It is common for commercial agreements to include dispute
resolution clauses which require disputes to be referred to an
expert for determination. Where the appointment of an expert cannot
be agreed on between the parties, many commercial agreements
provide that a party may request the President of the Institute of
Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA) to
nominate a member of the ICAA to act as an expert to determine the
However, recent changes to ICAA's policy have resulted in
the President of ICAA no longer providing this service. According
to ICAA's website, parties who wish the President of the ICAA
to nominate a member to act as an expert in a dispute will now be
referred to ICAA's online "Find a Chartered Accountant
service". This service allows parties to locate a Chartered
Accountant to act as an expert in a dispute, by suburb, state,
specialisation and service type. However, this service often
provides a list of experts which will not enable the dispute to be
As a result of this change in ICAA policy, clients may find that
commercial agreements which include dispute resolution clauses
relying on nomination of an expert by the President of the ICAA are
no longer operable. Where parties cannot agree on an expert, this
failure may result in there being no enforceable mechanism by which
parties can resolve the dispute without resorting to costly
We suggest clients review their agreements to see if such
dispute resolutions clauses remain effective in light of these
changes. Where an agreement provides for either party to request
the President of the ICAA to nominate a member as an expert,
parties could agree to amend the clause to provide for an
alternative expert nomination process before a dispute arises.
We note that The Institute of Arbitrators & Mediators
Australia offers an expert nomination service for expert
determination of a dispute. Dispute resolution clauses could be
amended to provide that either party may request The Institute of
Arbitrators & Mediators Australia to nominate a suitable person
to act as an expert in the dispute in accordance with its Expert
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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This was an interlocutory decision about the appointment of a tutor for the child appellant, to carry on his proceedings.
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