THE ROLE OF THE EXPERT WITNESS - Chapter 11 - MENA Leading Arbitrators’ Guide to International Arbitration
Originally from The MENA Leading Arbitrators’ Guide to International Arbitration
If used properly, expert witnesses can play an important role in international arbitration. Before examining the role of an Expert, it is helpful to set out the basics of being an Expert, by asking and answering: what, why and who?
A. What is an Expert?
In the context of arbitration, an Expert is a person with a level of knowledge or experience in a particular field which qualifies them to present their opinions on those matters to the arbitral tribunal. Experts come from many different industries, for example from medical to agriculture to accounting. The most common types of Experts engaged for construction disputes are engineering Experts, architectural Experts, project management Experts, delay Experts, and quantum Experts.
B. Why Use an Expert?
Disputes in arbitration often involve substantial documentation on complex technical issues, which may be outside the knowledge or expertise of the arbitral tribunal. An Expert can therefore assist the arbitral tribunal, not only by distilling the factual documentation, but also by using their technical or specialist knowledge to provide opinions, thereby assisting the arbitral tribunal to reach a decision on the issues before it.
Submission of an Expert report along with a party’s pleadings can lend credibility to the claims being made and the relief being sought. In addition, the opinions of an Expert may provide the parties with realistic expectations of the likely outcome of their disputes.