Survey Spain’s Campbell D. Ferguson, FRICS, recently gained his Legal Experience Training Advanced Professional Award in Expert Witness Evidence (LETAPAEWE) at Masters level BTEC. Study for the award is recommended by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which is the premier worldwide property professional organisation.
In order to gain this qualification, Campbell studied three modules in Expert Witness Evidence – Law and Practice; Written Evidence – Advanced Report Writing; and Case Preparation and Court Skills. Accredited by Edexcel, which is the UK’s largest awarding body offering academic and vocational qualifications and testing in the UK and over 85 other countries, the course is designed to equip professionals with a body of legal knowledge that is valuable in everyday practice as well as during court representation.
Accreditation as an expert witness means that through Campbell, the Survey Spain Network can offer its clients an exceptional service. There are an increasing number of occasions where expert opinions of current market value of property are required, and Campbell can now provide these with greater assurance of meeting the exacting Report and Court appearance requirements.
The most common occurrences relate to divorce, inheritance and tax disputes that involve property of all types in Spain. Also, there has been a gradual increase in the requirement for UK Court acceptable and compliant current market valuations where criminal’s assets in Spain are being seized by the Serious Fraud Office or the Serious Organised Crime Agency. Campbell and the Survey Spain Network can act for the UK Government or the criminal, but of course not for both in the same case.
Being a chartered surveyor with such a supplementary qualification is particularly useful to Spanish and UK lawyers involved in matters of Family Law and Inheritance. While it is advisable to make every effort to settle disputes and disagreements out of court, the next best step is to make sure that your team includes a professional with appropriate courtroom training. Campbell has frequently been called upon to provide evidence for many English and Scottish Courts, mostly as a Court appointed Sole Joint Expert, where his valuation is relied upon by the court in their efforts to achieve a just settlement. It is a testament to Campbell’s professionalism and drive for perfection that he has taken this accreditation and added it to his nearly 40 years of property experience.
“I have to say that I enjoyed the academic challenge of the course and final assessment,” said Campbell. “Despite the fact that I was already knowledgeable on the subject and have even appeared as an Expert Witness in the High Court in London, this course brought to light many additional points and techniques that will be to the advantage of my future clients. Combining this qualification with my more than 12 years experience living and working in Spain, I know that I can assist more clients to achieve just settlements”.