The International Campaign for Real History

Posted Tuesday, January 27, 2004

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The Times

London, Tuesday, January 27, 2004

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David Irving comments in a letter to The Times, dispatched on Tuesday, January 27, 2004:

YOU mention in an article today that "A recent libel case between David Irving, the right-wing historian, and Penguin books is said to have generated £500,000 in fees to expert witnesses."
   In fact the initial bill submitted to me on April 11, 2000 by Messrs Davenport Lyons, solicitors for Penguin Books Ltd, for their expert witnesses totalled £543,240.49; see [website] for details.
   Professors Robert Jan van Pelt and Richard Evans, both of whom stated under my cross examination that they were not writing books based on their reports (because that might seem to have a bearing on their neutrality), initially charged respectively £109,244.24 and £70,181.00.
   Both also submitted very large subsequent invoices whose totals are not known to me, and both subsequently published lucrative books reworked from their expert evidence.*
   I add here only the fact that these experts were paid by one side only, the defence, to render inter alia their subjective opinions on matters like my worth as an historian, and I make no comment on how this fact might seem to have a bearing on a witness's neutrality.

[* And both continued of course to draw their hefty academic fees while engaged on this paid "expert witness" lark.]

Specialist witnesses do not come cheap

By Stewart Tendler

WITH fees of £1,000 an hour plus extensive expenses, top expert witnesses can earn more than the barristers they face across the courtroom.

Since 1997-98 the cost of expert witnesses called by prosecutions alone has risen from £3.4 million to £5 million in 2002-03.

Witnesses are used not only in crime cases but extensively in civil litigation. A recent libel case between David Irving, the right-wing historian, and Penguin books is said to have generated £500,000 in fees to expert witnesses.

The experts can be academics, doctors with a specialist research background, hospital consultants, former policemen, forensic scientists, pathologists and professional specialists such as engineers.

One register of expert witnesses recommends that they should be at the top of their profession and authors of books or learned papers. The witnesses should be able to analyse detailed and lengthy written submissions and write clear and precise analyses of the position which should be intelligible to a layperson. They must be able to present their findings in court and be "articulate, confident, authoritative and dignified".

Expert witnesses can charge from £60 an hour upwards and also claim mileage or other allowances. One computer expert charges £97 a hour plus 48p a mile in mileage.

Another company which specialises in accountancy and financial investigations charges £100 to £250 per hour for a report and up to £250 an hour to give evidence in court.

For highly specialised work such as DNA tests the charge will be up to £750 for a paternity test plus the cost of a court appearance, and blood tests in a drink drive case will cost £85 for the tests plus £70 an hour to appear in court.

The above item is reproduced without editing other than typographical
© Focal Point 2004 F Irving write to David Irving