I couldn’t find this extract by searching through the usual sources, so I thought it might be handy to put it here. I have no idea whether or not it remains good law (the old White Book has been superseded by CPR – this is all about England and Wales) but is seems worth an airing!
Note to s.67, Solicitors Act 1974
Extract from The Supreme Court Practice 1982 at p.851.
As far as the fees of expert witnesses are concerned, in the case of Re Leighton (Solicitor), Young v Leighton, in Chambers, 1969 unreported, Mocatta J. called on the Taxing Masters for a certificate as to the practice. This was given in the following terms:
To the Hon Mr Justice Mocatta
In compliance with your Lordship’s direction the Taxing Masters of the Supreme Court Taxing Office beg respectfully to certify as follows:
It is within our knowledge that solicitors who engage the services of a professional witness, or who call such a witness to give evidence on behalf of a client are personally liable as a matter of professional etiquette to discharge that witness’s fees, whether or not they have expressly or impliedly contracted to do so. It is settled practice for solicitors to pay such fees, which are treated as a professional disbursement as between solicitor and client in a solicitor and client bill of costs.
Such disbursements are habitually treated upon taxation of such a bill as an item properly so introduced.
Dated November 21, 1969 Signed . . . . . . . . . .
Judgment was given in accordance with the terms of the certificate.