Dispute Resolution

Our dispute resolution and expert witness services cover residential and commercial property, land and trading businesses for owners/occupiers, landlords and tenants throughout Dorset, Hampshire and south Wiltshire.

Services include, but are not limited to, matrimonial/divorce disputes, landlord & tenant issues, professional negligence cases and dilapidations claims.

Overview of Services

We have built a respected reputation for our professional, unbiased and forensic approach to providing Expert Witness reports and associated advice – including initial advisory reports, where appropriate.  Whether for claimant or defendant/respondent, or as Single Joint Expert (SJE) in both civil and family disputes, our Expert Witness reports can include advice on valuation issues or building defects.

Our experts are fully trained through Legal Experience Training and accredited with their Advanced Professional Award in Expert Witness Evidence.

Commonly, reports are commissioned to advise in relation to:

We completely appreciate the need for impartial and unbiased reporting, confidentiality, discretion and diplomacy.  We understand the principles of privilege, disclosure and the expert’s over-riding duty to the court or tribunal; and where a Single Joint Expert (SJE) is required, we are careful to communicate to both parties concurrently.

All too often, we see expert reports that indicate the expert might have succumbed to the temptation to be a ‘hired hand’.  With Moses Rutland, you can trust that we will not fall into such a trap, and even though the expert’s impartiality may not produce advice that is as ‘sugar-coated’ as the client might prefer, the honest approach will prove beneficial in the longer term.

Meet the Team

Our specialists who can help with this service are:

  • Phil Moses

    Managing Director

    Phil has a wide breadth of experience in residential and commercial property valuations and surveys...

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  • Graeme Harper

    Chartered Building Surveyor

    As head of Building Surveying, Graeme has had experience in private and public sectors at home and...

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Advisory Reports

Dispute Resolutions Advisory ReportsWe are often asked to provide advice to clients prior to litigation and, therefore, before taking on the role of ‘expert witness’.  We are aware of the need to carefully consider the existing and potential statutory obligations in such circumstances.  Therefore, our advice takes into account the potential requirement for expert witness advice in the future and the careful balance of roles and duties.

Professional Negligence Claims

Professional negligence claims generally arise where advice has been given incorrectly, lies beyond a professional’s limit of expertise, or important facts have not been identified when they should have been; when work is undertaken to a poor standard or not satisfactorily completed; or when a defect becomes apparent after purchase of a property that was not properly identified in the pre-purchase survey report, or not investigated in sufficient detail during the survey inspection.

There are three key areas upon which the expert might be asked to report: –

  1. Negligence – has the advice given fallen below the standard expected of a reasonably competent professional?
  2. Causation – has harm been caused, such as financial loss, injury etc. and can it be proved?
  3. Quantum – what is the diminution in value resulting from the negligence?

At Moses Rutland, our reports can be produced for the claimant or defendant/respondent either as an initial advisory report (see above), or as an expert witness report compliant with the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR), Part 35, as appropriate in the circumstances.

Matrimonial Disputes

Residential ValuationsWe have built a respected reputation for our professional, unbiased and forensic approach to providing Expert Witness reports and associated advice – including initial advisory reports, where appropriate.  Whether for claimant or defendant/respondent, or as Single Joint Expert (SJE) in both civil and family disputes, our Expert Witness reports can include advice on valuation issues or building defects.

Our experts are fully trained through Legal Experience Training and accredited with their Advanced Professional Award in Expert Witness Evidence.

Defective Building Works and Contracts Disputes

RICS Condition ReportHaving building work undertaken, say for an extension on your home or refurbishment of a commercial property, should be an exciting time. This said, disputes can arise. Disputes can relate to, but are not limited to: –

  • Defective building work
  • Building work payments
  • Cost of extra work

Our RICS qualified surveyors offer constructive and concise advice on if there is a basis to any dispute, give guidance on a suitable course of action and produce reports including assessments of cost where applicable.

Restrictive Covenants

Restrictive CovenantsAs time goes on, more and more cases arise of clients needing advice where covenants need to be lifted or modified.

This includes advice to the beneficiary of a covenant, who has been approached with a request from someone constrained by a covenant and needing it to be changed, or to the person requiring the change, or to their professional/legal advisers in the case of a dispute or breach.  This may result – initially or ultimately – in the requirement for an expert witness report for a court or tribunal, and we have experience of providing such reports.

In recent years, we have provided advice in a number of cases in respect of properties where –

  • a housing association or former tenant needs valuation advice (including diminution in value), such as when the owner of a former Council house plans to extend or develop the property
  • proposed development is, or will be, in breach of a restrictive covenant
  • a right of way is required.

Our expert valuers have a good working knowledge of the related legislation and case law precedents, but clients may also require independent legal advice.

Landlord & Tenant

Landlord and Tenant Dispite ResolutionWe provide expert reports in disputes on values, such as in the case of commercial rent reviews or lease renewals, and building defects, or dilapidations.  Dilapidations disputes may also give rise to questions of value, in terms of diminution in value of a freehold or long leasehold interest, under Section 18(1) of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1927.

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