Expert determination

What is expert determination?

Technical or other non-legal experts often play an important role in solving commercial disputes:

In state courts and arbitration proceedings, experts are frequently appointed by judges and arbitrators to assist them in making decisions to do with technical and other non-legal issues  requiring expert knowledge. During arbitration proceedings, parties often seek the support of party-appointed experts to assist them in arguing their case.

The term "expert determination" also refers to another type of legal expert;

If parties disagree solely or mostly on technical points, as opposed to a legal points, the parties may decide to jointly appoint an expert to render a binding opinion regarding the queries. The opinion rendered may be limited to the establishment of one or several disputed facts or may in itself define and clarify the parties' rights and obligations.

Main benefits

  • Expert determination is likely to ensure the technical accuracy and appropriateness of the solution.
  • Expert determination is likely to reinforce party-autonomy as the parties can freely appoint their expert and define the experts mission and tasks.
  • Expert determination is likely to ensure confidentiality as the opinion will very rarely be made publicly available.