What are they and why would you need one?
Expert Witnesses in property matters can be difficult to find as it is a niche surveying sector where the expert needs to have not just a knowledge of property, but also a knowledge of property law along with an expert’s responsibility to the Courts.
Mark Richardson, a Partner here at BB&J Commercial has regularly provided reports on property for legal purposes over many years and has considerable experience in the field. In this article he explains what an Expert Witness does and outlines the circumstances in which he may be called to act.
“I’m usually called upon to provide an expert report on property matters when there is a legal dispute between parties. If for example two property owners are splitting up and there is an argument over the value of a property asset, or other matters where the value of a property is pivotal then I may be called upon by the Court to provide an independent report for their consideration.”
Providing an expert report goes significantly beyond a conventional RICS valuation due not only the extra reporting requirements needed to meet the Courts standards but also the additional responsibilities that fall on the surveyor as an expert, including understanding his duty to the Court overrides other matters such as who is paying him. As Mark explains” ultimately an expert has to give their opinion to the Court as the client, and that duty overrides everything else regardless of whichever party is paying him. In addition an expert may be called upon to give evidence in Court where they need to justify their valuation and may be subject to cross-examination”
Many surveyors can undertake valuation reports but Mark has progressed further having undertaken the Master’s level Advanced Professional Award in Expert Witness Evidence, before going on to become an Accredited RICS Expert Witness following a rigorous vetting procedure.
“Providing Expert work can be challenging, as it is not just about arriving at an opinion, but being able and prepared to justify it clearly and concisely knowing that your report is being read by a Judge. It is essential to know your own limitations as an expert, as undertaking work in an area of property where you don’t have real expertise can lead to court sanctions and potentially professional misconduct.”
For more information as to how Mark can help with Expert Witness work please contact him direct on 07973 692 220 alternatively email email@example.com.