Mechanical Engineering


Engineering losses are perhaps the most complex to categorise, ranging as they do from mechanical breakdown to product liability and from structural failures to electrical malfunctions. We are experienced in investigating losses in the following sectors:

  • Mechanical
  • Electrical
  • Materials
  • Process
  • Transport
  • Construction
  • Chemical

Examples of recent cases include:

  • Failure leading to a fire and explosion at an oil depot
  • Collapse of a concrete tank due to corrosion of the steel reinforcing bars
  • An accident on a log flume amusement park ride
  • A fault causing an unexpected discharge of a halon fire extinguishing system
  • Crane collapse
  • Failure of switchgear at a TV transmitter station
  • Failure of a blow moulding machine
  • Access cradle failure on a motorway bridge causing 5 fatalities


We have a good knowledge of typical policy cover and the information we provide assists clients with decisions on:

  • Policy liability
  • Breach of warranties
  • Breach of Policy conditions
  • Recovery

Much of our work in this field centres on establishing the facts, where possible and providing informed, professional opinion where dispute remains. We are independent and impartial and we are instructed by both Claimant and Defendant solicitors and insurers. We work within the relevant Civil Procedure Rules and are effectively agents of the Court in all work we do.

Our clients are especially interested in causation when establishing liability and subrogation opportunities. It may be clear that the crane collapsed but was this due to:

  • Lack of maintenance
  • Operator error
  • Overloading
  • Failure of a weld
  • A faulty replacement part?

If so, is your client liable for the subsequent damage or injury? Was there contributory negligence or is recovery of your outlay a realistic proposition? In case of dispute how do you prove this to the court without the services of an experienced and articulate forensic expert?


In most investigations we start by obtaining witness evidence, usually in the form of statements. Consideration of such evidence is the first step in establishing a narrative of events and often important in determining policy liability.

The forensic investigator will collect and evaluate all the available physical evidence and this often leads to analysis of failed parts in our laboratories. As part of our investigation we might study engineering drawings and specifications, contact the manufacturer to obtain operating instructions and installation or maintenance manuals.

Liaison with official agencies is often an important part of engineering investigations, particularly where there are injuries or fatalities. Hawkins is well versed in handling losses involving the Police, Fire Brigade and the HSE.

Related Services

Much of our work in this field centres on establishing the facts, where possible and providing informed, professional opinion where dispute remains.

Contact Us

If you are seeking a career in forensic consultancy, email us at [email protected] and attach your CV together with a summary of your area of experise, experience, and what you can bring to the team.

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