RUSHBROOK - Fire Safety Engineers: Expert Witness

Expert Witness

Proven Expertise

RUSHBROOK has a wide range of professional engineers and consultant that we can call on to support forensic investigation and litigation on fire and related engineering matters. Over the years our consultants have provided expert opinion and appeared in court on a number of occassions to act as expert witness, leading to our inclusion in the Scottish Law Society Director of Expert Witnesses,, a directory that requires references from lwayers that have used our services prior to inclusion.

Al Brown, Managing Director, RUSHBROOK, has been investigating fires and providing the benefits of his experience and expertise to insurers, loss adjusters and lawyers since 1989.

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Areas of Expertise

Our long experience in fire safety engineering has enabled our consultants to develop a wide range of specific expertise in fire safety, fire protecion systems, the initiation and development of fires and their consequences. Our expertise has been called on in cases involving disputes over blocked means of escape, failures of fire protection systems, mechanical failures of fire pumps, accidental operation of sprinkler systems. We also have experience of investigation into fires including semiconductor industry wet benches, silane gas leaks, ductwork fires, as well as other industries including warehousing of paper, food products, raw materials of rubber processing, and engineering products. Away from fire our consultants have advised on health and safety claims including personl injury and shipping related claims including damage to goods in transit and damage to overhead and undersea power lines.

What is a Chartered Fire Engineer

A Chartered Engineer is registered as a professional engineer through their chosen institution, one that is registered with the Engineering Council. the title "Chartered Engineer" is recognistion of an engineer's experience, education, and recognition their status as someone who can innovate, often contributes to the development of new technologies and develop new analytical techniques. A Chartered Engineer can also successfully apply the knowledge to deliver innovative services and take technical responsibility for complex engineering systems.
The Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) is the established institution for fire engineers in the UK. RUSHBROOK Managing Director Al Brown, was actively involved in the development of the profession, through his role on the Board of the Instutite of Fire Safety and the Enginering Council Division of the IFE which led to the creation of the first Chartered Fire Engineers. He has been a Chartered Engineer since 1995 and a Chartered Fire Engineer since 2002.

Role of the Expert

An Explanation

The function of expert witnesses has been explained by Lord Justice-Clerk Cooper: "Expert witnesses, however skilled or eminent, can give no more than evidence. They cannot usurp the functions of the jury or Judge sitting as a jury, any more than a technical assessor can substitute his advice for the judgment of the court…Their duty is to furnish the Judge or jury with the necessary scientific criteria for testing the accuracy of their conclusions, so as to enable the Judge or jury to form their own independent judgment by the application of these criteria to the facts proved in evidence. The scientific opinion evidence, if intelligible, convincing and tested, becomes a factor (and often an important factor) for consideration along with the whole other evidence in the case, but the decision is for the Judge or jury. In particular the bare ipse dixit of a scientist, however eminent, upon the issue in controversy, will normally carry little weight, for it cannot be tested by cross- examination nor independently appraised, and the parties have invoked the decision of a judicial tribunal and not an oracular pronouncement by an expert'.
Citation: Davie v Edinburgh Corporation Magistrates 1953 SC 34 at 40, 1953 SLT 54 at 57.