I was elected a Professional Associate of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in 1973 and a Fellow in 1983 (Membership No. 46594). I was elected as a Member of the Restaurant Property Advisors Society in January, 1995 and acted as Chairman in 1999/2000. I was elected as a Practising Member of the Academy of Experts in April, 1998 (Membership No. 1969), specialising in licensed / leisure property, and am registered as an Expert Witness under the R.I.C.S. Expert Witness Registration Scheme.
I am a Member of the Expert Witness Institute (Membership No. 1321), again specialising in licensed/leisure property. I am a Fellow of the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) to whom I have given briefings and seminars on a regional basis. I am also on the BII panel of recommended valuers/advisors and am an RICS Registered Valuer (2011).
My initial involvement with licensed property was as a Divisional Estates Manager for Courage (Western) Limited from 1975 which included South West England and South and West Wales. From 1980 to 1985 I was a partner of Stanley Alder & Price, Surveyors and Valuers in charge of the licensed property department. In July, 1985 I established a firm of licensed property consultants, DMP Chartered Surveyors. That Firm merged with Cookseys Chartered Surveyors of Reading in August 2005 and traded as ‘Cookseys DMP’ until September 2011. From September 2011, on the retirement of Cookseys DMP Chairman, Vincent Rex and in continuation of the Cookseys DMP activities and specialisations, a new firm of Chartered Surveyors, Morgan & Clarke was established. Offices are principally in Stroud (Glos) and London and four other regional locations and with a much expanded National / Regional presence through experienced Licensed Trade Consultants.
My involvement in all aspects of licensed and leisure property is through direct contact on site, which is as a result of instructions received through either our own offices near Stroud and London, or our other regional locations. I am thus very familiar with the valuation and accounts analysis of public houses, restaurants, hotels, night clubs, banqueting suites and similar, golf courses, racecourses, amusement arcades and licensed property in general throughout England and Wales.
I am actively involved in all aspects of Arbitration and Independent Expert referral for both Claimants and Respondents. Current spheres of activity include acting for claimants under the new pub code legislation (July 2016) and negotiating MRO applications and free of tie rents.
I have also appeared in the High Court, County Courts, Magistrates Courts and official Tribunals in England and Wales, acting as Expert Evidence in respect of rent review disputes, assessment of issues of capital value, both corporate and personal, structural repair and actions of alleged negligence against other professionals linked with licensed and leisure property. I have also acted for Parish Councils, developers, individual tenants and Pubcos in respect of planning-related matters specifically in respect of viability and change of use.
I am a contributor to topics in the foremost weekly newspaper to the Licensed / Leisure industry ‘The Publicans Morning Advertiser’, giving detailed advice on all aspects of Licensed / Leisure property. Letters and comment on authoritative issues have also been published in other national press outlets including the Estates Gazette.
With a small group of trade advisors and licensees, I was a founder member of “Fair Pint” which was formed in May 2008. The group was established to act as a catalyst industry-wide, to bring back to Parliament for further scrutiny, the recommendations of the Trade & Industry Select Committee (Pubcos) 2004. By invitation I have also given evidence at the Parliamentary Hearings of the Business & Enterprise Committee (BEC) in November 2008. My submissions and evidence are now a matter of public record as referred to in the BEC Report as published on 13th May 2009 and culminated in the BISC Report issued in September 2011. I am no longer involved in Fair Pint.
As a specialist Licensed Property Valuer, I have been invited to contribute in detail to a number of National and Local television programmes including an ITV West Report ‘The West Tonight’ (November 2008), The Politics Show for BBC South (November 2008), The Money Programme ‘Last Orders’ for BBC2 (December 2008), BBC Wales Week In Week Out ‘Over a Barrel’ (January 2009) and ITV Dispatches ‘How to Blow your Redundancy Money’ (March 2009), all in respect of the viability of the supply tied pub leasehold market and rent review issues in general.
