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Expert Witness and Dispute Resolution


About us George F White offer a team of highly acclaimed and experienced professionals providing a range of dispute resolution services. Our range of services include expert witness, arbitration, advocacy and mediation. We operate within the following sectors:    

Residential Commercial Agricultural Leisure

We provide clear, reasoned analysis of all relevant facts; present professional opinion with clarity; and are happy to sustain cross examination in a firm but courteous manner. All our work is carried out in accordance with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) regulations and Civil Procedure Rules (CPR).

We offer:    

Expert Witness and Expert services as independent and single joint experts Arbitration Mediation To present simple and straightforward cases to Courts, Tribunals, Arbitrators, Adjudicators, Committees, Inspectors and other bodies who determine disputes

Why instruct us?            

We are nationally recognised as experts in all types of property, plant, machinery, livestock and environmental matters We are national leaders in current and future valuation methodology We have specialist knowledge in all areas of Landlord & Tenant, Planning & Development, Waste, Minerals & Energy, renewables and Compensation & Compulsory Purchase We present reliable, reasoned and unbiased professional opinion We will provide a detailed and professional investigation with thorough research of all relevant facts and evidence We will help focus upon and put in order, all the relevant facts You will find us objective, patient, confident and pleasant working partners We can robustly maintain an opinion under cross examination We have excellent oral and written communication skills We will execute our instructions in accordance with statutory and professional requirements We will define and agree issues between parties We will help quantify or assess the amount of any sum in dispute and identify opportunities for settlement


Hugh Fell Hugh Fell is Managing Partner of George F White and has 26 years’ experience in valuation of rurally based property throughout the UK. He takes the lead within the RICS on the valuation of rural property and is a former member of the Valuation Standards Board. He is currently leading an initiative on the valuation of water as a separate asset and the impact of flood risk on value. Hugh is an experienced RICS accredited Expert Witness who has been taking instructions for over 20 years. He has a solid reputation for providing clear focus on the relevant facts and opinion in a dispute. Using clear methodology, he investigates, analyses, prepares reports and appears in court and land tribunals on behalf of claimant and defendant. He also works as Single Joint Expert and as an Expert Adviser in arbitration and litigation. Hugh Fell is trained and qualified as an arbitrator and was appointed UK’s youngest agricultural arbitrator in 1995. He has a proven track record not only as an Expert Witness but also as a successful mediator in partnership and corporate business disputes and is an expert in Agricultural Holdings legislation. He passionately believes that obtaining clarity on the comprehensive facts of a case will often lead to settlement of a dispute. Hugh’s reports and evidence have covered subjects including:     

Effective management of rural businesses Landlord & Tenant issues Dilapidations Joint venture farming Insolvency support

Some notable cases: 

A farming partnership in Yorkshire was dissolved with the breakdown of relations. Hugh Fell was instructed to act as expert witness to ascertain the value of the land and property and to help guide the parties towards a mutually acceptable settlement.

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An expert report on the competency of business management by the husband in a matrimonial dispute.

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A garden in Bedfordshire was contaminated by an oil spill from adjacent property and Hugh Fell was instructed as Expert to give evidence in court as to whether there was a reduction in the value of the land and subsequent level of compensation to be paid.

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An expert report was prepared in a case where electricity pylons were positioned in front of an imposing Manor House giving rise to reduction in value. The report resulted in an agreement to relocate the transmission lines underground, thus averting a Lands Tribunal hearing.

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Hugh Fell was Expert Witness for the claimant at a Lands Tribunal hearing where mining subsidence had caused considerable damage to land and property. As a result of his expert report, the defendant agreed to pay substantial compensation and carry out remedial works. Contact Hugh at our Alnwick office: Mobile: 07973 967994 Office: 01665 603231 Fax: 01665 510872 Email: hughfell@georgefwhite.co.uk


