Professional and experienced surveyors
George Palos B.Sc.(Eng) ACGI FRICS FCIArb MAE MIET
“George is a firm but tactful mediator with an eye for detail. My opposite number in this case thanked me for recommending him (and we did settle). Highly recommended.” – Solicitor in Party Wall dispute mediation
George Palos has thirty years’ experience as a Chartered Surveyor and Expert Witness., With 8 years’ experience as an RICS Accredited Mediator, George brings rapid insight and empathy to property and construction disputes; raising the confidence of the parties to the mediation process leading to constructive and fruitful negotiations.
Mediations have included
- Party Wall Disputes and Appeals
- Service Charges and S20 consultations
- Construction Disputes
- Final Accounts
- Property Nuisance, Contamination and H & S
- Noise Nuisance
- Housing Disrepair
- Commercial Lease Renewal
- Surveyors Negligence
- Boundary Disputes
- Landlord and Tenant
- General Housing Repairs
He is a fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, on the institution’s panel of Arbitrators and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. His 30 years of chartered surveying experience includes most aspects of residential and commercial property, investment, development and management. His extensive and successful experience in the courts and arbitrations led him to seek an alternative for settling disputes that is more constructive, restorative and cost effective by becoming a mediator.
What is mediation?
Put simply, a mediator is a go-between encouraging the disputing parties to reach agreement for themselves. The mediator remains impartial and refrains from offering prescriptive advice.
The process is confidential and unless agreement is reached non-binding.
Each side will be at liberty to explore possible solutions which may include remedies not available to the court. They are at liberty to walk away knowing nothing said or explored can be used against them in court or otherwise brought into the open.
Communications with the Mediator are confidential who will not share these with the other party without express permission.
The resolution, if one is agreed, is contractually binding in law.
Mediation is quicker and usually substantially cheaper than going to court and has a very high success rate (over 85%). It also has the advantage that the outcome is arrived at through mutual agreement rather than the coercive enforcement by the court that tends to give judgment to one party over another.
How does mediation work?
Mediation is a voluntary process.
The parties involved must agree to use a mediator in advance of the negotiations and do so in good faith that they will be seeking a resolution. The process is quick and usually takes about a day. The parties meet in the presence of a mediator and each disputant presents an opening statement. This is often the first opportunity many litigants have had to face each other and express themselves to each other on the dispute and the impact it has had since the problem arose. They will usually then move to separate rooms to consider their positions in private. The Mediator goes back and forth between the parties throughout the day exploring options and relaying possible offers, concessions and/or solutions to the other party. When both sides are satisfied with the result, the mediator will record and confirm it in writing for both parties.
What part does the mediator play?
As the title implies, the mediator listens and facilitates the path to agreement. He does not make judgments, will not take sides and will be scrupulously fair. He will seek to understand; to reality test the positions; and, to seek options for settlement that will fulfil the party’s needs. The aim is to act as a catalyst to speed the resolution process.
Is the result of mediation legally binding?
The short answer is Yes. A binding contract will be drafted and signed encompassing any agreement reached.
Is the result of mediation legally binding?
Mediation is faster than going to court. Mediation usually takes a few hours. If a case goes to court, the process can take months or even years.
Mediation costs far less than going to court and the continuing and corrosive professional fees needed for litigation.
Mediation is mutual. The disputing parties are typically more amenable than they might realise prior to mediating to an opposing point of view and are prepared to make concessions. It could even go some way towards repairing the relationship prior to the dispute.
Mediation is a confidential process. Mediation is very private and without prejudice. Court hearings are open to the public.
Mediation offers greater control over the outcome. In a court, control is in the hands of the judge who can usually only award money or an injunction. New contractual arrangements, frameworks and even apologies as well as money are all available to be agreed in a mediation.
Mediators are trained to manage difficult situations. Our mediator, George Palos, not only facilitates the process tactfully but suggests ways of resolution that the parties may not have considered. In addition, being a Chartered Surveyor, he can understand the nuances that are specific to property and construction disputes.
Mediation encourages compliance. Because the result of mediation is achieved by mutual consent, there is a far greater chance of compliance.
Mediation is fully enforceable in law.
Mediation works: 85% of mediated disputes are successful.
Find out more
To find out more about the ways George Palos can help you or to discuss your dispute, contact us now.
George Palos has 29 years experience in the surveying profession with a focus on disputes and their resolution culminating in his appointment to the RICS President’s Panel of Arbitrators. Elected a Fellow of both The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in 2012
His early training was a broad general practice education looking at all aspects of property law; landlord and tenant; building construction and pathology; and valuation. He has developed his personal practice into mediation in order to apply his skills at assisting parties to resolve their issues in an effective manner at lower cost and in a less confrontational way where possible.
