“The mere act of appointing a standing neutral is like a magic bullet for reducing or even eliminating disputes between parties to a contract”.
A standing neutral is a trusted, independent expert advisor (or a panel of three advisors) chosen by contracting parties to help resolve any disputes that arise between them during the contractual relationship.
This is typically used in the context of a business relationship where long-term cooperation is paramount, such as projects undertaken in the construction and oil industries. It is seen as a first response technique, designed to prevent any problems from escalating into adversarial disputes.
Contracting parties who have arranged for a standing neutral are incentivized to concentrate on fixing the problem rather than fixing the blame. They use their mutual knowledge to reach a solution between themselves, instead of relinquishing control to the neutral.