Dan Knowles, Director, Sawyer Fielding
Dan is the Director of Sawyer Fielding, a firm of Chartered Surveyors who predominantly represent homeowners affected by Estate Regeneration schemes in and around London.
His company has gone from strength to strength in recent years, representing hundreds of homeowners each year.
Dan has been working in Compulsory Purchase since 2008, initially representing acquiring authorities and their development partners before representing homeowners. He founded Sawyer Fielding to give a professional voice to homeowners affected by regeneration. He provides a complete service to homeowners, negotiating their sales, advising on the Compulsory Purchase Order process and helping with related matters such as providing investment advice, assistance on relocation purchases and coordinating efforts of Mortgage brokers, eviction specialists and solicitors. He also regularly replies to Government consultation documents on Compulsory Purchase, helping ensure that homeowners concerns are professionally represented
He prides himself on trying to be the voice of reason in the melting pot that is Estate Regeneration.
One of Dan’s proudest achievements is setting up the company’s charitable arm, Sawyer Fielding gives back, which makes donations to deserving charities. In 2018 alone, they expect to donate approximately £10,000.
Abigail Walters, Partner, Shakespeare Martineau
I am a planning solicitor and for more than ten years a large majority of my work has been compulsory purchase related. Having acted both for promoters and claimants I feel this would enable me to represent you, the members of the CPA, in the best way possible. The work of the CPA in achieving recent law reform has been significant in bringing improvements to the system and I feel strongly about the need for further reform.
I am a partner within the planning team at Shakespeare Martineau based in their Leicester office in the East Midlands but also working out of our Birmingham and London offices. Having links with both London and the Regions will enable me to assist the CPA Committee and both the London and Regional members.
I qualified as a solicitor 17 years ago in Local Government and worked in two London Boroughs before spending nearly 11 years with Berwin Leighton Paisner in London. I have worked on the promotion of numerous compulsory purchase orders for acquiring authorities through to confirmation and beyond, in relation to mixed use town centre regeneration, estate renewal schemes and infrastructure provision for utility companies. This gives me a good understanding of the process from an acquiring authority’s perspective.
Since moving out of London in 2014, I have acted primarily for claimants, from utility companies to individuals, affected by compulsory purchase in all its various guises, whether CPO’s, DCO’s, TWAO’s or Hybrid Bills. This work has given me a very good insight in to the problems faced by claimants, and their advisors, in seeking equity in our compensation system and highlighted other significant issues faced by parties affected by the processes of compulsory acquisition generally.
I have been an active member of the CPA for over 6 years and regularly attend CPA events both in London and the Midlands. I regularly engage in CPA and law reform consultations generally and I am currently co-opted onto the law reform sub committee. If elected I would be honoured to give my time to the work of the CPA, as I feel strongly that the CPA has an increasingly important role to play in shaping the law, policy and practice relating to compulsory acquisition.
Charles Clarke, Principal Lawyer, Transport for London
Charles is a Principal Lawyer at Transport for London having previously been a partner at law firm Bircham Dyson Bell. Charles has been a Committee Member of the CPA since 2017. Over the last year Charles has been actively engaged in all aspects of the CPA’s work but particularly has extensively worked on the Land Compensation Claims Protocol, bringing the draft Protocol to a stage where it could be consulted on and then voted on by members for its adoption. In addition, Charles has sought to ensure that member’s interests are at the centre of the CPA’s work and decisions during his time on the Committee and would continue to do so if re-elected.
Charles has significant experience in acting for acquiring authorities on compulsory purchase issues. He has previously advised a number of acquiring authorities on projects prior to joining Transport for London and currently advises on a range of projects including Crossrail 2, Bakerloo Line Extension, East London crossings, highway schemes as well as the Bank, Camden and Holborn station capacity upgrades.
Charles remains actively involved in future compulsory purchase law reform such as land value capture, independent valuations and other proposals for reform.
Henry Church, Senior Director, CBRE Ltd
Henry is a Chartered Surveyor and has worked in the Compulsory Purchase team at CBRE for 12 years. Henry provides advice on all areas where compulsory purchase is used but particularly in regeneration and transportation to clients including Stockport MBC, Cheshire East Council, Thurrock Borough Council, United Utilities, Sea Change Sussex, Network Rail, Esso, Gladman and Marshalls PLC.
Henry has been on the Board (formerly committee) of the CPA for 4 years and is currently Treasurer. During his time with the CPA Henry has lead the debate on accreditation and, more recently, has;
During Henrys tenure as Treasurer the financial position has improved further and he is now keen to ensure that the funds the CPA has are used to best effect, particularly in raising the profile of what the CPA does and driving change in the law.
Raj Gupta, Partner, Town Legal LLP
Raj is a partner of Town Legal, a firm which specialises in planning and compulsory purchase law.
