What is Expert Determination?
Expert Determination is a private process involving an independent technical expert who makes a binding decision on technical rather than legal issues and who has the power to ask questions of the parties before rendering his or her decision. The decision is binding unless it is agreed by the parties at the outset that the determination will not be. Expert determination is particularly suited to disputes of valuation or a purely technical nature across a range of sectors.
This process can be used as a short cut to a binding decision, because it is simpler and cheaper than a court case or arbitration. There is no requirement to prepare pleadings, conduct detailed investigation of documents, cross-examine witnesses or conduct trial-type hearings.
Expert determination has very little in common with court proceedings. Like an arbitrator, an expert can make investigations independently of the parties, but, unlike an arbitrator, an expert does not need to refer back to the parties before making the decision. This results in savings of cost and time. Expert determiners are not expert witnesses, and expert determination should not be confused with expert evidence. In an expert determination, the expert constitutes the tribunal and makes the decision, and is not in any sense a witness.
What do CEDR offer?
CEDR can assist by proposing suitable experts to act as the expert determinator from our panel. We will also handle all aspects of the expert determination arrangements. These include arranging document exchange, administrating funds, resolving procedural difficulties and providing support and guidance to the parties and the Expert Determinator as required.
CEDR Dispute Resolution panel members include:
- Loss adjusters
- Queens Counsel
- Retired Judges
How much does it cost?
CEDR's fee for providing this service is £3,000.00+VAT shared equally between the parties. The expert will be paid fees and expenses and their rates will vary subject to which expert is chosen. Typically hourly rates will be in a range between £250 and £600 per hour. Please contact us to discuss fees for specific evaluators or cases.
Expert determination has a wide range of commercial applications including:
- Commodity supply contracts
- Construction & Engineering disputes
- Information Communication & Technology projects
- Insurance industry
- Pension rights transfers
- Price adjustments on take-overs
- Rent reviews
- Valuation of shares in private companies
- Valuations of partners' interests in oil and gas field projects
The opportunity to use expert determination can arise in a number of ways. The parties' contract may provide for expert determination to resolve any disputes that arise, or the parties may decide to use expert determination to resolve an existing dispute in preference to the system provided by their contract. Expert determination can be chosen as the method of dispute resolution either of specific issues or of all disputes arising under a contract.
Mediation and Expert Determination
Expert determination is often used in conjunction with other dispute resolution systems, and it can be used as an adjunct to mediation. This can arise where there is a need for an authority independent of the mediator(s) to give a binding decision on an important issue. The use of expert determination provides the parties with the means of resolving a part of a dispute about which they would prefer not to negotiate. Obtaining an expert's ruling can break an impasse and allow the mediation to proceed without that blockage and it allows the mediator to remain completely impartial.