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Another successful case for Philip Antino's Clients and appointing owners

Nessfield Ltd v Oi Tan Chan Central London County Court Appeal E20CL182

Mrs Oi Tan Chan over the moon with the service provided by Philip Antino.

Philip Antino was appointed by the building owners following the deemed incapacity of the building owners first surveyor.

The adjoining owners appointed a Mr Kritzler from the beginning, who had raised numerous pejorative issues over the proposed works which caused considerable delays and frustrated the building owner’s surveyor so much that he deemed himself incapable of acting. Following Mr Antino’s appointment as the replacement surveyor he quickly brought Mr Kritzler to hand, and progressed matters, and dismissing the previous points raised by Mr Kritzler as irrelevant and/or unsupportable. Given the nature of the works being undertaken to the building owner’s property for the creation of a loft conversion in a maisonette flat in a property in Holloway Road North London.

Mr Kritzler persistently challenged the validity of the building owners’ structural engineers’ calculations. Mr Kritzler has no structural engineering qualifications, was unable to make any reasonable or sensible arguments to challenge the engineer, and when invited by Mr Antino to instruct their own checking engineer declined to do so.

There was an impasse, Mr Kritzler demanding that a trial pit was excavated to identify the depth of the foundations to the party wall to establish their suitability. Disingenuously, avoiding the fact that his own appointing owners had recently carried out a loft conversion, and knew the depth of the foundations, he refused to provide details of the earlier party wall award and structural engineers details of his appointing owner when they carried out their loft conversion works.

Furthermore, and somewhat surprising, given that the building owners property comprises a mixture with commercial use at ground floor and basement, let on a long-term lease to a tenant, and the building owner residing in the first and second floor maisonette flat. The site being land locked as it had been fully built upon. It was a physical impossibility to undertake a trial pit without causing considerable damage to the basement and disruption to the tenants.

Mr Kritzler made a referral to the third surveyor, claiming that there must be a trial pit excavated to examine the depth of the foundations whilst refusing repeated requests to disclose the party wall award that was prepared by his appointing owners previously and their structural engineers’ calculations.

The third surveyor ruled against Mr Kritzler, his appointing owners then appealed the third surveyors award under s.10(17).

There had been a number of preliminary hearings regarding the adjoining owner’s failure to disclose evidence and/or to participate properly with the litigation and the adjoining owners despite being represented by counsel and legal representatives failed to comply with Orders issued by HHJ Bailey and consequently were exposed to Costs Order up to and prior to the abandonment of the appeal.

In particular the adjoining owners were ordered to give full disclosure of the previous award, structural engineers calculations, investigations, trial pit details and/or foundation information that they had obtained during their works.

Costs will now be assessed against the adjoining owners for this misconceived appeal of the third surveyors award, the building owners are clearly extremely relieved, but more importantly, very pleased with the outcome and the advice provided by Mr Antino and indeed their legal team comprising of Mr Ashley Bean and counsel Mr David Mayall of Lamb Chambers.

The case was listed to be heard on the 20th May 2019 and on the 13th May 2019 the adjoining owners discontinued their appeal.

The adjoining owners are liable for legal costs be and compensation for the delay in building works which is estimated to be circa £67,000. Mr Antino had to serve an ex-parte award following Mr Krenzler’s failure to move matters forward.

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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