Expert determination
Produced in partnership with 4 Pump Court

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

  • Expert determination
  • What is expert determination?
  • Agreement for expert determination
  • Interpreting expert determination clauses
  • Expert determination clauses/agreements
  • Drafting the expert determination clause
  • Appointing the expert
  • Expert determination—procedure
  • Limitation and expert determination
  • Claims against experts

Expert determination

Expert determination is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). This Practice Note explains expert determination for technical or contract interpretation disputes. It defines expert determination and considers the agreement between the parties for choosing/appointing the expert. The expert’s jurisdiction and the binding nature of the decision given are explored and the procedure, limitation and claims against experts are also covered.

For guidance generally on ADR and other forms of ADR, see Practice Notes:

  1. What is ADR?

  2. Which form of ADR?

What is expert determination?

Expert determination is a binding dispute resolution process which can offer a relatively speedy and effective means to settling a dispute. The process involves an independent expert in a relevant discipline determining a dispute between parties in accordance with provisions in the parties’ agreement.

Generally, expert determination is an appropriate mechanism for resolving technical disputes, such as rent reviews (by a surveyor), share valuations (by an accountant) or questions of contractual interpretation (by counsel). In the field of construction, expert determination can be used to ascertain delay and disruption claims or the determination of a contractor’s final account (by a quantity surveyor). This final example demonstrates that expert determination may effectively resolve an entire dispute, and can take the place of arbitration.

However given the limited safeguards around expert determination, parties should think carefully about the types of dispute that they would like

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