Raj has specialised in compulsory purchase for more than 15 years. He acts for both public and private sector clients on a range of contentious and non-contentious matters including the promotion of and opposition to CPOs, Transport & Works Act Orders, Development Consent Orders and Hybrid Bills in Parliament. He specialises particularly in town centre regeneration and transport infrastructure schemes. Raj is particularly well-known for his expertise in land compensation disputes, having acted for the successful parties in a number of significant cases including Spirerose, Urban Edge and Scotia Plastics and for a number of claimants affected by the HS2 scheme. Raj is a keen advocate of alternative dispute resolution and has participated in a number of successful mediations.
As a board director of the CPA, Raj has focussed in particular on helping to develop the pre-action protocol for compensation claims and on law reform.
David Holland, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs
I am a solicitor and Partner in the Compulsory Purchase and Compensation team at Squire Patton Boggs, specialising in land compensation matters, including compulsory purchase compensation claims, claims under Part 1 of the Land Compensation Act 1973 and compensation matters in the aviation, energy and utilities sectors.
I am experienced in advising both acquiring authorities and claimants in compensation matters, including in relation to matters involving some of the most high profile recent schemes such as HS2, Crossrail and Thameslink.I regularly advise clients in proceedings before the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) and higher courts.
I have been an active member of the Compulsory Purchase Association for over 10 years, regularly attending and speaking at national and regional CPA events, including jointly delivering the Tony Johnson Memorial Lecture at the CPA AGM in 2016.
I am the current Joint Regional Convenor of the CPA for Yorkshire, responsible for advancing the activities of the association in the region.
I have taken an active role in the reform activities of the CPA, in particular as a member of the CPA working group responsible for the introduction of the proposed Land Compensation Claims Protocol currently under consideration by the association and its members.
I am a strong advocate for the use of alternative dispute resolution in compensation matters and am experienced in successfully resolving claims through many forms of ADR, including mediation, early neutral evaluation and expert determination.
I am currently involved in contributing to the drafting of a proposed form of specialist ADR process under consideration for adoption as a preferred method of dispute resolution by the RICS.
I am also proud to be a founder member of the Young Compulsory Purchase Association and to have continuously served on the steering committee of the YCPA since its inception in 2013 until 2017. I would welcome the opportunity to become a Director of the CPA Board and to play an active role in contributing to and promoting the activities of the association in the future.
John Sayer, Senior Director, CBRE Ltd
John is a Chartered Surveyor and Senior Director in the CBRE Compulsory Purchase Team based in London. He has 17 years of property experience and for more than 11 years has focussed on compulsory purchase and land assembly. He advises a variety of acquiring authorities, development partners and claimants on regeneration and infrastructure projects across the UK.
Whilst serving on the Committee John has taken the lead for the CPA’s communication activities. This is a vital part of raising the profile of both the CPA and industry in which we work. As a result of this the CPA has recently featured in a number of national press articles which was an important step to raise awareness of the CPA’s activities. Before being elected to the Committee in 2016 John was a member of the Young CPA steering group since its inception in 2013 and also undertook the co-ordinator role for the group.
Richard Asher, Director, Savills
I am a Chartered Surveyor and Registered Valuer working in the Savills’ Development Department. I have specialised in CPO work for many years. I was a member of the steering group which set up the CPA, a founding member and the second Chairman. I have also served as Chair of the RICS Global Planning and Development Professional Group Board, and am a former Chair of the RICS Compulsory Purchase Policy Panel (which I remain a member of). Currently, I am an elected member of the RICS Governing Council. I also serve on the BPF planning committee.
I am standing to serve on the CPA Board, because I am keen to utilise my skills and experience to ensure that the CPA remains the most important multi-disciplinary association in the compulsory purchase sector. I am very anxious to promote the recruitment and training of younger members of the discipline, and fully support the YCPA as a way of engaging with younger people, I believe the YCPA should be encouraged to pursue its own agenda.
I have carried out CPO instructions throughout the UK and support greater engagement with the regional membership. I am delighted to see therefore that the AGM is being held outside London for the first time this year. Being involved in the governance of the RICS I would like to see the CPA maintain its close links with all professional bodies associated with compulsory purchase and compensation.
Last year I delivered the Tony Johnson Memorial Lecture to members of the CPA warning of the massive changes likely to happen to the professions over the next few years. I believe we need to look to the future to ensure that the CPA and the compulsory purchase discipline as a whole adapt to these changes and ensure that the CPA and its members are not left behind. That is why I am standing for election.
John Webster, Associate Director, Osborne Clarke LLP
An appointment onto the CPA Board would enable me to further promote the CPA through its regional presence, an objective I have already been part of through CPA seminars and social events in the South West. I am also keen to promote the CPA to a wider audience and raise the profile and highlighting the skills that CPA members can bring to delivering infrastructure and regeneration projects.
I have been a member of the CPA for four years and have been a member of the Young Compulsory Purchase Association. I am very involved in the South West Branch of the CPA, seeking to engage local authorities in compulsory purchase as a regeneration tool. I have spoken at SWCPA events to promote this and as part of the SWCPA group organising a larger event in October this year. I am keen to see a younger and more diverse membership of the CPA.