During 2010 I was a member of the Pub Forum RICS Committee involved in the updating of the RICS Guidance Notes specialising in Licensed and leisure property that was published in December 2010.
I owned the freehold interest of 85 Whiteladies Road, Bristol from 1987 and initially undertook the alteration works for the formulation of Rocinantes Restaurant and Café Bar. I had direct operational control of the premises between 1987 and 1993 with a turnover of c.£390,000 ex V.A.T. In 1993 I relinquished operational control to the then senior staff from whom I received rent until August 1999 when the Freehold interest was sold.
From March, 1996 until February, 1997, although I was in full time employment as a Chartered Surveyor specialising in licensed property, I assisted my partner in the management and day-to-day operations of the Crown Hotel, Public House and Restaurant, at Frampton Mansell near Cirencester, Gloucestershire. The premises had a 50 seat restaurant, 3 bars, 12 letting bedrooms and an annual turnover of c.£300,000.
From October, 1997 until August 1999, I lived at the Stirrup Cup Public House, Bisley, Near Stroud, Gloucestershire where I assisted in the operational management of every aspect of the premises including function room for 160 people, 32 cover restaurant and 3 large bars. The premises were sold at a profit, but only as a consequence of my partner’s serious ill-health.
I thus have direct practical experience of the operation of bars, restaurants and letting bedrooms. It is appreciated that this ‘direct practical experience’ was some years ago. However, as a Chartered Surveyor specialising in licensed and leisure property, it does give me a unique ‘hands-on” understanding and appreciation of the on-licensed trade. This is not shared by any other Chartered Surveyor in this specialist arena of experience, with the sole exception of my Co-Director Simon Clarke who has a current (part time) involvement in the Eagle Ale House, Battersea, London.
Simon Clarke is one of the very few Chartered Surveyors specialising in Licensed and Leisure property that has direct practical experience in the ‘hands on’ running of pubs. Since 2005 he and his colleague have been running an Enterprise Inns leased pub, The Eagle Ale House, Battersea, London.
Simon’s professional surveying career began in 1988 when until 1993 he was in the Edward Erdman (now Colliers CRE) team dealing with West End retail agency. Following the mandatory post qualification experience period of two years Simon became a fully qualified Associate of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in 1990 (membership No. 0087456). Hillier Parker head hunted him in late 1993 to assist in the running of the ‘Crown Estate’ Regent Street portfolio and servicing the interests of other major clients including Grand Metropolitan, Sears, Virgin, Whitbread and the Cadogan Estates. Primary focus was on main stream retail and restaurant property.
Success at Hillier Parker led to a further career move and to promotion in responsibilities at Harrods Holdings and in 1995, Harrods Estates (UK) Ltd. as property manager, again dealing with retail and restaurants but expanding his knowledge and experience into investment, development and residential. From 1999 direct development experience was gained by establishing his own small specialist company, Arkwright Builders Limited, dealing with the release of latent value in residential property. In 2005 a joint venture was formed in the creation of SPS Pubs Ltd. specifically to operate the Eagle Ale House, Battersea which he continues to do to this day, fuelling his passion for the great British pub.
In 2006 the position of Consultant Surveyor was formed with Cookseys DMP Chartered Surveyors, primarily having responsibility for pub and restaurant rent reviews, arbitration and litigation, the focus being on Central and Greater London and the South East in general. From September 2011, on the retirement of Cookseys DMP Chairman, Vincent Rex and in continuation of the Cookseys DMP activities and specialisations, a new firm of Chartered Surveyors, Morgan & Clarke was established. Offices are in Stroud, London and Cardiff, but with a much expanded National / Regional presence through experienced Licensed Trade Consultants.
A member of the Fair Pint Campaign Steering Committee since May 2008, Simon has by special Parliamentary request, given evidence at the last Business and Enterprise Committee into the activities of Pubcos in 2009 and latterly representing the Independent Pub Confederation at the Parliamentary Business and Enterprise Committee hearings in November 2010 and July 2011. His widening expertise has been further recognised in being asked to prepare and submit well over six submissions to specific queries raised, five of which were published in formal Parliamentary reports.
