Expert determinations

Whether seeking an expert determination as a form of alternative dispute resolution, or entering into the process as a means of bringing a dispute to a binding resolution, selecting the right expert determiner is critical.

At Moore Kingston Smith, we understand the importance of this process to the parties involved. In each case, we make sure we clearly set out the steps to be followed, and that these are in line with the relevant contractual provisions and protocols. What we bring to this is not only our experience of dealing with other expert determinations but also our wider experience and expertise in dispute resolution. This means we can understand all parties’ perspectives and can consider the matter in dispute in the context of the hundreds of forensic accounting cases we have undertaken over the years.

Once we have carefully considered all of the documentation and representations, we make our determination and (if instructed to do so) provide clear reasons and explanations for doing so.
We also assist individual parties, where we are not instructed as the expert determiner, in making their representations, to ensure they receive the fairest possible result.

We have acted in cases where a binding determination has already been made but one or more parties consider there to be a manifest error, in which case the determination can be overturned. We have assisted parties in such circumstances in obtaining a revised determination to their benefit. All of our expert determiners are on the panel for the ICAEW’s President’s Appointment Scheme.

Case study: completion accounts for shopping centres
We were appointed in two related expert determinations, both involving shopping centres which were equally owned by two joint venture (JV) parties. In each case, one JV partner was purchasing the other’s interest and the parties did not agree on the adjustment required, regarding the completion accounts, to the consideration paid. We received extensive representations from both parties and considered in detail each disputed item on the completion accounts. Our work was complicated by limited accounting records, in particular concerning service charge accounts, which had been dealt with by several different agents and spanned many years. Nonetheless, we arrived at our determination which both parties considered fair.

Case study: determination of share price for software company
The two 50% shareholders of a specialist software provider appointed us under the ICAEW’s President’s Appointment Scheme. The shareholders were parting ways and they had agreed one would purchase the other’s shares but they could not agree on the price to be paid. We provided clear instructions to the two shareholders on the process we would follow and received written representations from both. We reviewed these representations and prepared our valuation of the 50% shareholding on the basis of these but also on our own research and experience of valuing privately owned companies. Both parties were able to move on once our determination had been issued.