Compulsory purchase orders

Moore Kingston Smith has one of a handful of forensic accounting teams who specialise in quantifying compensation payable to businesses affected by compulsory purchase orders.

We provide consultancy and expert witness services to both acquiring authorities and claimants, and our experts have given evidence in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) on many occasions. We are well aware that businesses can be affected either temporarily or permanently by the compulsory acquisition of their premises, resulting in loss of profits and, in some cases, the loss of an entire business if the loss of the premises causes extinguishment.

For a claimant, if we’re instructed early enough, we can ensure your business is fully prepared for the effects of the scheme, suggesting methodologies to record these effects to ensure your claim is properly evidenced. We use our experience to provide you with a fair calculation of losses and assist you through the process of claiming them.

For an acquiring authority, we can assist with initial valuations to ensure that you prepare realistic budgets at an early stage, as well as providing expert advisory services to assist in negotiations with claimants.

We have worked on large infrastructure schemes, such as the London Olympics, Crossrail and HS2, and many town centre and shopping centre redevelopments.

Case study: KFC franchise compulsorily acquired by TFL
One of our experts was appointed by the claimant, SME (Hammersmith) Ltd, an operator of a KFC franchise at Farringdon that was compulsorily acquired by TfL as part of the Crossrail development. As part of the proceedings, we provided expert witness evidence to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) which contributed to a landmark decision being awarded in favour of SME.

Our expert contended, based on his experience and a comparable transaction some 18 months before possession, that the loss the owner suffered should be based on a multiplier of 17 times the agreed annual profit. TfL’s expert contended that the multiplier should only be seven times the profit and relied on a comparable transaction which had taken place three months after possession, as well as the fact that in Upper Tribunal proceedings, there had never been an award of more than seven-and-a-half times the annual profit. After a three-day hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice, SME’s evidence was preferred and an award was made of 14 times the agreed annual profit.

Case study: valuation of retail outlets on behalf of acquiring authority
One of our experts was instructed to value some retail outlets in a shopping centre on the instruction of the property developers, in contemplation of a compulsory purchase order being made. While we only had information that was publicly available, we provided a general assessment of the compensation that may be required if the order were to be made. This provided invaluable insight to the developer, which assisted with their budgeting and decision-making process.