Our principal surveyor is James McAllister. James is an experienced and sought-after practitioner in the field of Party Walls and neighbourly disputes. James has acted as a Party Wall Surveyor under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 since it came in to force on 1 July 1997, and, prior to that, under the London Building Acts (Amendment) Act 1939 for properties in the London area.
James graduated from the University of the West of England, Bristol, with an honours degree in Building Surveying in 1994. He then qualified as a Chartered Surveyor with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in 1996 as a professional Member (MRICS) and was made a Fellow (FRICS) in 2017. James was admitted as an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (ACIArb) in 2006 and was upgraded to a Member (MCIArb) in 2012. In 2016 he was was made a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb). James joined the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors as a Fellow (FFPWS) in 2009. In 2011 James was admitted as an individual Member of the Civil Mediation Council (CMC) and in 2015 he was approved as a CMC Registered Mediator. James became a full member and accredited Expert with The Academy of Experts in 2023. James is also an Associate Member of The Pyramus & Thisbe Society (MPTS).
James has continued his academic studies throughout his career achieving a distinction in his master's law degree in 2013, a diploma in Arbitration in 2016 and a Commercial Mediation Practitioner's Certificate in 2011 following a course of study and specific training for the role of Commercial Mediator. James has undertaken specialist training as an Expert Witness with RICS having achieved the RICS Expert Witness Certificate in 2023 and accreditation with The Academy of Experts also in 2023.
In 2016 James was appointed by one of the UK's leading Universities in real estate to write the syllabus content for Dilapidations and Party Walls.
James has drafted and served thousands of Party Wall Awards and regularly acts as 'Third Surveyor'. He has successfully enforced his Awards for costs in the Magistrates' Court under section 17 of the Act on numerous occasions and regularly advises parties in the matter of appeals in the County Court pursuant to section 10(17) of the Act. In 2016 James was instrumental in the landmark High Court decision The Queen on the application of Farrs Lane Developments Limited v Bristol Magistrates' Court and James McAllister  EWHC 982 where he was an Interested Party. This decision ultimately clarified the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 on the subject of determination and enforcement of Surveyors' costs in favour of the interpretation of the Act advanced by James. This decision has substantially widened the jurisdiction of Party Wall Surveyors in the determination and enforcement of Surveyors' costs under the Act and is now settled law.
James has acted independently as an Expert Witness in Party Wall and neighbourly disputes in accordance with Part 35 of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR Part 35) and accepts appointments as Single Joint Expert (SJE) within his areas of expertise. James has also acted as an Expert Witness in criminal proceedings in accordance with Part 19 of the Criminal Procedure Rules.
Due to the rising number of Party Wall Awards being appealed, and the desire of the involved parties to resolve the points of appeal without the cost, stress and time imposed by the standard court appeal procedure, James has launched a dedicted Mediation & Arbitration service through The Party Wall Consultancy. This service allows the parties to explore ADR through a suitably qualified and experienced dispute-resolver, whilst the appeal proceedings are stayed, with the prospect of reaching settlement without the uncertainty and litigation risk of a traditional section 10(17) appeal to court.
James regularly contributes articles on Party Walls practice and procedure for a variety of online publications, professional bodies and peer-reviewed journals. In 2009 James appeared on BBC Radio 4 to discuss Party Wall matters and neighbourly disputes from a practitioner's perspective.
James is frequently appointed to provide pre-notification advice to Architects, Engineers, Developers and Local Authorities. As a recognised expert in Party Wall matters, James regularly advises other Chartered Surveyors and Solicitors on Party Wall practice and legal procedure.
James is popular with clients in all sectors for his ability to provide both practical and strategic advice which he then successfully applies to resolving disputes efficiently and effectively.
James is regulated by RICS and holds a current practice certificate.
Academic & Professional Qualifications
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