In recent years he has passed the RICS Diploma in Adjudication and Robert Gordon University Diploma in International Arbitration and Construction Law.
His professional experience has spanned commercial and residential property, secondary to prime, with a particular emphasis on disputes acting as an expert witness and gaining his earliest experience in the witness box in lease renewal cases in the late 1980’s in Central London, Clerkenwell and Edmonton County courts.
A member of the Valuation, Building Surveying, Construction and Dispute Resolution Faculties of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Actively involved in the valuation of residential and commercial property advising Vendors and Purchasers as well as Banks via the company’s inclusion on commercial and residential bank valuation panels. He has given evidence as an expert witness in arbitration, expert determination, the LVT, the County Court, the High Court, and The Technology and Construction Court, and made expert determinations in rent and non-rent disputes and sits as an Arbitrator.
He founded, setup and ran Anderson Wilde and Harris in 1995 growing from one surveyor to a practice employing fifty-four people by 2015.
During the 29 years of his business life he has practised as a surveyor advising on many aspects of residential and commercial property, investment, development and management. This includes valuation; survey; pathology; defect diagnosis; sale; letting; purchase; management; repair; advice on Landlord & Tenant as well as Dilapidations, Boundary Disputes, Party Walls, Right to Light & Building Disputes.
He has extensive valuation experience on Residential and Commercial properties throughout London, the South East and UK wide procured via work over the years in buying, selling and letting properties; managing property and advising on Landlord and Tenant issues, Rent Reviews and Lease Renewals. Lease Extensions and Enfranchisement; Valuing properties for banks, solicitors, trusts and private clients. He developed the firm’s presence on many commercial and residential bank panels of which the numerous instructions give continuous ongoing experience of a wide variety of properties all over London and the South East.
He prepares numerous Expert Witness reports each year on a variety of issues including regular reports on issues of surveyors and solicitors negligence; before their demise he was regularly appointed to advise the Solicitors Indemnity Fund.
He has acted as an RICS APC Counsellor and Supervisor for over 20 candidates over the last 10 years and is an RICS APC assessor. He enjoys running the firms CPD program and teaching graduates and more experienced surveyor’s different aspects of the profession. He has conducted many seminars often for bank managers on valuation themes and subjects.
Outside of surveying he has enjoyed business success in catering, hotel apartments and property investment. He served four years as a Trustee for Imperial College Students Union. Recently he has assisted in effecting the equity funding for the Kent Institute of Medicine and Surgery a new build state of the art private and part-NHS clinician led and part owned tertiary hospital; the first to be built in Kent for over 20 years. He now sits as a non-executive director of KIMS.
A father of two teenage boys he enjoys walking, skiing, fishing, Scrabble and travel.
Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators 2012, FCIArb
RICS Diploma in Adjudication, 2012
Member of Academy of Experts, 2012, MAE
Fellow of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors 2012, FRICS
Member of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators 2010, MCIArb
RICS Presidents Course for Arbitrators, 2010
RICS Presidents Course for Independent Experts, 2010
Diploma in International Construction Law and Arbitration, Robert Gordon University RICS Accredited Mediator 2009
Member of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors 1991, MRICS
Member of The Institute of Engineering and Technology 1987 (Formerly the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers), MIET
Associate of The City and Guilds of London Institute, ACGI
B.Sc.(Eng.), Imperial College, Electrical Engineering
1995 – to date
2010 – 2014
2010 – 2013
1991 to 1995
1987 to 1991
1991 to 2006
Appointed to RICS Presidents Panel of Arbitrators
Managing Director, Anderson, Wilde and Harris Chartered Surveyors
A changing role encompassing general practice, building surveying, Mediation, Arbitration and Expert Determination. Wide range of Commercial and Residential valuation services with a focus on disputes and Expert Witness work. Development of Practice and Business. Implementation of APC training Program.
Lay Trustee, Students Union, Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine.
Managing Partner, Dilaps UK, City Office
Practised on own Account as George Palos, Chartered Surveyor
Commercial and residential valuation; Landlord and Tenant; Building advice, pathology and disputes; developed skills as expert witness and surveying advocate for a range of private and legal clients.
S J Beckingham and Associates
Converted from engineering to surveying under RICS graduate training program developing a wide range of General Practice and Building Surveying skills.
Scala House Hotel Apartments, Director
Developed and operated a leading central London service hotel apartments operator launching successfully into a then fledgling market at the height of the previous recession.
