Independent Expert Determination is a much less formal procedure than arbitration. There are no specific rules and very little case law governing the conduct of an independent expert reference.
An expert should have recognised knowledge and experience in the subject matter of the dispute. An expert will make his/her own investigations and use his/her own knowledge to give a Determination on the matter in dispute. It is fairly common practice for an expert to ask the parties if they wish to make submissions, as this will ensure s/he is aware of all the evidence. However, an expert is not bound or fettered by these submissions.
It is always a good idea to seek advice from a professional person involved in this type of dispute before committing yourself to any form of dispute resolution. A representative will be able to advise on possible outcomes and potential costs involved. Contact us, if you need to an expert within your industry sector to assist.
How is an expert appointed?
When a dispute arises, it is possible for both parties to agree that an expert should be appointed to resolve it. Alternatively, some contracts or leases provide for an independent expert to decide a dispute.
Who pays the expert?
Unlike an arbitrator, the expert has no power to apportion his costs or the costs of the parties (unless the contract provides for this or the parties agree). If there is no provision in the contract, the parties will normally each pay half.
What if I do not agree with the expert’s decision?
Most agreements intend that the expert will give a binding decision and it is very difficult to get an expert’s decision set aside or overturned. The courts are the only body with authority to do this but legal advice should be sought before this course of action is taken.
What are the advantages of Independent Expert Determination?