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Hart V Spencer (2017) Injunction Romford County Court

Hart v Spencer (2017) Injunction Romford County Court for failure to comply with the Party wall Act before HHJ Davies

In October 2016 Mr Spencer commenced excavation works within 3m of Mrs Hart’s property. Mr Spencer despite being a self-professed developer had not served any notices under s.6(1) of the Party Wall Act and was asked to stop. He declined to do so.

He then caused minor damage to Mrs Hart’s boundary wall and was again requested to stop and threatened with an injunction. He refused, continued causing the collapse of a boundary wall falling onto Mrs Hart’s property. Mr spencer was threatened with an injunction and his solicitors gave an undertaking not to do any further works until the party wall procedures were in place.

There then followed a period of inactivity until April 2017 when Mr Spencer appointed a surveyor from Cheshire for a project being undertaken in Loughton, Essex. Mrs Hart having previously appointed Mr Antino to deal with party wall matters.

Discussions/negotiations were under way when on the 9th June Mr Spencer decided to commence piling works for his project. Overall there was approximately 200 plus piles to be excavated, but he chose to do the 17 or so within 3m and 6m of Mrs Hart’s property and structures therein.

This was contrary to an undertaking being given previously in 2016 not to do any notifiable works until an Award was in place. On the 9th June Mr Antino was instructed to carry out an urgent inspection to record the on going activities in preparation of an injunction. Mr Spencer became extremely aggressive threatening and was subsequently arrested and received a police caution for causing criminal damage to Mr Antino’s video and photographic equipment plus ordered to pay compensation for the damage caused. Mr Spencer was served with a notice of injunction hearing on the 12th June 2017.

Undeterred by this situation, Mr Spencer then on the morning of the 12th June continued with the piles.

Mr Spencer did not attend Romford County Court despite being notified of the hearing, and having sealed up all of the letter boxes on site. Mr Antino was instructed to attend late on the 12th June to photograph any further activities that were notifiable following the injunction being served at approximately 4.00pm. The injunction remains in place until September.

Judges Comments and Opinions regarding Dr. Antino

  • The party wall world is relatively small, the stage of this world contains a number of well-known players, Mr Antino is one of these well-known players and so are his owners instructing solicitor Mr Ashley Bean of Thirsk Winton

    HHJ Bailey - [2016]
  • The Claimants have a very experienced legal team comprising Mr David Mayall of lambchambers & Mr Ashley Bean of thirsK winton and their surveyro Dr. Philip Antino. The evidence in particular of the Defendant’s plans for both the Accessway and the plans and how it impacted upon the Claimants business was important information that The Defendants ahd not provided when requested.

    HHJ Freedland QC - [2021]
  • "Mr Antino is a palpable witness, Mr Antino's explanation of the unique attributes of the "Thompson Plan" greatly assisted the Court to understand the location and extent of the claimants’ boundaries” (Best & Best v Perkins & Dennis in the County Court at Luton).

    HHJ Hildyard - [2015]
  • The appeal was a preliminary hearing of two points in respect of an Award served by Mr Antino and a surveyor appointed by Mr Antino under s.10(4) on behalf of the Building Owners the Appellants. HHJ Luba QC sitting in the Central London County Court held "In my judgment the Award is valid, the use of s.10(4) was the appropriate procedure given the Building Owners refusal to appoint a surveyor. A dispute had arisen that satisfied s.10 procedures, The Award is an impressive piece of work". Schmid v Hulls and Athananasou).

    HHJ Luba QC - [2016]
  • “Mr Antino is an acknowledged expert in the field of party wall issues.”

    HHJ Murfitt QC 2013 - [2015]
  • “I have known Philip for many years as a surveyor, he is a very good surveyor, as this book shows he is a very good author and this book can only advance his reputation”

    HHJ Philip Bartle QC - [2012]
  • “In the appeal of an ex-parte Award served by Mr Antino on behalf of the respondents, in my judgment the respondent is correct. Mr Antino’s contention that it is not a matter for negotiation directly between one surveyor and the other surveyor’s client. Since I have determined that the ex-parte Award was valid the court is still able to determine the Award and under the statutory powers to modify the Award if appropriate. I am grateful to Mr Antino suggesting that I now determine the Award issue “I accept that Mr Antino’s hourly rate is not in my judgment unreasonable. It follows that the fee set out in the ex-parte Award had been properly justified and I therefore award Mr Antino’s fees”. (Bansal v Myers Romford County Court).

    HHJ Platt - [2007]

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