Expert Witness

Ashton Bennett’s expert witness team are available for legislative situations where the qualified opinions of an experienced third party matter. It is often impractical to apply a set of general principles and rules to the complexity
of a particular site. As a result, an overwhelming number of cases need the expertise of an experienced witness to undertake first-hand investigation and present their findings to the court.

We work with the court and planning inspectors that are reliant on the services of an expert witness. We are also aware that in most cases, an expert’s findings are crucial to the case. Our methodologies involve listening carefully to all parties and understanding all aspects to a case.

Our expert witness experience ranges from working with small projects to large multi-site complex investigations, providing evidence on geological, hydrogeological, mining, geotechnical, and environmental aspects of cases and making representation at public enquiries and to the planning inspectorate.

The principal Frances Bennett has over 40 years experience in undertaking investigations and representing clients in court.

Public Enquiries

Wind turbines. Successfully represented a village action group in the Midlands working against the construction of 6 wind turbines in a hydrologically sensitive area.

Waste tip. Successfully represented an action group in West Yorkshire working against planning permission for a waste tip.

Financial compensation

Landslip. Proved that five houses in Whitby were demolished unnecessarily. The owners received £4m.

Water well. Proved that gravel extraction operations in Leicestershire caused wells to run dry. £20,000 compensation to farmer.


Leaking canal. Persuaded British Waterways, now Canals and River Trust, to rebuild part of Sowerby Canal wall to prevent leakage flooding public house carpark and potentially damaging buildings.

Leaking drains. Acted to force local water board to rectify drains following a slip that threatened our clients’ houses.

Building failure. Proved that a warehouse floor slab failure was caused by construction practices which did not conform to the structural design. This gave the owner the facts to take action against the builder.

Landslip. Working for Crown Estates, proved that a landslip was not caused by river erosion, thus ensuring that house insurance remained valid.

Shallow mining. Represented clients whose consultants had failed to assess shallow mining and  Ashton Bennett designed mine stabilisation beneath the completed house.

Ground source heating. Identified the incorrect groundwork construction which resulted in
heatpump failure.

Well drilling. Resolved the geotechnical challenges which resulted in a drilling contractor abandoning equipment in a partly drilled well.


Controlled waters. Proved that chemical company was not responsible for pollution in adjacent river.

Land contamination. Successfully acted for clients where contaminated material was entering their land from neighbouring land.

Mineral rights.

Coal. Won a dispute regarding coal seam identification for Miller Mining against British Coal (now The Coal Authority).

Case Studies