In the matter of OTS (Australia) Pty Ltd  NSWSC 175
This was a shareholder oppression suit between three founding directors. The plaintiff owned two of the six issued shares and the defendants owned the remaining four.
The parties agreed to appoint a single valuer (Single Expert) for the purpose of determining the value of the plaintiff’s shareholding. After the Single Expert delivered his valuation report, the Court granted the defendants leave to adduce expert evidence in response to the Single Expert’s valuation (Defendant’s Expert).
Both Experts were directed by the Court to confer and prepare a joint report where their fundamental disagreements were identified as:
The plaintiff contended that where there was disagreement between the experts, the Single Expert has the presumptive advantage of the additional degree of independence. The Court disagreed and found that:
“While I accept that the manner of appointment of a parties’ single expert means that he or she owes allegiance to neither party, that of itself does not enhance the quality and reliability of the opinion, although it deprives its critics of one potential criticism. But the opinion of the single expert, when it is challenged or contradicted, must be scrutinised and evaluated just as is the opinion of an expert instructed by only one party.”
On the areas of disagreement, the Court was ultimately guided by the expert evidence but did not entirely adopt the evidence of either expert:
Courts will assess the merits of expert reports based on the quality and reliability of the expert’s opinions, not necessarily by reference to whether an expert was appointed by one or both litigants.
It is not uncommon for Courts to adjust the expert’s findings to arrive at an outcome that is guided by expert evidence, adapted to reflect the factual circumstances of the case.
Our dispute advisory experts have extensive knowledge of litigation and alternative dispute resolution processes. We pride ourselves on providing reports and advice which convey complex technical issues in a manner suitable for Courts and understandable to those outside of our profession.
SOURCES: 1 Brereton J at 
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