Latest Lands Tribunal Decision on compulsory purchase compensation following business extinguishment

Compulsory Purchase Compensation – business losses

Charles Lazarevic was the Acquiring Authority’s expert at the Upper Tribunal hearing on the business loss compensation due on extinguishment of a waste transfer and skip hire business – Welcocks Skips Limited v Network Rail Infrastructure Limited [2019] UKUT 0162 (LC) ACQ/84/2017.

The case was heard over 6 days in January before Her Honour Judge Alice Robinson and Mr A J Trott FRICS.  The case involved extensive scrutiny of trade and financial data, with detailed examination of both forensic accountants and specialist waste industry experts.

In its 47-page Decision the Tribunal awarded compensation of £7,581,636 for the value of the business. The case is particularly interesting because of the size of the claim and the fact that compulsory purchase compensation cases rarely reach the Tribunal.  Charles will provide further commentary in due course.

Charles is one of the leading experts on compensation for business losses following compulsory purchase, having acted in cases involving land acquired for the 2012 London Olympics, Crossrail, Thameslink programme, various road schemes and many city centre regeneration projects.   

To learn more about our expertise in this area, click here.  Please contact us for a without commitment discussion at: enquiries@veroconsulting.expert or click here.

 

4 August 2019

Charles Lazarevic: Lawyer Monthly Expert Witness Awards 2019

Chartered Accountancy Award

Charles Lazarevic is among Lawyer Monthly’s Expert Witness 2019 Award winners for his expertise in forensic accounting services. To read more about the Award click here.

Charles’ expertise as a Chartered Accountant specialising in forensic accountancy and fraud investigations is set out in summary on page 26 of the Lawyer Monthly Expert Witness Awards 2019 publication. A copy of the pdf by contacting the firm.

To learn more about his expertise, click here, or contact Charles for a without-commitment discussion at: enquiries@veroconsulting.expert or click here.

Charles Lazarevic Vero Consulting Award
Fraud Accountancy Award

Vero Consulting Limited is a boutique firm based in London and specialising in forensic accounting.

enquiries@veroconsulting.expert

13 June 2019

Charles Lazarevic given Lawyer Monthly Awards in two finance categories

Charles Lazarevic
Charles Lazarevic, an award winning expert witness

I am thrilled to announce that I won Lawyer Monthly’s Expert Witness Awards in two categories: Chartered Accountancy Award and Fraud Accountancy Award. 

These Awards recognise the success that I and my firm have achieved since we established this specialist forensic firm in 2016.

Every case requires a tailored approach to deal with its own uniqueness. I am pleased that these Awards recognise the passion that my team and I apply in resolving each case. We present often complex financial issues in a clear, authoritative and comprehensive way that assists the parties, courts, tribunals and arbitrators. 

Further details about my firm’s services may be found here.

Expert Witness Award
Charles Lazarevic – 2019 Award winner

Details of Lawyer Monthly’s point-based evaluation system, which is based on twelve parameters to ensure fairness and accuracy, are set out here.


Lawyer Monthly will be publishing an Awards edition shortly.

Charles Lazarevic

 

5 June 2019

High standards of expert witness evidence support London’s pre-eminence

Expert witness evidence aids London’s pre-eminence

If there was any doubt, the first London International Disputes Week 2019 (#LIDW2019) certainly demonstrated why London is the premier centre for major dispute resolution. The conference showcasing the impressive range of legal and support services (such as expert witness evidence) available here. 

My own professional interest as a frequent expert witness on damages was particularly drawn to Mr Justice Roth’s keynote address in the final session of the week on Competition Disputes.  Competition cases require extensive use of expert evidence and Mr Justice Roth’s address set out the tools and sanctions on experts in recent cases such as the three interchange disputes, BCMR, PayTV v Sky Sports and Britned disputes. 

Mr Justice Roth speaking to a room of international lawyers and expert witnesses with an interest in competition disputes
Mr Justice Roth’s Keynote address

Mr Justice Roth, a Justice in the Chancery Division of the High Court of England and Wales and President of the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal described the framework that has evolved in England for securing impartial expert witness evidence, starting from the principles which Mr Justice Cresswell had laid down in his judgment in The Ikarian Reefer ([1993] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 68 shipping case. 

He mentioned the increasingly common practice of instructing experts to meet before they prepare their first reports to agree the scope and thus avoid addressing irrelevant issues.  He went on to describe how useful the tribunal recently found asking experts to present a “teach-in” at an early stage of the hearing in Britned Development Ltd v ABB [2018] EWHC 2616 (Ch).  This practice will become even more important as Judges conduct more concurrent expert evidence (better known as “hot-tubbing”) sessions, a process he recognised created much more work for Judges but did shortened the overall hearing. 

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Does kissing an expert witness suggest a relationship?

An expert witness must be impartial

Readers will not need reminding that an expert witness has a duty to help the court on matters within their expertise and this duty overrides any obligation to the person from whom experts have received instructions or by whom they are paid (CPR 35.3 and CrPR 33.2).  As one would expect, the expert is required to approach their work with total independence (PD35 2.1). 

The kiss

Kissing the expert witness

Has the expert witness compromised his independence?

This requirement was brought into question at the trial of a Mr Mick Wills at Wellingborough Magistrates Court last year. Having been accused of illegally hunting a fox with dogs, the expert evidence for the prosecution was provided by Professor Stephen Harris, a self-described vulpophile and one of Britain’s leading authorities on foxes and a longstanding opponent of fox hunting.  It was reported to the Judge that a prosecution witness had kissed the expert witness when they met just before court.  When challenged, Professor Harris’s explanation for this behaviour was that he merely knew the lady and had not seen her in 20 years!

Judge Daber’s reaction on being told

On being informed of this incident, Judge Daber took a rather stern view of this incident, concluding that: “If a relationship exists between a proposed expert and the party calling that expert which a reasonable observer might think is evidence of bias, then he must be excluded on the grounds of public policy. Justice must be seen to be done.”

 

The judge’s response to this rather unusual event should remind experts and those appointing them to take great care to avoid even the appearance of being too close. 

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