Simon Quinton Smith is an Accredited Expert Witness


imon Quinton Smith is an Expert Witness in property and business values  for Garden Centres and Horticultural businesses. He has been acting as an expert witness for over 17 years in rent reviews, lease renewals and generally in regard to values whether they relate to planning issues, compensation issues or tax issues. He has completed a 6 day course to become an accredited expert witness in his field. The course was run by Bond Salon and topics included report writing, court room skills, civil law and procedure and was attended by doctors, nurses, fire officers, engineers and a tree surgeon!

In rent reviews and lease renewals we are normally up against other surveyors who almost without exception have less knowledge in the garden centre and horticultural market than we do and thus, because we transact probably more deals, acquisitions and disposals within horticulture and garden centres, we have more evidence and more experience so it is rare that the matters proceed to a third party, being settled by negotiation.
In normal circumstances, our area of expert witness expertise needs to be in report writing but if a case results in court proceedings, other skills are required. Once a case goes to court, the duty of an expert witness is to the court or to the third party, not to the client and the evidence provided needs to be balanced. Many surveyors act as advocates, i.e. they promote their client’s cause, if acting for landlord, seek the highest rent, if acting for tenant, seek the lowest. This is fine in negotiation but not if the matter proceeds to a third party because at that time an advocate needs to change to an expert witness.

Having written the chapter on how to value garden centres for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Simon probably has more experience of values of garden centres and horticulture than any other chartered surveyor and this combined with his experience as an advocate and expert witness makes him the obvious choice when help is required.

For a confidentail discussion please contact Simon on 01635 551441.