Nigel Foster Nigel Foster is a Partner with George F White at the Bedale office and has 24 years experience in the valuation of a wide range of property throughout England, specialising in rural property in the North East since 1990. He is a Fellow of the RICS and a Fellow of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers. Nigel is a highly sought-after expert witness who applies himself painstakingly to all instruction and is adept at explaining highly complex cases with clarity and precision. Nigel is a specialist in the valuation of rural property, compulsory purchase and dispute resolution under the Agricultural Holdings legislation and is often instructed as a Single Joint Expert. Nigel’s reports and evidence have covered subjects including:     

Farm management Apportionment of milk quota Rent reviews Matrimonial proceedings Valuation of agricultural tenancies

Some notable cases 

A solicitor had served a notice to a tenant farmer in Yorkshire to quit on grounds of failure to comply with good husbandry. This was contested and referred to the Agricultural Lands Tribunal whereupon Nigel Foster was instructed by the solicitor to prepare an expert report and present it. While the report was being presented, the tenant’s solicitor asked for time and the tenant then agreed to quit with the deal being done that day.

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A family dispute relating to apportionment of milk quota and valuation of freehold on a Cumbrian Farm was sent to the County Court. Nigel Foster analysed the facts, valued the freehold, apportioned the milk quota and a deal was struck on the court steps in favour of Nigel’s client on the basis of the expert report.

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A case for arbitration where Hugh Fell of George F White was Advocate and Nigel Foster of George F White was Expert Witness led to the arbitrator agreeing with the Calderbank offer from George F White and also awarding client costs.

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Nigel Foster was instructed the day before a rent review arbitration in 2001 where a tenant sought a rent reduction. A Calderbank Offer was made but arbitration offered even less and all costs were met.

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Nigel Foster was Expert Witness in the high profile case of Greenbank v Pickles which began at Bradford County Court in 1980 and wound up in the Court of Appeal in 2000. A tenancy had to be valued following a dissolution of the partnership to which the tenancy had been granted and assigned by consent to one of the former partners. The valuation was to be as on a sale on the open market. Although the tenancy had been valued at Skipton County Court in 1996, this went to the Court of Appeal four years later, where the judge agreed with Nigel Foster’s substantially lower valuation. Contact Nigel at our Bedale office: Mobile: 07977 518082 Office: 01677 425301 Fax: 01677 424291 Email: nigelfoster@georgefwhite.co.uk


Robyn Peat Robyn Peat is a Partner of George F White with over 20 years experience in the valuation of property having trained at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester. He is a member of the Expert Advisors in Planning Services, providing advice to the Planning Inspectorate and is a member of the RICS Experts Panel as well as the RICS Arbitrators Panel. Robyn has been taking Single Joint Expert and Expert Witness instructions throughout the UK for the last 22 years. His expert reports are highly reasoned and clear, leaving the parties in no doubt as to the depth of his expertise, the clarity of his thought processes and the meticulous methodology he uses to arrive at his conclusion. A successful expert report or presentation for Robyn is one where neither party has any questions at the end because every last detail has been reasoned and explained clearly and succinctly. Robyn’s reports and evidence have covered subjects including:     

Valuations of property and agricultural land Rights of way Clawbacks Compulsory Purchases and Compensation Landlord & Tenant issues

Some notable cases 

A matrimonial case involving the valuation of two neighbouring rural homes where the husband lived in one with the wife in another. One house was built in wood in a large plot while the other was built in stone in a small plot. The properties were built very close together. Extensive research was undertaken into the mortgability of the wooden structure, the valuation of the land and planning issues and the detailed circumstances which could affect the value of both properties. All this information was carefully analysed, reasoned and presented to the total satisfaction of the court with no further questions asked.

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Trustees of deceased estate and a local authority instructed Robyn Peat as Single Joint Expert to assess whether there were sufficient grounds to override a will. The deceased had stipulated that his isolated bungalow on a former scrap yard should not be sold while his daughter remained alive. His daughter had since been taken into long term care, so Robyn was required to investigate and prepare a clear and reasoned report into the matter which settled the case.

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The client was a mineral developer who had purchased a site in Derbyshire that would form part of a much larger mineral extraction site. The expert report was to consider how much the mineral operator should reasonably expect to pay the beneficiary of a clawback clause. Robyn’s report, clearly and methodically reasoned as always, concluded that less than 10% of the original amount requested should be paid and this was upheld.

