Expert Decision (Binding)
What is it?
There are times where the participants cannot resolve the issues themselves and need someone who is an expert in the area of dispute to hear and decide the matter. The expert is impartial and has recognised skill or knowledge in the subject matter of the dispute. They are selected by the Resolution Facilitator with input from the participants. Expert determination is a fast and cost-effective way of resolving mostly technical disputes. It is usually quicker than a court process and still provides a binding decision. The expert decision is binding by virtue of a contract between the participants in dispute agreeing to be bound. The process is the domain of the expert and will vary. Usually, before the expert decision the participants submit documents in support of their position. This includes an outline of the points of contention and any documents in support. There is a meeting and the expert asks questions of the participants before making their decision. The expert relies on the participants’ submissions as well as their own expertise in deciding the matters in dispute.
Who is involved?
The stakeholders who need to be bound by a determination. Participants can represent themselves and also bring a friend, lawyer, or other support person. The expert decision is binding on the participants.
The agreement sets out the legal rights in plain English – these are important to understand. The Resolution Facilitator is also available to explain the process and the terms of the agreement. The sample resolution agreement will be available for download soon.
Up to 4 months. 5-10 days to appoint an expert from initial contact and chat. Often parties need to consult internally for approval given that expert powers are much more extensive than with facilitated processes. 3-4 weeks from appointment of expert for signing of the expert agreement and exchange of documentation and submissions. Paid portion approximately 2-3 days assuming no need to write a decision.
No fee Disputed amount under $10,000.
From $7,500 Disputed amount over $10,000.
Triage and case management costs: $1500 per party
Expert: ~$6000 per day per party (assuming two experts)