Expert Witness

Disputes are common, expert representation is essential. As experienced surveyors, the advice we provide is credible and clear covering a variety of matters.

Expert Witness

Our Dilapidation Process

Our dilapidation framework has been developed through thousands of hours of experience, our processes identify the right mix of skills to ensure success.

We have it covered. Managed by leading RICS dilapidation specialists we continually review our practises with our legal partners.

Our Project Process

Our Project framework has been developed through collaboration with our partners and clients, applying a value centric process.

Unsure how to get the right result? We have it covered. Managed by experienced project managers we work hard to get you the result needed to meet budget time and quality.

Credible, clear and intelligible

Credible, clear and intelligible

Expert Witnesses are normally appointed after proceedings have been issued, but not always. Expert Witnesses are appointed when it is expected that there will be a court hearing and both written and oral evidence will have to be presented, ultimately, to the Court. Expert Witnesses are appointed by the parties in order to assist the Court in understanding technical issues, enabling a fair judgement.

Vantage agree with The Right Hon the Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury; that it is important for the integrity of the civil justice system that anybody, above all professionals, who take on the role of Expert Witness have a clear understanding of the duties involved, and that they perform their obligations to the court or tribunal concerned to the best of their ability. It is crucial for any judicial process which includes expert evidence that the Expert Witnesses are honest, objective and fair, so that their expertise can properly and helpfully inform, support and enhance the decision-makers decision and the process by which that decision is reached – i.e. so that justice can be done and can be seen to be done.

As a surveyor actively involved in a dispute, we adhere to guidance including the RICS Surveyors acting as Expert Witnesses 4th edition, amended August 2020. We act in an independent and unbiased manner only taking on roles where we have the relevant expertise, experience and knowledge. We state the main facts and assumptions based on material facts and do not stray from the duties of an Expert Witness by acting in a partial, misleading or untruthful manner.

Vantage are able to act as an Expert Witness, both as Party-Appointed Expert (appointed by one party in a dispute) and Single Joint Expert (appointed by agreement of both or more parties in a dispute).

To help facilitate settlement before attending Court, the parties' experts often meet and attempt to narrow issues and document agreement in a joint statement. Frequently, after this stage, if successful, disputes can be settled by agreement between the parties. Vantage is used to working with solicitors and barristers and accepts instructions from both claimants and defendants.

As professionals the Expert Witness team at Vantage are all experienced Chartered Surveyors with numerous years experience but we do not stop there.

Staff with an interest in expert work are trained with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, CIArb, who offer a range of education and vocational staff training courses and qualifications.

We believe like the CIArb's range of world-respected qualifications and training; links perfectly to Vantage’s commitment to excellence and on-going training. Our team read the latest standards and guidelines from the RICS and CIArb to ensure we think as the leading practitioners do. We acknowledge learning never stops as an expert witness.


We are well versed in all methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution

Many disputes can be resolved following our expert intervention, through meetings, mediation or other ADR mechanisms. Vantage provide you with peace of mind and will support you in any way possible.

“JT Ross value candid advice and that is what Vantage have provided us in the UK. Where problems existed, they found solutions and met our timescales plus budgets be it for projects or dilapidation roles. We recommend Vantage.”

Andrew Ross, UK Managing Partner
JT Ross

“Prologis promote collaborative working and exploring the best solutions with our customers. Applying this to dilapidations is not easy. Vantage are aligned with our values; consequently their approach has led to swift and pragmatic solutions for both us and our customers.”

Stuart Davies, Real Estate & Customer Experience Lead, VP
Prologis UK Limited

“Good help is hard to find and it’s a competitive marketplace so you have to react quickly. The team at Vantage showed the importance of listening first and have had a number of successful roles with our clients as a result.”

Craig Hudson, Equity Partner
Curson Sowerby Partners

“Vantage support Aegon property funds nationwide and have been reliable, applying solution focused strategies they have successfully settled a variety of dilapidation roles and at the same time maintained our aim of positive landlord/ tenant relationships.”

Jim Hartley, Head of UK Asset Management
Aegon, Europe

“Working with Vantage has always been a proactive process. I’ve found them to be very responsive and have the knowledge and staff to provide quality and accurate Insurance Reinstatement Valuations for our clients.“

Huw Thomas, Managing Director
Huw Thomas Commercial

"We have worked with Vantage for several years on dilapidation and project roles with success. The market is competitive, Vantage understand this and their innovative approach has seen us jointly achieve good results."

John Boyle, Chief Financial Officer
Ann Summers

"We enjoy working with the team at Vantage, together we have managed a number of complex roles to good effect. The quality of their work was excellent.”

Charles Sherrat-Davies, Director and Co-founder
Asset Management UK

“JT Ross value candid advice and that is what Vantage have provided us in the UK. Where problems existed, they found solutions and met our timescales plus budgets be it for projects or dilapidation roles. We recommend Vantage.”