Together with David Morgan, Simon was one of only four Chartered Surveyors called to give evidence at the request of Parliament and, due to his unique knowledge and experience as both publican, surveyor and valuer, the only witness in the country to be called to all three Inquiries.
During 2010, again together with David Morgan, invaluable service was given to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors industry wide ‘Pub Forum’ that set the standards and new Guidance Notes that are mandatory on all RICS members involved in Pub and Restaurant rent review. The new Guidance Notes are contained within RICS GN 67/2010 published in December 2010.
Simon was registered in the new RICS valuer registration scheme in 2011. Although still having a background practical role in the running of the Eagle Ale House, Simon’s main focus is on pub and restaurant rent review, valuation, arbitration and litigation coupled with the various aspects of building construction and dilapidations linked to that specialist field.
Nigel’s early property career was as a Building Surveyor and Civil Engineer for three years in Staines which then led into an active career in Civil Engineering. This included the supervising of all building maintenance in Brentford Market and other Listed buildings in Chiswick for the Borough of Brentford & Chiswick. Further Civil Engineering projects resulted in being appointed a Director of a Civil Engineering Company for a number of years in Central and Greater London. Substantial West Country projects led to relocation in Devon where he has lived since.
Contact in the pub business started in 1972 with the purchase of a free house on Exmoor which, having virtually rebuilt the property, traded successfully from a standing start and was subsequently sold a few years later. Further free houses, restaurants and licensed businesses followed in succeeding years, all being successfully built up from a low base. These properties were either subsequently leased out or eventually sold.
From 1997 until 2008, the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) engaged Nigel as a Consultant looking after membership covering almost all regions in the south and west of England which gave him a special and detailed insight into the real problems experienced by many lessees with onerous leases from Pubcos.
The web site and writing career started approximately 10 years ago when a substantial part of a book (12,000 words) on running a pub was written for the Morning Advertiser, specifically emphasising the multitude of items that hopefully assist current and future licensees running public houses and restaurants and further expanding their background knowledge. This advice led to being asked to become an assessor for the LTC (Licensed Trade Charity) for people suffering hardship in the licensed industry, has led to the creation of his own “advice baby”, the much visited website, www.buyingapub.com which now has about 1,000 pages of free information donated by other professionals in the licensed industry and specialist companies with the objective of helping interested parties in the running, renting, operation and disposing of all licensed premises.
A subsidiary section of www.buyingapub.com has approximately 50,000 words on buying and running restaurants. In addition, www.barrel-dregs.com exposes many of the more questionable activities in the industry and is written by a number of industry professionals, some of whom are buried deep within the Pubcos!
Aside from an unparalleled depth of experience in the pub and restaurant business, Nigel is married with five sons, is an expert low handicap golfer and loves fishing and skiing and also coaches rowing.
Chris Wright is one of the country’s leading Debt Management Consultants specialising in Licensed and Leisure properties and a principal of the Pubs Advisory Service.
His wide ranging advice, gained over more than 20 years’ practical experience, is relied upon by Solicitors, Barristers and specialist trade professionals for all matters concerning credit - debt related problems and more recently the new pub codes legislation and MRO rent agreements..
Based in Devon, the scope of advice is available for England and Wales and is linked to the provision of initial free of charge consultancy which, of course, is in total confidence.
Contact is available through any of our offices or direct on email@example.com
As with Morgan & Clarke Chartered Surveyors, The Pubs Advisory Service also offer a free of charge case review of personal financial hardship as an initial overview. This is a desktop exercise with no visit or face to face meeting required. Full detail of the background information of the Pubs Advisory Service, can be obtained from their website which will also contain all the necessary forms you need to fill in to assist the case review.