Recent Court of Appeal Decision towards Expert Evidence – Q&A with Melanie Quixley

Ahead of the Civil Litigation: From Preparation to Hearing conference next week, Melanie Quixley, Principal at Barry Nilsson, joined us for an exclusive Q&A session to discuss the recent Court of Appeal decision towards expert evidence.


In your view, why is it important for practitioners to review and upskill how they might engage with their experts and to understand what might not be admissible?

Expert evidence can be critical to the successful prosecution or defence of a claim.  Inevitably, the admissibility of expert evidence is one of the first issues dealt with at any trial.  Expert evidence that is not on point, coherent and relevant may not be admissible, jeopardising your client’s position and so it’s important that legal practitioners are on top of the most effective way to engage experts and present expert evidence.


What’s the current approach taken by the Court towards expert evidence?

The courts have had cause, as recently as last week, to consider the way legal practitioners engage experts, and what is disclosable in that process.  The Qld Court and Federal Court have set out some useful guidelines in engaging with experts recently and those, combined with the requirements in the UCPR and Practice Directions, show a real intention on the part of the Courts to scrutinise dealings with experts and expert evidence.


Is there one key takeaway you would want delegates to get from your presentation on Engaging with Experts and the Admissibility of their Evidence at Legalwise Seminars forthcoming Civil Litigation: From Preparation to Hearing Conference on Thursday, 24 August?

Getting the right expert evidence in the right form takes planning and careful consideration, and it’s important to get it right.

Melanie Quixley is a principal in Barry Nilsson Insurance & Health team and is based in the Brisbane office. Since joining Barry Nilsson in 2003, she has developed a practice in the areas of general liability and professional indemnity acting for local and overseas insurers, and directly for large corporate entities. Melanie is recognised for her partnering with her clients to bring about the best value outcome for them and for her technical skills. Melanie has also been consistently listed in the Best Lawyers for Personal Injury Litigation and Product Liability Litigation and Doyles Guide for Public and Product Liability and Professional Indemnity over many years. She was also the exclusive winner of the 2018 and 2021 Client Choice Award for Insurance in Australia which recognises solicitors from around the world for the level of client care they provide and the quality of their service. Connect with Melanie via LinkedIn