The Court of Appeal upheld the decision of O’Farrell J  EWHC 809 (TCC), granting an injunction to AC to restrain a firm of construction experts from acting for a third party in a related arbitration against AC. This was the first time the Court of Appeal has considered (1) the duties on an expert engaged on two potentially conflicting retainers concurrently, and (2) whether such duties bound all relevant entities within the expert firm. AC had engaged the Singapore entity as its delay expert. The Court held that a contractual duty to avoid conflicts of interest prevented the London entity from acting as quantum expert against AC in a separate but related arbitration. The Court also considered whether an expert could owe fiduciary duties of loyalty, though on the facts it was unnecessary to resolve that question.
The decision has potentially far reaching implications for the way that firms providing expert and litigation support services organise themselves, their conflicts procedures and their terms of engagement with their clients.