Andrew Ross, UK Managing Partner
JT Ross

“Prologis promote collaborative working and exploring the best solutions with our customers. Applying this to dilapidations is not easy. Vantage are aligned with our values; consequently their approach has led to swift and pragmatic solutions for both us and our customers.”

Stuart Davies, Real Estate & Customer Experience Lead, VP
Prologis UK Limited

“Good help is hard to find and it’s a competitive marketplace so you have to react quickly. The team at Vantage showed the importance of listening first and have had a number of successful roles with our clients as a result.”

Craig Hudson, Equity Partner
Curson Sowerby Partners

“Vantage support Aegon property funds nationwide and have been reliable, applying solution focused strategies they have successfully settled a variety of dilapidation roles and at the same time maintained our aim of positive landlord/ tenant relationships.”

Jim Hartley, Head of UK Asset Management
Aegon, Europe

“Working with Vantage has always been a proactive process. I’ve found them to be very responsive and have the knowledge and staff to provide quality and accurate Insurance Reinstatement Valuations for our clients.“

Huw Thomas, Managing Director
Huw Thomas Commercial

"We have worked with Vantage for several years on dilapidation and project roles with success. The market is competitive, Vantage understand this and their innovative approach has seen us jointly achieve good results."

John Boyle, Chief Financial Officer
Ann Summers

"We enjoy working with the team at Vantage, together we have managed a number of complex roles to good effect. The quality of their work was excellent.”

Charles Sherrat-Davies, Director and Co-founder
Asset Management UK

FAQs

How did Expert Witnesses come into being?
The first recorded use of an Expert Witness in an English case was in Folkes v Chadd (1782) 3 Doug KB 157. In that case, Lord Mansfield overruled Mr Justice Gould’s refusal to permit a jury to hear the evidence of John Smeaton, a civil engineer, whom some Norfolk farmers, who were being sued by the Wells Harbour Commissioners, wished to call to give his expert opinion as to the cause of the silting up of the harbour. Since that decision, Expert Witnesses have been called to deal with an almost countless variety of issues in an almost countless number of cases. In many hearings, expert evidence is crucial to the outcome of the case.
What is a Dispute Resolution Service?
Dispute Resolution can take many forms. The most effective way to resolve any dispute is to try to prevent it occurring initially. This relies on appropriate professional advice being taken by all parties before entering into any construction or property contract. Where a dispute cannot be avoided, the most important first step is to appreciate that a dispute does exist. Having accepted this fact, the next step is to establish its nature and extent, what are the associated risks and how is it best to address and resolve. It is ideal that this assessment is undertaken before a formal 'pre-action' letter is sent by a claimant to a defendant or before a defendant prepares its response, having received such a letter. Many disputes are resolved when the issues are clarified and understood by both or all the parties. Despite there being protocols for dispute resolution, often claims are not well prepared and can immediately be reduced in magnitude and quantum following assessment by expert witnesses appointed by the parties. Conversely, of course, claims can also be understated and are increased by the same process. The fundamental principles for all parties involved are honesty, transparency and professional integrity. Whatever the circumstances, expert advice is required to provide clarity, objectivity and balanced opinions, based on independence and integrity. No one and no party should want to have their disputes resolved in Court, where control and the judgement is under the control of the Judge and not the parties.
What is Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and what are the advantages?
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is the preferred method of resolving disputes in the construction industry, without the need for Court. ADR methods include Adjudication, Mediation, Arbitration and Expert Witness: all quicker and more cost-effective than Court proceedings. Vantage are specialists in ADR in the construction industry and can service any size and type of construction dispute. Construction disputes often occur between Main Contractors, Subcontractors and Employers or Clients where additional works or variations arise; the works are delayed and increases in project costs materialise. ADR is regularly used to resolve disputes concerning payment, such as interim payments, pay less notices, payment notices, default payments, final accounts, and retention issues. ADR is also used for construction delays, extension of time claims, loss and expense, repudiatory breach of contract, contract termination, defects, practical completion, incomplete work, design failure, variations and often liquidated damages, bankruptcy, or insolvency. The best ADR method for resolving your construction dispute will depend on the nature of the dispute and the construction contract in place. There are several advantages of using ADR to resolve your construction dispute instead of Court proceedings: Cost: With ADR, your costs are reduced as you do not require a Construction Solicitor, Barrister or Construction Lawyer as there are no Court proceedings, which can be time consuming and costly. The Courts often request ADR is used initially, through the ‘Pre-action Protocol for Construction and Engineering Disputes (PAP). With litigation, often only a fraction of costs are recoverable, the unrecoverable court costs (sometimes 75%) might easily outstrip your claim very quickly and spiral out of control. Speed: Unlike Court proceedings which can be lengthy, disputes can be resolved through ADR quickly. The leading method of ADR in the construction industry is Adjudication, which once a dispute is started, can be resolved within 28 days. Confidentiality: ADR is a private process between parties to the dispute and therefore it is not in the public domain like litigation. This can help maintain relationships between Main Contractors, Subcontractors and Building Employers and makes the process easier.
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Case Study
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