Japanese Knotweed Expert Witness
Dr Paul Beckett is widely renowned as the UK’s leading expert in the field of Japanese Knotweed and property risk.
He completed his degree in Biology at the University of Sussex in 1995, and gained a Masters degree in Environmental Forestry a year later at Bangor University. He subsequently undertook a Forestry Commission-sponsored DPhil (PhD), publishing several plant eco-physiology and air pollution papers along the way. Paul’s areas of expertise are Japanese knotweed, air quality and plant ecology.
Since helping to produce the RICS knotweed guidance for surveyors and to form the Property Care Association (PCA) Invasive Weed Control Group (IWCG), Paul’s work on residential property affected by Japanese knotweed has increased markedly. This is primarily due to the RICS and PCA creating a system that allows lenders and property professionals to quantify and mitigate knotweed risks on affected properties.
He is a member of the Expert Witness Institute.
Legal Expert Experience
Paul has significant experience in providing Japanese knotweed expert witness services, principally in relation to property risks and knotweed legislation. This includes being cross-examined at UK courts, the Lands Tribunal and at Public Inquiries. He has also provided his services on legal cases in Ireland.
Paul has been called upon as an expert witness in a number of high-profile Japanese knotweed cases, including:
- Williams and Waistell v Network Rail  and appeal  – landmark legal case in which Phlorum provided the support in both claimants’ actions against the rail operator.
- Ryb v Conways Chartered Surveyors  – high profile case where a surveyor was found to have been negligent in failing to notice knotweed at a property.
Paul’s colleagues at Phlorum are also experienced in providing expert witness services in relation to Japanese knotweed. Phlorum staff have been involved in well over one hundred legal cases in recent years, working for claimants, defendants and as single joint experts.
Regularly being appointed on Japanese knotweed cases, Phlorum is keen to develop partnerships with specialist law firms across the country (having developed such relationships in Sussex, London, Lincolnshire and the North West) to assist clients in recovering Japanese knotweed treatment costs or in defending claims against them.
Should you require a Japanese Knotweed expert witness for upcoming litigation, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Education and Qualifications
- BSc (Hons) Biology
- MSc Environmental Forestry
- DPhil Plant Ecophysiology and Air Quality
- Full Member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (MCIEEM)
- Full Member of the Institution of Environmental Sciences (MIEnvSc)
- Full Member of the Institute of Air Quality Management (MIAQM)
- Full Member of the Expert Witness Institute (MEWI)
- Chartered Scientist (CSci)
- Member of Property Care Association’s Technical Panel
Examples of Published Work
Paul continues Phlorum’s research interests in knotweed, having published work on methods to improve treatment with herbicides and in his involvement with Sussex and Lancaster Universities to develop novel biochemical solutions to this problem weed.
Examples of some of his recent publications are as follows:
- Trouble with Knotweed – for CIEEM’s In Practice magazine (December 2019)
- Physiological Approaches to the Improvement of Chemical Control of Japanese Knotweed
- How did we get into this knotted mess?
- A knotty problem: why surveyors need to be aware of Japanese knotweed
- Countering Invasion – for the RICS