Expert determination is typically used in disputes whereby the parties are looking to resolve matters quickly and cost effectively.
In theory expert determination is really only appropriate in disputes of highly technical nature. Normally this would mean that there wasn’t really any factual disagreement between the parties, rather the issue requires an expert to use his/her professional knowledge to provide the answer.
Parties instructing an independent accountant to determine the value of a business on a share sale is a common example of expert determination that a lot of people will be familiar with.
As most parties will want finality in any dispute it is usual to agree that any expert determination will be final and binding on the parties. This means that in the absence of fraud or impartiality the potential for a legal challenge to an expert’s determination is extremely unlikely.
Parties normally jointly share the cost of the expert and otherwise be responsible for their own party costs.
There are a number of institutions that can facilitate and help manage expert determination. These include the Centre for Dispute Resolution and the Academy of Experts.