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Three Key Points to Know About Expert Determination in a Commercial Dispute

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In an ideal world, business dealings will run smoothly, and you will both fulfil your promises to one another and make money. However, business only sometimes works like this as you can sometimes disagree. Where you do have a business disagreement, it can turn into a full-on commercial dispute. You should resolve this as soon as possible for your business activities. However, commercial disputes are only sometimes about legal issues as sometimes they can be about technical or other non-legal ones. This is where expert determination as a method of dispute resolution may be helpful, as it involves an independent expert. This article will explain three critical points about expert determination in a commercial dispute.

What Key Points Do I Need to Know About Expert Determination for My Commercial Dispute?

You may want to consider expert determination to resolve your commercial dispute. However, before you can decide, you need to know some critical points about the process to understand whether it suits your business disagreement. 

We explain three key points below. 

1. What is Expert Determination for My Commercial Dispute?

Logically, the first key point you need to know about expert determination for your commercial dispute is what the terms refer to. Expert determination is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for your commercial dispute. Therefore, it is a further form of ADR to add to your ADR choices, such as mediation and arbitration. 

However, expert determination is slightly different from these other ADR methods. This is because it is often used for a commercial dispute about a technical issue rather than a legal one. Therefore, the expert is a specialist in a legal matter to help resolve your business disagreement.

2. Why Should I Use Expert Determination for My Dispute?

A key point you need to know about expert determination is why you may want to choose this for your commercial dispute. In addition to the fact that your commercial dispute may be about a technical or another ongoing issue, there are other reasons you may choose expert determination. These include because expert determination is:

  • usually faster than many other ADR methods; 
  • often a cheaper way to resolve a business dispute; and
  • confidential, so it alleviates fears that your business will receive unwanted media coverage or release sensitive information to the public.

3. What is the Process for Expert Determination for My Commercial Dispute?

The third key point you need to know about expert determination for your commercial dispute is the process of this alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method. However, there is no strict process for expert determination simply because no laws detail this. 

Therefore, the process will depend on either:

  • the details in any expert determination clause in your contract with the other commercial party; or
  • where the above does not detail this, what you and the other party agree on for the commercial dispute as it arises.

For clarity, consider laying out the details within an expert determination clause. Once you fall into a commercial dispute, the last thing you as a business will need is to decide the details of the process to resolve the dispute.

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To give you an idea of what an expert determination process may look like, these are some points to consider:

  • what the timetable will be for you and the other artists to determine what the exact issues of the commercial dispute consist of;
  • whether the expert determination process includes a hearing;
  • if you will require the other party and yourself to give a written submission on the dispute to the expert;
  • the format of any submission, such as the level of detail or if the other party can give their views on each other’s; and 
  • when the expert makes their decision whether they should detail the reasons.

Key Takeaways

If you fall into a commercial dispute with another business, you may use an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method to resolve it. One of these methods includes expert determination. Before you decide if expert determination is for your business, you need to know some points about it. Firstly, you must know what expert determination is, which is where an expert in the dispute decides on it. It is beneficial if your commercial dispute concerns a non-legal area, such as a technical area. Secondly, you may want to know why you should use expert determination for your site. For example, because it is a speedy and cheap way to resolve your dispute. 

Knowing what the expert determination procedure may look like for your commercial dispute is also essential. There is no straightforward answer to this as the law does not determine a specific method. However, it will depend on what you and the other party decide. For example, it could contain a hearing and require written submission from the expert. 

If you need help understanding key points about expert determination for your commercial dispute in the UK, LegalVision’s experienced disputes and litigation solicitors can assist as part of our LegalVision membership. For a low monthly fee, you will have unlimited access to lawyers to answer your questions and draft and review your documents. So call us today on 0808 196 8584 or visit our membership page.

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Clare Farmer

Clare Farmer

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