If your IT project has gone seriously and irretrievably wrong you may consider pursuing your legal remedies. Given the disruptive and costly nature of legal actions we normally advise exploring all available options to get the project back on-track using our project rescue service. However, if your project genuinely cannot be retrieved, or even if it can but you have suffered loss due to no fault of your own, you or your lawyer may well need an independent expert to review the project and provide an expert assessment.
Blue Stone can provide expert assessment services to help determine the strength of a case and the underlying facts, and expert witness services if you progress to legal action.
Is this relevant to me?
If you are involved in an IT project which, despite all efforts, has failed and you would like an independent assessment as to the cause of the problems with a view to pursuing legal redress, you should consider this service. We can assist purchasers of systems, system suppliers and solicitors instructed on behalf of their clients.
What is involved?
The specific approach we adopt is tailored to the individual case. Normally our initial activities involve meeting with a client’s project team and conducting a thorough investigation as to the facts: reviewing all the project paperwork, including all representations, specifications, proposals, contracts, project plans, etc.
The initial question many clients wish to have answered is ‘How good is my case?’ In undertaking our review we will take into account the overall conduct of the parties involved in the project both from the supplier and customer perspective.
Our role might be only as a ‘behind the scenes’ adviser. Here we can be instructed before court proceedings are issued to provide a preliminary report for the client or solicitor so as to better understand the issues, assist with the preparation of the case or act as adviser as the case continues. Such reports are often used by solicitors to back up any decision as to whether a case is worth pursuing. In this role we can also provide input on the value of any proposed settlement terms.
Alternatively our role may be as the court-appointed expert (perhaps on joint-instructions of both parties) to produce an expert report for disclosure to the court and to the other party and give oral evidence in court and be subject to cross-examination.
Why do I need an expert witness?
Should the process progress to legal action the lawyers will naturally focus on the legal position (the paper trail) but they will also be looking for an independent view of the conduct of the project, against industry norms and expectations, and where and how the supplier(s) have acted abnormally to the detriment of the project. Whilst you and your team will no doubt have strong views as to who may be at fault, your legal team will require an independent assessment. As a completely supplier-independent business Blue Stone is able to undertake the role of expert witness.
Who can be an ‘expert’ in an IT dispute?
An expert witness must have suitable qualifications, knowledge and experience of the subject under review and must be independent of the action. Even if you or your lawyers appoint — and pay for — an expert their report must be independently produced and have firm foundations based on the facts of the case with reasoning given for their opinion. The role of the expert is to assist the court, lawyers and the parties on matters within the expert’s area of expertise and to give evidence of opinion on the facts and issues.