On 7 September 2018 Mr Christian Lawson of Kingston upon Hull, East Yorkshire was convicted on eight counts of the criminal offence of misusing the title ‘Architect’. Kingston upon Hull & Holderness Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Christian Lawson continuously publicised himself as an ‘Architect’ despite not having his name on the Register of Architects, contrary to Section 20 of the Architects Act 1997. Mr Lawson used several websites to promote his business using the title and continued to do so whilst ignoring ARB’s numerous warnings.
After taking into account Mr Lawson’s guilty plea, Kingston upon Hull & Holderness Magistrates’ Court imposed a combined fine of £1,000 to Mr Christian Lawson and CK Architectural Limited, with a further £2226 in costs and surcharges, creating a total of £3226.
A spokesperson on behalf of ARB’s Professional Standards Department said:
‘For an individual to continue to use the title when they are not on the Register undermines the regulatory purpose of the Architects Act. Mr Christian Lawson chose to ignore the legal restrictions surrounding the use of the title and the Courts demonstrated a willingness to protect the public from those illegally calling themselves an architect. We will continue to monitor Mr Lawson’s trading style and if necessary recommence legal action. Anyone wishing to use the services of an architect should check the Register of Architects at www.architects-register.org.uk’
Notes for Editors
ARB is the statutory body established by Parliament under the Architects Act 1997 to regulate the UK architects’ profession in the public interest. The Act requires ARB (among other things) to:
- Maintain the Register of Architects (Section 3)
- Prescribe qualifications for entry to the Register of Architects (Section 4)
- Deal with competence to practise (Section 9)
- Issue a Code which lays down standards of professional conduct and practice (Section 13)
- Regulate use of the title “architect” and prosecute those who use it unlawfully (Section 20)
ARB has a Board of 15 members, seven of whom are architects elected by the profession. The remaining eight are members of the public appointed by the Privy Council to represent the interests of consumers and users of architectural services. The Privy Council is currently recruiting for new Board members at https://publicappointments.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/appointment/architects-registration-board-members/
The maximum fine for each offence, currently £2500, is set by the Architects Act 1997. Magistrates determine the amount of the fine (and related costs) after considering the nature of the offence and any mitigation put forward by the defendant. Money raised from fines is paid to HM Treasury, not to ARB.
For further information, please contact Simon Howard, Head of Professional Standards, on 020 7580 5861 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.