Expert Witness

Our advice is ALWAYS avoid legal action if you can.  Negotiate, speak to people.  Only go legal as a last resort.

Pete has worked on a number of substantial cases.  One involved a large national building company which was developing a Grade 2 listed building in the middle of a large housing estate.  It's called an enabling development.  The building had no roof, metre thick sandstone walls, and was soaked to the core. They engaged a builder and told him to complete the contract in 12 months.  He advised them the lime plaster would fail, as would lime render because the walls were too wet.  Caught in a contract, he was forced by the building company to complete.  The render then fell off and the house, with 7 apartments, was sopping wet. He was sued for over £200,000.   We successfully argued his case against stiff opposition from the building company with a collection of 'experts' saying we were wrong.  He was awarded costs and full payment for his work.

In another case, Pete was asked to look at a Grade 2 listed timber frame which had been surveyed by an RICS Chartered Surveyor with no experience of old buildings.  The survey report said the timber frame needed normal maintenance.  A claim against the surveyor's PI insurance was made after it was found that the timber frame needed total replacement and the house was structurally unsound.  This was settled out of court by the insurers, for around £150,000 and the house is now being re-built by a team of timber framers.

Pete worked on a similar case where an RICS Chartered Surveyor - again with no experience of old buildings failed to identify that the roof was in a state of near collapse, and that stone walls were thickly rendered with cement and sopping wet.  Again the PI insurers have agreed an out of court settlement and are funding the cost of roofing and other works to rectify the problem.

We take a lot of pride in our working knowledge of old buildings, and the Listing system.  It's the practical experience we have in taking these buildings apart and rebuilding them that gives us an edge over most other professionals.  We know what is underneath the fabric, and we know what it costs to repair them.  We can DO the repairs ourselves - so we know how to produce schedules and specifications.



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