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THE IDENTITY OF THE PARTY WALL SURVEYORS INVOLVED IN THE CHELSEA PROPERTY COLLAPSE IS THE U.K.’S CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY’S BEST KEPT SECRET, BUT FOR HOW LONG?

The question on everybody’s mind is who are the party wall surveyors that were involved with the Chelsea basement construction. Those of you that are familiar with my recent PhD research https://apaproperty.squarespace.com/config/pages/558ff70be4b0e5749729ff9f will know that the focus of the research related to the interpretation and application of the section 7 (4) veto when special foundations are engaged.

Not unsurprisingly, the decision of HHJ Bailey in Chaturachinda v Fairholme is at the centre of that research, with respect to the learned judge (now retired), it has always been my position that the decision was flawed and wrong in law. Furthermore, the position adopted by Alistair Redler https://delvapatmanredler.co.uk/about-us/ as the third surveyor within his award created an absurdity when the proposed that a mass concrete strip beneath the basement created the foundation, and ignored the structural function of the reinforced concrete structure.

His award and indeed the decision handed down by HH J Bailey, had a profound effect on the basement construction industry, effectively creating an open doors approach that went behind adjoining owner’s property rights both within the act and at common law. It is in my view a disastrous judgement with substantial consequences upon property owners.

It has been my position that it was only a matter of time before there were another catastrophic failure and potential loss of life and or limb. A disaster waiting to happen, with striking similarities to the tragic Grenfell tragedy https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40301289 which is like a timebomb, quietly ticking away with tragic consequences.

The recent Chelsea house collapse fortunately did not include loss of life or limb. For that, every person involved should be breathing a sigh of relief.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8908815/Chelsea-mansion-collapses-building-work-create-mega-basement-6m-property.html

Notwithstanding, the inevitable litigation that is going to follow, and I suspect that negligence claims against the various engineers, architects and party wall surveyors are inevitable, and quite rightly so. This disastrous incident demonstrates everything that is wrong with the party wall community, and interpretation of this board piece of legislation.

The party wall surveyors involved in this case should be very worried indeed, given that on a number of occasions I have dispelled the misconceived myth http://apaproperty.com/blog/2019/7/28/rics-surveyors-indemnity-insurers-pay-up-2019 the surveyors can’t be sued under their professional indemnity insurance policy for negligence or breach of duty of care etc. Party wall surveyors do not have immunity in the same way as for example adjudicators or arbitrators, irrespective of the fact that they are administering quasi- judicial procedures.

https://apaproperty.squarespace.com/config/pages/558ff70be4b0e5749729ff9f

the thread of this blog is the question who are the party wall surveyors, I have heard a rumour and I stress it is only a rumour and therefore alleged but not proven that Mr Alistair Redler of Delva Patman Redler http://apaproperty.com/blog/2020/11/12/delva-patman-redler-llp-v-d-franses-2020-county-court-money-claims-centre-g09yji98 is one of the surveyors.

I again reiterate this is a rumour and I wish to bring it to Alistair Redler’s http://apaproperty.com/blog/2018/1/9/alistair-redler-frics-senior-partner-at-delva-patman attention so that he can have an opportunity to respond to this blog confirming that he is not one of the surveyors (if indeed that is the position). Indeed, if any of the surveyors involved want to come forward and share their thoughts as to why the works were not prohibited under the section 7 (4) I would of course be interested to hear their thoughts and rationale behind the decision.

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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