Expertise proceedings offer parties an opportunity to obtain a non-binding expert opinion to resolve a dispute. The subject matter of expertise proceedings is only a specific disputed issue. The expert opinion, in contrast to a provisionally binding opinion obtained through expert determination proceedings, is not binding on the parties. If disputing parties ignore the expert opinion, they do not violate any contractual obligations. In practice, however, expert opinions de facto have a highly binding effect.  

Parties can already agree on expertise proceedings as a method of dispute resolution when concluding a contract by incorporating an expert opinion clause in their contract. The DIS recommends expertise proceedings to precede DIS arbitration proceedings.

The parties can also agree on expertise proceedings after a dispute has already arisen.

Advantages of Expertise Proceedings

The expertise proceedings have many advantages:

  • A confidential, flexible and cost-efficient dispute resolution method for parties wishing to obtain a non-binding assessment of a specific disputed issue.  
  • Parties can select an expert with the professional skills necessary to determine the disputed issue. The DIS may propose names of potential experts to any party upon request.

DIS Expertise Proceedings

The party wishing to initiate expertise proceedings (applicant) in accordance with the DIS Rules on Expertise shall file a written request with the DIS Main Secretariat. A copy of the request shall be sent to the other party. Upon filing the request, the applicant shall pay the DIS procedural fee.

The expertise proceedings commence upon receipt of the request (in two copies) by the DIS Main Secretariat, provided the applicant has paid the procedural fee on time.

Unless agreed otherwise by the parties, the expert opinion is prepared by a single expert. The expert must be impartial and independent. The parties shall jointly agree on and nominate the expert within two weeks after commencement of the proceedings. If the parties have not agreed on the expert within the time limit, each party may request the nomination of an expert by the Appointing Committee of the DIS. The DIS may propose names of potential experts to any party upon request.

The parties are allowed to state their case in written submissions. Additionally, an oral hearing can be organised if requested by the parties. The expert can organise the proceedings at his/her discretion and may request the submission of further statements, carry out a site inspection and submit proposals for an amicable settlement.

The expertise proceedings are terminated once the parties have received the expert opinion, or in case of a partial decision, with the receipt of the final decision. However, the expertise proceedings shall end no later than six months after their commencement, unless both parties have agreed to an extension.   

Costs of Expertise Proceedings

The costs of expertise proceedings are calculated based on the Table of Costs for DIS Rules on Expertise.

The DIS procedural fee is €350. The fee for the nomination of an expert by the DIS is €250. The expert’s hourly rate is €300. The fees are subject to the applicable VAT.

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