The High Court decision has reminded surveyors of the importance of complying with RICS practice statements.
The case of Wattret v. Thomas Sands Consulting concerns a negligence claim against a chartered surveyor who acted as an advocate in an arbitration. At an interim hearing, to consider whether the parties should be entitled to call expert evidence, the Court noted that the test of negligence will be different in cases involving a surveyor-advocate from cases where the advocate has been legally qualified. A surveyor will be judged by the standard of a reasonably competent surveyor providing dispute resolution services.
The decision also serves as a reminder of the importance for chartered surveyors to comply with RICS practice statements. Failure to comply with a practice statement can be a disciplinary offence. In the context of a negligence claim, the advice given in a practice statement or guidance note will be taken into account in deciding whether the surveyor acted with reasonable competence.