David Bucknall, chairman of Rider Levett Bucknall, is also to chair the QS professional group in the RICS.

He was elected by secret electronic ballot last Friday. The electorate was a board of 20 appointed by the RICS in July, whose identities are not yet known - even to each other.

What is known is that the RICS has largely cleared out members of the old board that elected Stuart Earl, a partner in Gleeds, as chairman in March: five out of 20 new members are drawn from the old group and include Earl.

The election takes place in the context of a continuing dispute between the RICS and a group of QSs who are angry about, among other things, the decision to appoint the board rather than allow QSs to elect it, and the decision to end Earl’s tenure. Some QSs claim he was meant to serve two years, but the RICS says he was “always acting chair”.

Bucknall says he is a neutral in this dispute. He said: “I’ve a lot of experience and no baggage. We have to be as relevant to the average member as possible.”

Bucknall refused to be drawn on the continued dispute over the commercialisation of the RICS and the watering down of entry standards.