Director of Business Valuations
It is becoming more common in the valuation and forensic accounting field that professionals are engaged as joint neutral experts, especially in matrimonial litigation or shareholder disputes. For the litigants, engaging a joint neutral expert can represent a significant financial savings, considering they need to cover the cost of only one expert, the associated document and information production requirements may be less onerous, and one avoids the possibility of dueling opinions eating up additional fees. While I used to think representing both sides would make it easier to work on an engagement, it has turned out to be far more challenging than I expected. The joint expert must manage the expectations of both parties and their counsel, handle double the correspondence, and maintain a neutral position. Despite the challenges, however, I believe using a joint neutral expert generally expedites a settlement and allows the parties to move on with their lives more quickly.