International tax experts
Register of certified experts
Tribute holds a register of experts who are certified and available for appointment as arbitrators, mediators or facilitators, or to provide technical advice or witness testimonies. This ‘Tribute list’ consists of carefully selected, ‘hand-picked’, international tax experts.
By the Tribute list, Tribute aims to mediate between parties seeking a qualified expert on the one hand, and available experts on the other. For international tax experts, acting as arbitrator, mediator or facilitator, technical adviser or expert witness is often only incidental, and their activity one in their individual capacity, not as a commercial enterprise which is used to publicly advertising its services. Therefore, it may be difficult for parties seeking an expert to identify which experts are qualified, and interested and available, to take on their case, and to get in contact with them. For the same reason, experts usually have little overview of which parties may be interested in obtaining their assistance.
Experts on the Tribute list particularly satisfy the requirements of expertise or experience in international tax matters under the arbitration provisions of the Multilateral Convention to implement tax treaty related measures to prevent base erosion and profit shifting (MLI), and the EU Council Directive (2017/1852) on tax dispute resolution mechanisms and Arbitration Convention (90/436/EEC).
Tribute invests a great deal to make the Tribute list of experts as diverse as it possibly can, for such relevant factors as areas of specialization: jurisdiction, topic, or industry specific, professional background and work experience: government, judiciary, tax practice, academic, or mixed, nationality, culture, and gender.
Peer scrutiny process
Selection of experts for the Tribute list is ordinarily by personal invitation from Tribute, following suggestions from present experts or reliable, well-informed outside contacts. Admission to the list is subject to a peer scrutiny process, as ultimate warrant for experts’ ability, independence and neutrality.
Experts are not required to pay any fee or financial contribution for admission on the Tribute list. A place on the Tribute list cannot be ’bought’.
Public and ‘open’ character
The Tribute list is public, adding to transparency of international dispute resolution processes.
Also, the Tribute list is an ‘open’ list, which means that parties are free at all times to decide whether or not they want to appoint any experts from the list, also in cases where they have tasked Tribute with organizing the resolution process, and who it is they shall appoint – though Tribute may occasionally suggest one or more candidates who Tributes considers best qualified for a case and has confirmed to be indeed available.
The ‘menu’ – an especially developed data base
Tribute has developed a special matching data base, a ‘menu’, which allows to identify the right expert with the proper qualifications, specializations and prior experiences matching the merits of a particular dispute. This menu is accessible at special request, for governments, courts or tribunals, arbitration institutes, or practitioners, seeking experts for actual appointment in a case.
This ‘menu’ also enables Tribute to monitor more closely and advice on any independency risks as there may occur in selecting experts for a particular case. Independence of arbitrators, for instance, is a highly sensitive matter, since arbitral decisions may be appealed or annuled, as the case may be, on account of independence afterwards having been found breached.
Support for experts
Tribute maintains regular contact with the experts on the Tribute list, both individually and through regional gatherings. Tribute supports the Tribute experts in performing as arbitrator or mediator or facilitator, among others by exchanges of experiences with procedural and other non-substantive issues, and updating of case management skills.
Tribute is continuously expanding the Tribute list of experts, in tune with the growing awareness of and need for third party assistance in the resolution of international tax disputes.
Expert fees and uplift
Expert fees may either be fixed, as, for instance, under EU Council Directive (2017/1852) on tax dispute resolution mechanisms, or under rate schedules as arbitration institutes often apply, or subject to individual negotiations between experts and appointing parties. Tribute experts may entrust Tribute with negotiating their fees for them, on the basis of amounts of fees known to Tribute to have been applied in prior comparable cases.
Tribute charges a modest uplift on fees of experts appointed from the Tribute list, as remuneration for its efforts of composing and updating the Tribute list and researchable ‘menu’, and keeping experts’ special skills as arbitrator, facilitator or mediator up to standard.
The updated Tribute list
The up-to-date list of present Tribute experts is publicly and freely available here.
Parties that wish to research the special, more comprehensive Tribute ‘menu’, with an actual view of seeking experts for appointment in a particular case, are requested to contact the Tribute secretariat.