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Fiona Sinclair QC

Surveyors & Valuers

Fiona acts for surveyors and valuers in a wide variety of claims brought by lenders, purchasers and receivers. She was heavily involved in the “wave” of litigation brought by lenders against property professionals in the 1990s and is now busy with the current resurgence of claims against valuers and surveyors. Notable cases include:

  • Acting for valuers in defence of a substantial claim relating to permissible assumptions in the valuation of commercial developments.
  • [replace existing first bullet point with:] Acting on the instructions of the RICS Members’ Support Service in the defence of a series of claims by property purchasers alleging personal duties of care owed by employed surveyors of insolvent and uninsured firms. In an uncertain area of the law, Fiona secured a landmark summary judgment for her clients: Summit Advances Ltd v Bush [2015] PNLR 18.
  • Defending surveyors on claim by property investors concerning high-value investment property in Berlin.
  • Advising surveyors’ and valuers’ professional indemnity insurers on issues of law arising in relation to negligent overvaluation claims by mortgage lenders, especially questions regarding contribution between defendants which remain unresolved by authority.
  • Defending monitoring surveyors and valuers on a claim by mezzanine funders concerning an ‘executive housing’ development.
  • Defending valuers on a lender’s claim concerning the £5M valuation of two commercial properties near Heathrow.
  • Acting for valuers in a £4.5 million lender’s claim arising out of the valuation of commercial property, in which fraud is alleged.
  • Banque Bruxelles Lambert v. Eagle Star Insurance Co Ltd [1995] 2 All ER 769. Fiona appeared in BNP Mortgages Ltd v. Goadsby & Harding [1994] 2 EGLR 169, one of the cases in the BBL appeals.
  • Acting for offshore trust in a successful claim against structural surveyors concerning dry rot in large country property.
  • Hoadley v. JR Edwards [2001] PNLR 41: Acting for building surveyors in claim concerning the structural stability of a half-timbered property of unusual design.
  • Candle Corporation v. Warren Reid Meadowcroft [1995] NPC 9, concerning the liability of surveyors for advice on the rental values of commercial properties.

Fiona has been instructed in a wide spectrum of valuation cases: residential, commercial and mineral valuations. She also acts for and against surveyors in non-valuation contexts, e.g. land contamination (methane), structural surveys, certification of payment to contractors and advice to receivers.