiating position. We aim to keep a clear head under pressure so that mediation provides the best possible result for the client.  In respect of two separate cases concerning negligent advice given in respect of the Enterprise Investment Scheme, for example, we clarified the complex issues involved allowing the cases to be settled without recourse to the courts and with a better than expected outcome for the solicitors’ clients. 
 

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