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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3844
Experience:  Two years conveyancing experience.
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A consultant is engaged to represent me in negotiations with

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A consultant is engaged to represent me in negotiations with a local authority for compensation following a compulsory purchase order on my property.
He is instructed to liasse with myself and my adviser before presenting his figures to commence negotiations.
He proceeded to the negotiation table and submitted his case without discussing the claim with us beforehand.The claim based on his workings which later we demanded to see should have been at least £200k more.
We have had an apology from him for not complying with his instructions, and when we suggested to him to notify the authority that he had made a mistake and rescind the presentation he claimed we were undermining his negotiations and stated he would send in his invoice if we didn't back him, this is all in writing.
His workings have been examined by knowledgeable people and agree his figures are incorrect, the trouble is having presented his case this could provide a severe obstacle especially if negotiations collapse and the matter goes to a land tribunal at high court.
If he won't rescind his presentation and pulls out what redress do I have for his failure to consult as per agreement.
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
As a starting point I would find out if the consultant has any professional indemnity insurance - if you are talking about claiming a loss of £200k - then it will probably only be worth spending money suing him if he has insurance.
Secondly any claim would be for professional negligence. Under the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 S.13 there is an implied term that services must be provided with reasonable care and skill. Breach of this implied term means you can claim damages on a contractual - any reasonably foreseeable loss - whether this is loss of the value of your property or lost fees/costs in taking the matter to the Land Tribunal. You need to think about how you can prove your loss.
DO you have a signed retainer letter with this consultant?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Our consultant represents a large firm of surveyors. A contract from them was signed prior to commencement.

Obviously if he won't rescind the presentation and pulls out and demands payment am I obliged to pay him.

I would have to engage another and he was engaged last April so time consuming.

My first consultant a surveyor was engaged by me at the outset when the authority wanted my property before CP but unknown to me till later had entered into an agreement to receive 2.5% of the final settlement he was obviously discharged and got nothing.

My present consultant agreed a price of £160 per hour hopefully to be met by the authority which is part of a term of CP called "Vested" but when we found out he had proceeded to negotiations without prior consultation with us, was asked to present his workings to us for perusal, and an update of costs incurred so far.

Eventually we received the workings and could understand why he did not want us to see the figures, he also told us the Authority were paying his fees, don't worry about it.

We think another deal for a percentage of the agreed price has been agreed but won't be able to prove this as he won't dare go up to this level.

.If it were to go to a tribunal the authority are bound to say we keep discharging consultants and a figure was agreed beforehand with the present consultant even although we have never received an offer.

I understood he submitted his presentation in Aug so he must have received a response by now

Thank you.
If you agreed a retainer you still have an obligation to pay him, but you could always refuse and dispute the fees on the basis of negligence.
Is this a regulated firm of Surveyors under the RICS?
Kind regards
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

This guy who I actually like started of by going to a lawyer on property who examined a letter from the authority telling me the property was worthless and I was going to get nothing, then went on to say all the things I could have built on my site, the lawyer considered this guy had shot himself in the foot and planned for the building to be converted into flats and a duplex on the land with a total selling price of £1.52m with a residual price of £402k but showed after all building and selling costs and finance a profit of £235k which a developer like me would have made, but only submitted the £402k.

My gut feeling is the authority negotiator would have had his balls chewed if after four years holding up their plans a higher price was agreed.

My man is a former DV for his area, a mrics faav so I believe a pleasing settlement to all that would protect his opposite numbers job and possibly benefit his employers later was the motive.

At present the low figure is approx £100k better than the first consultant so I was right in offloading him,

Thanks for the advice, why is things never simple.

Thank you.
At least you have some figures from professional that can show and estimate of loss.
Do not forget to check the indemnity insurance. If you want to put pressure on the surveyor you could always make a complaint to the RCIS.
Kind regards
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