Tenos’ tips for choosing the right fire expert witness

In the event of a dispute relating to fire safety, it is often necessary to seek advice from an independent and impartial expert witness.

As the number of legal cases involving fire safety increases, the role of a fire expert witness is becoming more important. Not only are fire expert witnesses being increasingly called upon for criminal cases brought under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, but we are also seeing a surge in civil cases involving insurance claims, PFI disputes and arson.

The court recognises the value of a properly qualified fire expert witness with relevant expertise to provide information outside of the court’s own knowledge and experience to give independent expert opinion on the issue.

It is therefore vitally important to find the right fire safety expert for the particular case in question and ensure that the judge considers him or her to be a credible witness.


Here are our tips to help you choose the right fire expert witness for your case:

  1. Qualifications: Check the expert’s CV to ensure that he or she has appropriate education and professional qualifications, and relevant training that qualifies them to provide the highly specialised evidence required
  2. Independence: Whilst you may want an expert to vigorously support your case, an expert is required to view the case independently, offer a balanced and subjective view, and prepare you for any case weaknesses to avoid surprises in court.
  3. Court Experience: The expert should be someone with experience of giving evidence in court. However, directly relevant court experience may be limited as many cases are settled out of court.
  4. Relevant Expertise: Ensure that the expert has relevant expertise and knowledge of the issue so that they can be relied upon in court and the judge is likely to be persuaded that the expert’s opinion is right. If they do not have expertise in the required field, they may be considered as only offering his or her opinion.

  5. Capacity: Often, the legal process can be lengthy, therefore it is important that the expert’s schedule should permit him or her to devote sufficient time to your case.
  6. Understands Legislation: It is vital that the expert is fully conversant with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, current design codes and standards and understands both civil and criminal procedural rules.
  7. Technical Analysis: Ensure your expert can analyse, interpret and explain complex technical evidence.


Tenos has a 20-year history of assisting with fire safety expert witness cases

Tenos’ expert opinion has been called upon by fire authorities and legal professionals for a wide range of fire safety legal cases across the UK, including a number of high-profile cases.

As expert witnesses, we draw upon our experience to analyse fire safety engineering and fire safety management issues with objectivity, providing factual and independent expert opinions that are industry-respected.

All investigation work and reporting is carried out on an independent basis. Our expert witnesses are employed to establish the facts from fire investigation reports, documents and other sources of evidence and provide opinion based on that information.

If you are looking for a fire expert witness who can provide testimony that is legally defensible, accurate and impartial to provide you with the substantive expert opinion you require to strengthen your legal argument, contact Geoff Marlow on 0161 872 6798 to discuss your case in confidence.

Find out more about our Fire Expert Witness service >