Property Alert – Kingston Smith Forensic Team give evidence in Landmark Case for Fairer CPO Compensation
The Kingston Smith LLP Forensic Accounting Team has been involved in advising on business disturbance claims arising from Compulsory Purchase Orders for many years and are widely regarded as trusted experts in this specialist field.
In a recent case David Epstein, a member of this team, was appointed by the claimant SME (Hammersmith) Ltd, an operator of a KFC franchise at Farringdon which was compulsorily acquired by TfL as part of the Crossrail development. As part of the proceedings he provided expert witness evidence to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) which contributed to a landmark decision being awarded in favour of SME.
David Epstein contended, based on his experience and one comparable case some 18 months prior to possession, that the loss the owner suffered should be based on a multiplier of 17 times the agreed annual profit. TfL’s expert contended that the multiplier should only be 7 times the profit and relied on a comparable three months after possession, as well as the fact that in Upper Tribunal proceedings there had never been an award of more than 7.5 times the annual profit.
After a three day hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice SME was successful, with its evidence being preferred, and an award was made of 14 times the agreed annual profit.
While most claimants will not have the benefit of operating under an international brand such as KFC this award, of almost double anything awarded by the Tribunal before, opens the door for Claimants to ask for, and hopefully achieve, fairer compensation in future.