Over the last few years there has been an increase in requests for Expert Witness reports. Usually we are instructed to act as a joint expert where under the Civil Procedure Rules we are effectively asked by the Court to provide professional advice on a range of survey and valuation matters.
This work is mainly carried out by Stephen Scott-Fawcett. He has extensive knowledge of the respective geographical areas and has many years of post-qualification experience in survey and valuation work.
It is rare that surveyors and valuers have to appear before a Court to give their expert evidence first hand. Indeed, in the majority of cases, matters are resolved by the respective parties before the Court hearing. Nevertheless, Stephen has experience of appearing at both Court and the Lands Tribunal.
We fully understand our duties as they pertain to acting as an expert witness and our obligation to provide clear, unambiguous and impartial advice. We are very aware that in a Court hearing we should address the judge and not Counsel, answer the questions we are being asked but no more, keep to the facts and matters within our expertise, avoid being drawn into hypothetical discussions, avoid arguing with the advocate or the judge and not attempt to win the case.
Occasionally we are asked to provide expert reports for individuals through their legal advisers. Again, our aim is to provide concise and professional advice. Stephen has experience of meeting with Barristers to discuss reports prior to Court proceedings and has held 'without prejudice' discussions with opposing experts.
We also provide initial survey and valuation advice where lawyers believe there may be a case to answer but do not require a report in full compliance with Civil Procedure Rules.
In many instances, the valuation advice required is retrospective. This is where the long established nature of Martin & Mortimer is essential. We have an extensive database of valuations and also have access to Her Majesty's Land Registry (HMLR) database and Rightmove Professional Members site; these marry up all property sold through Rightmove with HMLR sold prices.
We can also provide detailed assessment/examination of Homebuyers Reports and Building Surveys or advise on the reporting (or omission) of specific defects within those reports.
On request, CV's and copies of previously prepared and redacted reports can be provided.