Wednesday, 18 January 2023

How accommodating should triers of fact be in their approach to damages quantification?

Forensic accounting expert, Owain Stone, recently shared his insights with the Australian Centre for International Commecial Arbitration’s (ACICA) publication, ACICA Review. In this article, Owain queried whether the sometimes imprecise nature of damages quantification is at odds with the flexibility of arbitrations.

Flexibility is often citied as one of the key benefits of arbitration over litigation. Owain discussed the recent Singapore Court of Appeal decision in CEF and CEG v CEH [2022] SGCA 541 that highlighted the limits that must be placed on this flexibility in the assessment of damages. Triers of fact must adapt where precise evidence is not obtainable, applying the principle to make the best estimate they can.

In discussing principles around reliance and expectation losses, verification of costs, wasted expenditure, whether costs were reasonably incurred, Owain highlighted the concern many parties have over a ‘Judgment of Solomon’ style resolution appearing fair however leaving parties dissatisfied. While accepting the element of estimation is necessary, he also discussed the fundamental imperative for sufficient and appropriate evidence to support such estimations.

Read the full article here, as as published in the ACICA Review (see page 69).