My wife Jill and I are proud Northumbrians and long leaseholders having occupied the original estate manager’s house on the Cragside estate in Northumberland since 1993. As an engineer Cragside has a special appeal to me, the main house being the first in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity generated on the estate.

I graduated in civil and structural engineering from the University of Sheffield in 1965 and returned after four years in practice to gain a PhD as a staff member in 1973. I was a founding partner of Cundall Johnston and Partners in 1976. From small beginnings the practice has grown to employ over 1000 staff in offices throughout the world specialising in sustainable building design in its widest sense. As chair of the partnership for 15 years I gained hard won experience in legal and contractual matters. Since 2005 I have acted as an expert witness for the practice and private clients in complex construction cases.

In 2007 I was appointed by Sheffield University as a visiting professor and helped establish it as a Royal Academy of Engineering Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design.

On behalf of the Cragside tenants I first contacted Mike in 2017 over the MGR saga. I have maintained contact with him and Kel since then hopefully providing some assistance in contractual matters and background research. I believe that cooperation on an equal basis between the Trust and all tenants will provide the optimum solutions for both parties.