- The NSW Court of Appeal has confirmed that an expert determination conducted under a contract can be subject to review if the expert does not carry out the task that the expert was contractually bound to carry out. This is the case even if the contract states that the determination is ‘final and binding’ (or ‘final and conclusive’).
- Parties to a contract will need to ensure that an expert properly understands his or her functions under contract when performing a review and making a determination.
Parties to a contract will often agree to an expert determination process that will apply if a dispute or adverse situation arises. Such a process can provide a private and informal means for the parties to resolve a dispute without recourse to litigation. Contractual dispute resolution can offer practical benefits to all parties.
But what happens if contractual parties disagree with an expert’s findings, or the way in which the expert reached his or her findings? The NSW Court of Appeal considered this question in the recent case of Australian Vintage Limited v Belvino Investments No 2 Pty Ltd  NSWCA 275 (11 September 2015).