Resumptions

Peter Archos has represented a number of clients who have been affected by public authorities exercising their statutory power to acquire land. Cases include:

1. A property located near the border of Logan City was resumed by the Brisbane City Council. Proceedings were commenced for recovery of compensation in the Land Court. The Brisbane City Council had paid an advance against compensation (this is the resuming authority’s estimate of the claimant’s entitlement to compensation) of about $2.5M. This property had the potential to be developed as a large residential subdivision. In order to substantiate the client’s entitlement to compensation, on the basis of the highest and best use to which the land could have been put, it was necessary to prove that, but for the resumption, development could have taken place. This involved the complexities of town planning approval including incidental matters such as civil engineering and traffic. The matter was further complicated by the presence of very rare fauna and its preservation. Immediately prior to commencement of the trial the compensation amount was resolved directly between Peter and the then Lord Mayor of Brisbane and resulted in agreement in an amount of compensation which was four times greater than the amount which the Brisbane City Council had initially advanced.

2. Peter represented a business owner/tenant and a land owner both of whom were affected by the resumption by Translink of business premises. The implications of the resumption on the business of the business owner/tenant were very far reaching as, in order to preserve its business, it had to either relocate nearby (this was a very expensive option) or relocate its entire business (including divisions which were not affected by the resumption) to a new site. Translink argued the business owner/tenant was not entitled to be compensated for the cost of the options which the business owner believed had to be implemented in order to save its business. Eventually a multi?million dollar sum was paid by Translink in respect of the disturbance of the tenant’s business. Additionally, the claimant land owner received satisfactory compensation in respect of the loss of its land. Although a formal claim for compensation was made, no court proceedings were commenced and the compensation was received by the claimants much earlier than would have been the case had proceedings been commenced.

3. Most recently (resolved March 2012) Peter represented a dispossessed owner of a property in Parkinson which was resumed by the Brisbane City Council. Proceedings were commenced in the Land Court and the Council paid an advance against compensation. The dispute resolved itself at mediation and the claimant was paid an amount more than double the amount which the Council had contended was the value of the land. The proof of the validity of the claimant’s entitlement to compensation was complicated as, in order to substantiate the potential value of the land it was necessary to establish that the property had development potential, which potential was denied by the Council. The client, a Mr N of San Francisco has provided the following testimonial:

“Thynne & Macartney has recently served as the law firm acting on my behalf with respect to a land resumption dispute with the City of Brisbane. I am pleased to report that the dispute was settled to my complete satisfaction. While significant time and money was spent upfront on discovery and expert advisory services, the ultimate settlement arose from mediation (as the Firm predicted) which, in turn, obviated the need for expensive trial litigation before the Land Court. The ultimate result was a proverbial “win-win” for both parties.

The attorney assigned to the matter, Peter Archos, provided exemplary service combined with in-depth and relatable experience with and knowledge of resumption disputes. The result was pain-free litigation from this client’s perspective. Legal costs, while significant, fell within the norm for matters of this type, with the final costs closely matching the initial projection.

Mr. Archos is to be recognised for his personal handling of the matter. He remained sensitive to the issue of managing costs. He communicated quiet confidence and reassuring trust by virtue of his personal style, candid advice and ability to “listen”. He provided proactive information and updates on the status of the case and was accessible at all times for conferences and strategy discussions. This was of particular benefit to me given that I live in San Francisco, with an 18 hour time-zone differential. The fact that I have never met or liaised with Mr. Archos on a face-to-face basis is testament to the excellence of his service and communication style.Thynne & Macartney and Mr. Archos carry my highest recommendation.”

If you have been or anticipate that you will be affected by an authority exercising its right to acquire your land or land in which you have an interest as an occupier please do not hesitate to contact Peter Archos for an initial consultation.