Institutes – Litigation support faculty overkill, say critics

The English ICA’s plans to set up a faculty representing accountants working in litigation support have been condemned as overkill, writes Lawrie Holmes.

Opponents of the plan said there are already three groups that count litigation support accountants among their members, the Expert Witness Institute, the Society of Expert Witnesses and the Academy of Expert Witnesses.

Academy chairman Michael Cohen said accountants were the largest professional grouping in the 2,000-strong membership. ‘I find it surprising that they have made no contact with us,’ he said.

The institute’s General Practitioners Board chairman John Malthouse said the decision to form the faculty reflected the development of more accountants working as expert witnesses. ‘We want to talk to the Bar Council and Law Society on this. There is nothing that caters for them at the moment.’

Suzanne Burn of the Law Society’s civil litigation group said there were enough interest groups for expert witnesses, and accountants were involved in setting up the Expert Witness Institute. She added: ‘It could get very confusing. Some of the accountants we work with are working very closely with the bigger institutions.’

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