By Samer Skaik, Jeremy Coggins, Anthony Mills

Since its introduction in to Australia fifteen years ago, statutory adjudication has become increasingly used by parties seeking to recover payment claims which are large in amount and technically and legally complex in nature. This has inevitably led to the formalisation of the adjudication process with parties often submitting, amongst other documents, expert witness reports to support their arguments. The increase in documentation that an adjudicator must consider poses a threat to the integrity of the adjudicator’s determination.

This paper adopts a ‘black letter’ approach to distil the law concerning the way in which adjudicators should deal with expert reports, and reveals there are many pitfalls that an adjudicator should be aware of. Moving forward, this paper seeks to inform the PhD study of the lead author which eventually aims to formulate a roadmap with recommendations that may be applied to help optimise the various Australian adjudication schemes for the determination of large and/or complex payment claims.

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