Two companies are being investigated for a conflict of interest in acting on both sides of negotiations related to fracking in the East Midlands, Drill or Drop has revealed.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is investigating a complaint against local companies Fisher German LLP and Fisher German Priestner (known as FGP).
FGP is a chartered surveyors working for fracking company INEOS to gain access for seismic monitoring surveys. The surveys provide data about the rock formations underground, and are generally seen as the first step to establishing whether to frack in an area.
Fisher German LLP is also a chartered surveyors and property consultant, and represents landowners approached by FGP on behalf of INEOS.
Fisher German offers to agree a fee with INEOS to allow surveyors access to the land, agree compensations should there be any damage to the land by the surveyors, and ensure payments are made before work commences.
Fisher German admits it has “an interest in FGP”, but maintains that “they are entirely separate businesses”.
But a complaint sent to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors shows just how closely related the companies are.
In the complaint, anti-fracking campaigner and retired chartered surveyor, Ben Dean, says Fisher German has a 50 percent stake in FGP. He also points out that Andrew Jackson is a Director of both companies.
They also have the same registered address, according Companies House records.
It wouldn’t be the first time the two companies have found themselves in this kind of situation, Drill or Drop points out.
FGP acts for Dart Energy, a subsidiary of fracking company IGas. Fisher German acted for the owner of a site for which Dart Energy has obtained permission for coal bed methane and shale gas exploration.
Despite these links, Fisher German maintains that it “will be acting exclusively against FGP in the best interest of landowners”. It previously told Estate Agent Today that it made it “abundantly clear” to all clients that “there is a connection between the two companies”.
Both companies failed to respond to DeSmog UK’s request for further comment.
The investigations team at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has said it will treat the issue with “with high priority”.
Main image: Frack Free Upton, uploaded by Vertigogen via Flickr CC BY–NC–SA