Since 02.12.13. The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) has REDUCED the fees payable to expert witnesses in both Criminal and Civil cases. The permitted maximum fee for a “dentist” has gone down from £117 to £93.60/Hr (and £72/Hr in London!!)
The background and full wording can be found at the following links:
This document gives the rates for all listed fields of expert witness. It is an interesting document to compare the “value” of various experts according to the LAA.
Please note: BAFO has been in correspondence with the LAA in an attempt to differentiate the work done by Forensic Odontologists from that done by “dentists” within the Criminal Justice System. There are more than 39,000 “dentists” registered with the GDC but only a very small number of those are in a position to perform bite mark analysis – this must be emphasised to any instructing solicitor. It may not be prudent at this time to set precedent by accepting work from solicitors at this reduced rate. £110/Hr is BAFO’s recommended rate, however, there is an existing rate of £108/Hr for a “medical consultant” which would make payment at this rate more straight forward. Obviously one must apply as a Forensic Odontologist and not suggest that you are in fact a “medical consultant”.
The LAA rate for travel is also capped at £40/Hr (45p/mile)
BAFO have formulated a suggested letter to accompany any estimate you provide to prospective users of your services.
BAFO Scale of Suggested Fees 2015
Police Post-Mortem & Bite Mark Cases (Prosecution) –
Hourly Rate: £110 per hour professional time
(Professional time includes time at a police station or mortuary and time spent on analysis and report writing)
Travelling time: £70 per hour
Travelling expenses (road): 70p per mile (you may consider that this is covered in the hourly travel rate)
Members are reminded that where an identification is requested directly from the Coroner, fees are negotiable directly with HM Coroner or his/her officer. It would be reasonable to use the fee scale relating to a police identification (above) although there are set fees for a standard and a special post mortem and report. Arrangements tend to be agreed at a local level for Coronial post mortems and reports.