Expert Witness

As a leading consultancy in flood risk issues we are often asked to provide expert advice.  We have an international credibility and experience of many of the main causative issues that result in recourse to the courts.  In our experience the following areas are ones we are most often asked to advise on:

Culvert or screen blockage:  This is probably the most common issue we are asked to advise on.  It is an area of river engineering where specialist knowledge and experience is essential, and regrettably the one area we find in Ireland where a lack of appreciation of the risks involved has resulted in flooded businesses and homes.  We can assess these risks, review original designs, and prepare mitigation measures.  These are then articulated in a focused report that is used in proceedings or negotiations around settlement.  We have advised on the flooding at Letterkenny General Hospital, and Dundrum Shopping Centre for an insurance company, and properties and business in Cork and Malahide.

Groundwater flooding:  This remains are poorly understood cause of flooding, but the karstic landscape of the west of Ireland is a common problem.  Again understanding the risks and what would be appropriate in setting floor levels in areas susceptible to groundwater requires a good understanding of surface water and hydrogeological processes.

Surface water flooding:  Flooding from sewers and pipes is a persistent nuisance and highly emotional for householders.  We understand that and can sympathetically deal with obtaining the facts on which to base a case.  We have a wide range of analytical tools to assess the cause of a flood incident, and we have access to a datasets that make these studies cost effective.

Water resources:  Water rights and abstractions are a specialist area of work.  We have looked at the impacts on water resources downstream of a new abstraction or change in how the river is regulated.  We are currently representing a hydro power company potentially impacted by a change in management of an upstream lough.

Planning:  JBA have been at the heart of the planning guidelines used by Local Authorities, An Bord Pleanala and developers in the assessment of flood risk.  Jonathan Cooper, Managing Director based in our Limerick office was lead author of the DoEHLG/OPW Flood Risk and Planning guidelines published in 2009.  We are able to advise and present flood risk assessments that meet the requirements of the guidelines at oral hearings and for submissions to local development plans.

Directors at JBA are still heavily involved in technical matters, and remain at the leading edge of their profession.  As a result many of the JBA Directors have acted as lead expert witness on flood risk issues at numerous high profile planning and compulsory purchase order inquiries.  Our Directors have presented proofs of evidence for insurers, businesses,  local authorities, semi state bodies and developers.  JBA Directors have also undertaken high court work in Dublin on negligence issues.

If you require a JBA expert opinion, please contact Jonathan Cooper and be assured your query will be treated and maintained as confidential.