If you’re in a complex financial dispute that has been taken to court, you might be wondering about the benefits of appointing a single joint expert (SJE). That’s exactly what we’ll cover in this guide to what they do and what the advantages are of appointing an SJE as an impartial forensic accounting expert.

What is a Single Joint Expert?

An SJE acts as a neutral third party representing both sides of the financial legal dispute. Both parties have to agree to use a single joint expert rather than hiring their own separate experts. 

Rather than serving the interests of one party or the other, the SJE serves the court. They act as a neutral third party, giving their financial expertise on the case from an unbiased vantage point.

We’ll explore the benefits of using an SJE in your case rather than opting for separate experts.

The benefits of appointing an SJE

Elimination of bias

Whether consciously or unconsciously, an expert witness may have a bias towards their own client in representing their interests and being paid by them. Having one objective expert whose sole duty is to establish the truth of the financial picture removes conflicting expert opinions. 

In these cases, there are often high financial stakes at play. The presence of one expert voice whose sole duty is to the court eliminates experts in the pay of their individual clients trying to advocate for their own client’s case. Ultimately, this can ensure a fairer outcome while reducing confusion and conflict in the case.  

Greater efficiency and cost savings

With no ‘duelling’ experts with conflicting opinions, there’s no heated back and forth while they present contrasting findings. This makes the court case much more efficient. 

In addition, because both parties share the cost for the single joint expert this greatly reduces the total overhead of appointing an expert witness. Expert witnesses in financial cases can command high rates, so sharing the cost can reduce the overall financial burden of the legal fees associated with the case. 

As financial experts often work on a ‘day rate’ for their fees, reduced back and forth between experts can equate to saved time and money. 

Consistency of opinion 

If expert witnesses are appointed for both parties, a difference in opinion can complicate and draw out legal proceedings unnecessarily. As we’ve just touched on, this can greatly increase the time and cost associated while the court tries to establish which assessment is correct.

Having one voice of expert truth in the room reduces means that clarity is established more efficiently and a fair outcome can be reached more quickly.

How to appoint a Single Joint Expert

In order for an SJE’s finding to carry weight in court it’s important that they are an expert in their field, meaning that they have substantial expertise and credentials in their field. For example, business valuation or forensic accounting. This is what makes them a credible expert witness in the case matter. Ensure that you select an SJE with established experience in their financial sector for the court.

Ready to appoint a Single Joint Expert? Williamson & Croft’s accountants have the expertise

If you’re able to come to a mutual agreement to appoint a single joint expert the cost and time savings of appointing an impartial expert are clear. Single joint experts can play a vital role in establishing fair resolution of complex financial cases. 

If you’re ready to appoint an SJE to your legal case, Williamson & Croft can help. We are a team of expert accountants with experience using forensic accounting to provide clarity in complex legal cases.

Speak to the forensic accountants at Williamson & Croft today to discuss the particulars of your case. Get in touch today.