The chair of an independent probe into corporate governance practices at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has resigned.


Source: Shutterstock/ Simon Vayro

Peter Oldham was appointed in early February to investigate the events that led to the dismissal of four directors in November 2019 after they raised the alarm about the findings of a 2018 BDO financial audit into the historic body.

However, on Friday evening RICS updated its website to announce that Oldham, a barrister at 11KBW, was unable to continue “for professional reasons”.

RICS launched the independent review after The Sunday Times published allegations late last year that four directors were ousted in November 2019 for flagging a 2018 BDO report warning that RICS was exposed to “unidentified fraud, misappropriation of funds and misreporting of financial performance”.

Oldham will be replaced on Monday by Alison Levitt QC.

Alison Levitt QC will be assisted by barrister Christopher Foulkes. Both serve at 2 Hare Court Chambers, a barristers chambers specialising in criminal defence, fraud, health & safety and professional discipline & regulatory law.

The date for the completion of the review has also been pushed back from early April to mid-June, RICS said.

Levitt and Foulkes are instructed by Kingsley Napley, solicitors to the independent review.

The independent reviewer will be issuing a call for evidence.

Alongside its independent investigation, RICS has also pledged to undertake a wider review looking at the “ongoing purpose and relevance of RICS in 2021 and beyond”, which is being overseen by chief executive Sean Tompkins and president Kathleen Fontana.