English translation: leading/renowned experts, high priests
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Thank you all for your suggestions! Points can only go to one person, and since my client thinks that his client will understand "leading experts" best, that's it. My entry into the glossary is "leading/renowned experts, high priests", I consider all of these terms suitable. "Maven" is a word I need to check first - I think this is the first time I have come across it.
A Happy New Year to you all!
Okay, I did not mention one minor detail which I probably should have mentioned:
The sentence is part of a market research report; its recipient is a Dutch lady working for a French company in France. (No, it wasn't me who suggested that all communication should be in English.) My client (research agency) tells me that her English is not that good - so she might understand formal (school?) English better than colloquial English (I am guessing). Therefore I am quite happy with the expert-suggestions - I think/hope they might be understood.