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Robyn Peat was authorised by a court as the Expert after the original courts single joint expert’s valuation of a farm had been called into doubt by a far clearer report by Robyn Peat. He was then brought in to provide further evidence and the case settled prior to a hearing. Contact Robyn at our Wolsingham office: Mobile: 07860 487038 Office: 01388 527966 Fax: 01388 528258 Email: robynpeat@georgefwhite.co.uk


Meet the rest of our team Name: George F White - Founder and Partner Areas of Expertise: Valuations | Tenant Right Assessments | Rent Reviews Mobile: 07860 744249, Office: 01665 600160, Email: georgewhite@georgefwhite.co.uk Name: Tom Oates - Partner Areas of Expertise: DEFRA Panel Valuer | Agricultural Valuations Mobile: 07785 926306, Office: 01665 600163, Email: tomoates@georgefwhite.co.uk Name: Simon Brierley - Consultant Areas of Expertise: Commercial Valuation | Commercial Legislation | Residential Property Valuation Mobile: 07967 322731, Office: 01665 600162, Email: simonbrierley@georgefwhite.co.uk Name: Kevin Guy - Partner Areas of Expertise: Agricultural Holdings Legislation | Valuations | Compulsory Purchase | Property Acquisition Mobile: 07967 654837, Office: 01677 458209, Email: kevinguy@georgefwhite.co.uk Name: Andrew Entwistle - Partner Areas of Expertise: Capital Taxation & Retrospective Valuations | Rural Planning Matters & Agricultural Appraisals | Rural Subsidies and Grants Mobile: 07977 518156, Office: 01388 529561, Email: andrewentwistle@georgefwhite.co.uk Name: Tim Brown - Head of Bedale Residential Areas of Expertise: Residential Property Valuation Mobile: 07817 326566, Office: 01677 458202, Email: timbrown@georgefwhite.co.uk Name: Jonathan Wallis - Rural Practice Surveyor Areas of Expertise: Valuations | Compensation & Compulsory Purchase | Landlord/Tenant Mobile: 07590 445301, Office: 01388 529577, Email: jonathanwallis@georgefwhite.co.uk Name: Guy Sampson - Rural Practice Surveyor APC Areas of Expertise: Compensation & Compulsory Purchase | Valuations | Property Management Mobile: 07973 712269, Office: 01665 511981, Email: guysampson@georgefwhite.co.uk


What makes us stand out?     

Internal knowledge transfer, market intelligence and regular policy reviews, ensures that our experts are right up to date We have the largest pool of qualified rural Chartered Surveyors in the North We can call upon many specialist sectors within our teams to provide additional support We have an impressive track record of successfully conducted expert work We are at the cutting edge of new thinking

You can rely on us to:        

Execute our instructions in accordance with statutory and professional requirements Undertake a full inspection of all relevant documents, property and assets as instructed Undertake independent and comprehensive research Clearly set out a reasoned opinion Present our evidence in a timely manner both in writing and in person Leave no shred of doubt that our conclusion is the correct one Define and seek to agree all relevant facts between parties To clearly set out where any difference of opinion arises and why


The George F White Group:

George F White LLP Property Agency & Acquisitions Valuations Property Management Grants & Subsidies Compulsory Purchase & Compensation Planning & Development Landlord/Tenant Strategic Business Management Project Delivery Expert Witness & Dispute Resolution Waste, Minerals & Energy Plant, Machinery & Livestock

gfw-Renewables Renewable Heat Biogas Solar Wind Alnwick

Water-Value Wolsingham Barnard Castle Bedale Shiptonthorpe

London

www.georgefwhite.co.uk Northumberland & Borders Offices

County Durham Offices

Alnwick: 01665 603231

Wolsingham: 01388 527966 Barnard Castle: 01833 690390

Yorks & North Lincs Offices Bedale: 01677 425301 Shiptonthorpe: 01430 876010

London Office Tel: 0207 409 8307


Expert Witness & Dispute Resolution Guide