Challenging an expert’s determination
Produced in partnership with 4 Pump Court and Jill Headford of Tozers

The following Dispute Resolution practice note produced in partnership with 4 Pump Court and Jill Headford of Tozers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Challenging an expert’s determination
  • Expert’s jurisdiction
  • Challenging ongoing expert determinations
  • Expert determination—mistakes of fact
  • Examples of ‘departing from instructions’
  • Not following the correct procedure
  • Expert determination—mistakes of law
  • Expert determination—failure to give reasons
  • Expert determination—failure to follow the rules of natural justice
  • Expert determination—bias
  • More...

Challenging an expert’s determination

Expert determination is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

This Practice Note provides guidance on when an expert’s determination may be challenged. It also considers when it may be set aside. It does so in the context of mistakes of fact, mistakes of law, departing from instructions, failure to give reason and the failure to follow the rules of natural justice and bias.

For guidance on expert determination generally, including expert determination clauses, appointment and procedure, see Practice Note: Expert determination.

For guidance on ADR more generally, see Practice Notes:

  1. What is ADR?

  2. Which form of ADR?

As the expert’s authority to reach a determination is wholly derived from the parties’ contract, the courts look at the contract when deciding whether the expert’s determination can be challenged. While each case will therefore depend on its facts, any party seeking to challenge an expert’s determination should bear in mind that the courts will be keen to give effect to the purpose of an expert determination clause: such parties are generally seeking a quick and inexpensive decision of a binding nature and to avoid more expensive proceedings. That intention is likely to be undermined if the courts too readily set aside expert determinations. For a detailed analysis of this, see the following News Analysis: Court of Appeal: expert valuations and mistakes of law (Premier Telecom

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