As a senior lawyer at Osborne Clarke, I specialise in infrastructure and CPO led regeneration projects on both the promoter and claimant sides. This includes Planning, Electricity Act and Highways CPOs and promoting Development Consent Orders with significant compulsory acquisition elements. This has included WPD's Brechfa Forest Connection DCO and SSE's Claydon to Bicester Schedule 3 Electricity Act CPO. I am also acting on several other regeneration and housing CPO's in London and South East.
I am a strong supporter of the CPA's objectives and believe that raising the profile of the CPA in the regions outside of London should continue to be a key aim of the CPA. I would hope to support in this regard on the CPA Board.
Steve Yates, Senior Director, Ardent
Steve is a Senior Director at Ardent, having joined the business in 2015. His expertise centres around both technical knowledge of compulsory purchase and compensation, and practical knowledge of promoting and implementing Compulsory Purchase powers on major infrastructure schemes.
Steve began his career working on railway projects without the use of compulsory purchase powers. This has given him a first-hand knowledge of what challenges and pitfalls can be encountered by not getting the CPO right. He has had an extensive career working with Acquiring Authorities including Network Rail and Transport for London where he worked on some of the largest schemes to be undertaken in the UK over the last 15 years. These included the remodelling of the West Coast Main Line, managing numerous complex compensation cases for Crossrail, the Northern Line Extension and Bank Station Capacity Upgrade project.
Since joining Ardent, Steve has managed multidisciplinary teams to support other Acquiring Authorities on a variety of schemes across industries, including regeneration - where he has acted as expert witness through Public Inquiry; energy - where he is advising on the promotion of Development Consent Orders; and highways and railway projects where he is leading teams to support the promotion of both Transport and Works Act Orders and Development Consent Orders. He is currently negotiating compensation claims on a number of schemes as well as providing advice on Tribunal references.
Steve has a passion for CPO and understands both the benefits that can be gained when it is used correctly for the delivery of projects and the problems that can be encountered on both sides through inadequate CPO preparation. Steve would like to bring his many years of practical experience along with his enthusiasm for the sector to the CPA, to provide support in the objective of ensuring best practice is applied across the industry
Matthew Collings, Principal Associate, Eversheds Sutherland
Matthew is a Principal Associate in Eversheds-Sutherlands’ national Planning and Infrastructure Consenting team, based in its Manchester office.
He is an experienced compulsory purchase and compensation practitioner and for over 18 years, has advised acquiring authorities promoting compulsory purchase orders; private sector developer partners wishing to deliver development and regeneration through compulsory purchase; and, those impacted upon by compulsory purchase, be they statutory bodies or commercial or residential owner/occupiers.
Matthew has advised in relation to a great many schemes underpinned by the use of compulsory purchase powers, both nationally and across the North West. He has been a Committee Member of the CPA for the last two years and is very keen to maintain regional representation, which is crucial to ensuring engagement with those involved in compulsory purchase as major schemes progress. Matthew is a regular contributor to events run by the North West branch of the CPA and very much hopes to be in a position to continue to represent the views expressed by North West members of the CPA before the national committee. He regularly lectures on a wide variety of planning and compulsory purchase subjects and is also a Committee Member of the Professional Advisory Board of the University of Salford's School of the Built Environment.
Matthew continues to be a strong advocate for reform of the compulsory purchase process, particularly with regard to CPO compensation, the provisions of which were once described by Harman LJ, as far back as 1964 as “a monstrous legislative morass”. Whilst there have been a number of recent and welcome changes in the legislation, Matthew is a firm believer that the process of settling CPO compensation disputes is in need of further reform so as to make it less adversarial and less costly for all parties involved in the process, not least Claimants.
Matthew, having initially trained as a barrister, has appeared as an advocate in the Lands Chamber (Upper Tribunal) and regularly speaks at events on the subject of compulsory purchase.
Ged Denning, Partner, DWD LLP
Ged is a Partner at DWD LLP in London with over 18 years of professional experience in predominantly valuation led disciplines. Compulsory Purchase, compensation and land assembly solutions have been a focus of Ged’s professional practice for the last decade. He has a lead role in DWD’s CPO advisory team, regularly advising clients on strategic valuation and complicated land assembly/development solutions.
Ged represents clients on both sides of the Compulsory Purchase process, promoting and implementing Compulsory Purchase Orders on behalf of Acquiring Authorities and also representing a broad range of claimants including private homeowners, businesses affected by CPO and major strategic landowners. Ged’s experience extends to housing and mixed use regeneration/estate renewal programmes and infrastructure projects across the UK. Such schemes include the 2012 Olympic park at Stratford, New Wembley stadium, redevelopment of Portsmouth’s Northern Quarter, High Speed 2, New Wear Bridge and several housing led CPO’s for the promoting authority.
The breadth and depth of experience that Ged has (across wider surveying disciplines) provides a balanced and comprehensive perspective of matters in relation to the compulsory acquisition of land.