I recently received the following email.
‘We are in the process of settling the dispute and the second and third defendants have agreed that the boundary is where our client believes it to be i.e. where you plotted the boundary. We have advised our client to have a boundary agreement with attached plan annexed to the Court Order to be filed with the Court and registered at the Land Registry and therefore require a Land Registry-compliant plan. I note that you have a topographic survey annexed to your expert report but I assume this is not Land Registry compliant. Please could you confirm?’
I was very pleased and somewhat relieved to receive it, both for myself but more especially for my client.
I got involved with this boundary dispute 4 years ago but the dispute had been going on for some time previously. When I was appointed to the case, the other party had already had a boundary report written. My client was not happy with this report feeling that the surveyor was not being honest. He actually believed the report to be fraudulent and dishonest. And so I was appointed to give my professional view on the position of the boundary. I attended the site and did my investigation, including accurate topographic survey. My findings were different to the other surveyor and we met on site to see if we could agree a way forward. We could not reach any agreement and so the dispute went on.
During the period of this dispute many thousands of pounds have been spent (by both sides) and the other party have had 2 surveyors reports. There has been alot of prevarication and there has been a great deal of heartache for my client. I can’t help thinking there must be a better way to solve boundary disputes.
As an Expert Witness your overriding duty should be to the court or tribunal. You are to provide independent, impartial and unbiased evidence. As a professional and as a so called ‘expert’ in your field you should be honest with your client and, if you are not convinced that what you are advising is correct, you should have the integrity and decency to advise the client as such. I get frustrated that professional surveyors, with access to the same information, can’t agree on the actual boundary line? Something is not right.
Oh, and to answer the question from the solicitor, ‘Yes we do create Land Registry compliant plans’