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In this well publicised court action we find another twist Various Claimants v McAlpine & Ors [2016] EWHC 45 (QB) the “Claimants were all construction workers whose names appeared on a secret industry-wide blacklist. The blacklist operated to deny them employment opportunities within the construction industry. They sought permission to rely upon an expert’s ‘hybrid’ report (which combined large-scale national data with adjustments to take account of individual circumstances) to determine loss of earnings consequent upon inclusion on the blacklist.

The High Court dismissed the application on the grounds that the proposed methodology amounted essentially to “research” and accordingly did not constitute a recognised expertise governed by recognised standards and rules of conduct. Further, the Court was not satisfied that the proposal would genuinely help it to determine the matters at issue or prove sufficiently more accurate than the traditional methods of assessing loss of earnings already at its disposal. Finally, the High Court was not convinced that the time and expense necessarily involved in compiling the proposed report would be proportionate. The application was dismissed.”


The laws around expert witnesses are getting tighter case by case and this one adds throws a spanner in the works of data lovers and to my mind illustrates that the High Court is not ready for bid data.   This case also serves to show how court action can be so complex and unaffordable that it is beyond the reach of many (if not most)!

Summary by Tim Crane, Employment Law Solicitor, source Employment Cases Updates (to whom I am continually indebted).

Neutral Citation Number: [2016] EWHC 45 (QB)