Expert Determination is a common form of dispute resolution for post-deal purchase price adjustments and other disputes involving technical issues that may be resolved by an expert in the field providing his professional opinion. It offers benefits over litigation and arbitration: it is quicker, and generally incurs lower professional fees and provides resolution. It is generally difficult to challenge a determination once it is issued, even by the court.
The parties agree to submit their dispute or unresolved issue to an expert to make a determination on the matter. The determination will be binding unless the parties agreed otherwise.
It is particularly effective where there is an on-going relationships between the parties, where an arbitration or litigation process could seriously damage the relationship between the parties. The process of expert determination distances the decision from the parties and allows them to continue with their business relationship or collaboration without disturbing the relationship.
The parties may agree some relatively simple procedural steps, timeframes are compact, there is little paperwork, there is less need for detailed investigation of documents or cross-examination of witnesses. Often there is no oral evidence or hearings at all.
Expert determination does not suit all disputes but, taking into consideration that most contentious situations are driven by parties’ wishes to reach incompatible results, it is surprising how many situations can be resolved in this way.
We also act as advisors to assist parties with their submission to experts. We apply our experience to prepare carefully reasoned submissions to experts, to provide considered responses to other parties’ submissions and to respond to any information requests from the expert.
We also performs expert determinations by private appointment. Our founder, Charles Lazarevic, is also on the panel for prestigious appointments made by the President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
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