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Rules on Expert Opinion

Translation of the GMAA Rules on Expert Opinion

(In case of doubt, the German version prevails.)

§ 1 Application of the Rules
Any party to an agreement may give written notice by letter, fax or e-mail to the other parties of its intention to appoint an Expert in accordance with these Rules on Expert Opinion as applicable at the time of commencing the proceedings

§ 2 Object of the GMAA expert opinion
All disputed facts or legal questions out of or in connection with the underlying legal relationship can be settled via a GMAA expert opinion

§ 3 Appointment of the GMAA Expert
1. A sole Expert is appointed on the basis of a corresponding agreement between the Parties.
2. If agreement on the Expert cannot be reached within three working days of the written notice in accordance with § 1, upon the request of one of the parties the appointment of an Expert is carried out by the Chairman of the Board of GMAA or his deputy. The request should set out the subject of the dispute in a succinct manner in order to enable the appointment of a suitable Expert.
3. The Chairman of the Board of GMAA or his deputy is to appoint an Expert with utmost dispatch.

§ 4 Commencement of Expert opinion Proceedings
The expert opinion proceedings commence when the Expert accepts the joint appointment by the Parties or by the Chairman of the Board of GMAA or his deputy and the questions to be adjudicated on have been submitted to the Expert by at least one party.

§ 5 Impartiality of the GMAA Expert
1. The Expert shall at all times act impartially.
2. The Expert may not take on the role of Expert if he has knowledge of circumstances which justify doubt as to his impartiality or suitability, if he does not fulfil the requirements agreed upon by the parties or if he cannot guarantee a swift execution of the expert opinion proceedings.

§ 6 Confidentiality of the GMAA Expert
Any information which the Expert obtains in carrying out the expert opinion is to be treated confidentially by the Expert. This does not apply in the case of subsequent court or arbitration proceedings in which the Expert is called as a witness.

§ 7 Subsequent proceedings
The Expert may not accept an appointment as arbitrator, conciliator or mediator in the same matter.

§ 8 Opting Out
Either Party is entitled to opt out of the Expert opinion until the commencement of the expert opinion as per § 4 above. Thereafter, opting out is always conditional upon the consent of the other Party, such consent to be in writing by letter, fax or e-mail.

§ 9 Rejecting the Expert / Resignation
1. The Expert must inform the parties at all stages of the proceedings of all circumstances which could justify his rejection as Expert. This applies in particular for the circumstances set out under § 5 no. 2 above.
2. A party may reject an Expert if at the time of or after the commencement of the proceedings under § 4 above circumstances become known which would justify his rejection. This applies in particular for circumstances set out in § 5 no. 2 above.
3. If the rejection is disputed as between the parties, the chairman or deputy of the board of the GMAA will make a decision upon the application of one of the parties.
4. In the event of the resignation of the Expert due to reasons for which the Expert is responsible, pre - payments received by the Expert are to be reimbursed.

§ 10 Conducting the GMAA Expert opinion
1. The place of expert opinion shall be chosen by the parties, but if no agreement can be reached it shall be chosen by the Expert under consideration of the convenience of the parties. The default place of expert opinion is Hamburg if no other place is deemed suitable.
2. Following the appointment of the Expert, the Expert will set the time limits for the parties to submit their pleadings. Once these have been received, the Expert must make his decision as quickly as possible.
3. The Expert decides using equitable discretion if further information, a meeting or a site visit are required in respect of the question(s) to be adjudicated.
4. The Expert must make the decision in the matter in accordance with equitable discretion.
5. The Expert is to give a signed copy of the decision to all parties in writing, by fax, e - mail or post. The decision is to provide a summary of the reasons for arriving at the decision.

§ 11 Remedies
1. The Expert's decision is binding on the parties and is in principle unappealable.
2. The decision can be replaced by the judgment of the competent court if it is obviously inequitable, in particular obviously incorrect.
3. The parties can agree to dispense with their right to appeal.

§ 12 Publication of the decision
1. Each party is free in terms of use of the expert opinion decision in relation to the legal relations forming the basis of the proceedings.
2. If and in what form the decision is otherwise published is subject to the agreement of the parties .

§ 13 GMAA Expert's Fees
1. The Expert's fees are subject to agreement.
2. The Expert's necessary expenses and the respective VAT on them are to be reimbursed together with the fees under 1. above.
3. The Expert may request security from the parties for the anticipated fees and expenses in accordance with numbers 1. and 2. above or a corresponding pre - payment.
4. The Expert's fees are to be split equally between the parties. The parties are, however, liable to the Expert as joint and several debtors.
5. In the absence of contrary agreements, the payment of the Expert is to take place at the latest on the fifth working day following the handing down of his decision.

§ 14 Liability of the GMAA Expert
The Expert shall not be liable with respect to his decision, unless he has acted deliberately in breaching his duties.

§ 15 Applicable law

The Expert opinion procedure is subject to German law.