Key recent Instructions/experience
- Croydon, Development appraisal of 17 storey partial built tower of 182 units. £10,000,000 Land value circa. £70,000,000 GDV
- Dover, Development Appraisal of 222 house project Circa £25,000,000 GDV
- Part Street, Mayfair – Survey, Valuation and Enfranchisement advice to a trust £12,500,000 value prior to major refurbishment
- Kensington Park Gardens, W11 – Survey and Valuation £17,000,000
- Hamilton Terrace, NW8 – Survey and Valuation; specific advice on structural movement and boundaries and implications for value, £8,000,000
- Villa Sada, Ospedalleti, Near San Remo, Italy – Survey, Valuation €12,500,000 before major refurbishment, Advice on aspects of refurbishment contract of €5,500,000 with specific attention to Burma Teak Flooring, 2 Infinity Pools structural, and Windows and Stainless Steel railings in corrosive sea front environment.
- Archway, N19 Development of 58 private flats and 19 Social Housing units. Circa. £25,000,000 GDV.
- Temple Fortune, NW11 – Substantial Service charge dispute at LVT.
- NW3, Expert determination of Retrospective Value of Flat £1,300,000
- Nominated to determine ‘loss’ in insurance contract.
- Numerous Lease extension cases from secondary to Prime properties Including Marylebone and Grosvenor Square.
- Rent review advice and representation for prime 1,000 sq m retail store/market Hall in South East London
- Rent review advice and representation for Secondary Sainsbury’s Local in South London.
- Letting and investment advice on a Waitrose local Store of 18,000 sq ft in North London.
- Rent review advice and representation for Prime Suburban Offices circa 35,000 Sq ft in North East London.
- Rent review advice and representation for Prime Suburban Offices circa 32,000 Sq ft in North West London.
- SW16 Mixed Use Development Retail, Gym, A3 and housing £2,600,000
- SW12 Mixed Use investment Retail A3, Dentist and Residential £4,460,000
- Advice on various Prime/Semi Prime retail units on Southall Broadway.
- Various rent reviews of secondary retail and catering/takeaway units.
Specialist Issues of Interest
- In the Technology and Construction Court he was the Applicants surveyor in the reported case of Cunningham v Collett and Farmer (2006) 113 Con LR 142 before His Honour Judge Coulson. An architect’s negligence case relating to Project Management. Gave evidence on use of Letters of Intent and good practice in Project management. The judge criticised letters of intent for all the reasons I advised and advised when and how they should be used. (Summary here below).
- Eugena Limited v Gelande Corporation Limited  EWHC 3273 (QB), HHJ Hegarty QC sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge (Judgment 29 October 2004). I was the expert instructed by ‘Gelande’ advising on JCT Minor Works Contract, Use of Letters of Intent by project managers, the value and quality of works carried out under the different possible contracts. (Summary here below).
- Provided in 3 different cases over many years specialist expert evidence and testimony on the special impact of break clauses on the rental value of restaurant premises, cases including lease renewal in Tottenham Court Road; and a substantial compensation claim for negligence of 2 firms of solicitors, they being represented by Davis Coffer Lyons and Intrinsic respectively.
- Appearing as an Expert witness in a formal arbitral hearing before Clive Lewis FRICS, (RICS President retired), on the issue of assumed vacant possession of residential premises at review that were in fact occupied by regulated tenants and the correct valuation approach for such rent review.
Cunningham v Collett and Farmer (2006) 113 Con LR 142
The defendant architects were held not liable in recommending that the claimant clients enter into a letter of intent with their contractors on a residential refurbishment project. The court criticised excessive use of letters of intent and gave guidance as to when their use would and would not be appropriate.
Eugena Limited v Gelande Corporation Limited  EWHC 3273 (QB), HHJ Hegarty QC sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge (Judgment 29 October 2004)
Eugena tendered for works of renovation of a property. Eugena commenced work under the terms of a Letter of Intent which only authorised Eugena to carry out preliminary and design work and which imposed a cap of £50,000. Eugena left site at an early stage but after carrying out works in addition to those contemplated in the Letter of Intent. The issue was whether Eugena was entitled to payment for those works and, if so, on what basis. This required the court to determine the meaning and effect of the Letter of Intent.
The judge rejected Eugena’s argument that the contract was for the whole of the works and remarked that he found it difficult to see how this conclusion would assist the contractor in any event given the ‘cap’ set out in the letter. Construing the letter as a whole and in its commercial context, the judge concluded that the parties intended to contract only for a limited amount of work and that is what the letter meant. Also the maximum that could be recovered was £50,000. However, the contract incorporated all the terms of the Minor Works Form, save in so far as they were inconsistent with the terms of the Letter – and the judge could not see they were. As far as the works not covered by the language of Letter were concerned, Eugena was not entitled to payment: there was no express or implied term in the Letter providing for payment and there was no express or implied request for Eugena to carry out the work which would found a claim for a quantum meruit.