Select Page

Mr David Draper

THE ARCHITECTS REGISTRATION BOARD PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT COMMITTEE 

In the matter of
Mr David Draper (072048H)
Held on 23 and 24 April 2018

At

International Dispute Resolution Centre
70 Fleet Street
London
EC4Y 1EU

———-

Present

Mr Julian Weinberg(Chair)
Mr David Kann (PCC Architect Member)
Mr Stephen Neale (PCC Lay Member)

Ms Rosemary Rollason (Clerk)

The PCC found Mr Draper guilty of unacceptable professional conduct (“UPC”) in that:

Part 1 – Complaint by Mr AA

1.1 He failed adequately or at all, to undertake his professional work without undue delay;

1.2 He failed adequately or at all to cooperate with the Architects Registration Board (“ARB”) with regard to a complaint about his professional work.

Part 2 – Complaint by Mr EG

1.1 He failed to enter into a written agreement with his client prior to undertaking any professional work which adequately, or at all, covered the matters set out in Standard 4.4 and / or 4.6 of the Architects Code: Standards of Conduct and Practice 2010;

1.2 He failed to carry out his work faithfully, conscientiously and with due regard to relevant technical and professional standards in that; 1.2.1 he failed to produce drawings sufficient for the client’s purposes and / or he provided drawings designed for someone else; and / or

1.2.2 he failed to produce drawings within a reasonable time frame; and / or

1.2.3 he failed adequately, or at all, to communicate or engage with his client. 1.3 He made representations to his client which were inaccurate, misleading and untrue in that;

1.3.1 He said he had submitted a planning application to the Council when he had not done so; and / or

1.3.2 He sent he had sent drawings to his client when he had not done so.

1.4 He failed adequately, or at all, to cooperate with the ARB with regard to a complaint about his professional work and / or to provide information relating to his professional indemnity insurance.

1.5 He made representations to his client which were inaccurate, misleading and untrue in that;

1.5.1 He said he had submitted a planning application to the Council when he had not done so; and / or

1.5.2 He sent he had sent drawings to his client when he had not done so.

1.6 He failed adequately, or at all, to cooperate with the ARB with regard to a complaint about his professional work and / or to provide information relating to his professional indemnity insurance.

Part 3 – Complaint by Mr DS

1.1 he failed to hold adequate insurance, and / or failed to provide evidence of Professional Indemnity Insurance;

1.2 he failed to ensure that he had a complaint handling procedure in place;

1.3 he failed adequately, or at all, to deal with a complaint from his client regarding his professional work; and

1.4 he failed adequately, or at all, to cooperate with the Architects Registration Board (“ARB”) with regard to a complaint about his professional work.

And that by doing so, he acted in breach of Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 11 of the Architects Code: Standards of Conduct and Practice 2010 (“the 2010 Code”) and Standards 8 and 11 of the Architects Code: Standards of Conduct and Practice 2017 (“the 2017 Code”). The sanction imposed is erasure from the Register of Architects.

Charge and allegations:

1. In this case, the Board is represented by Jonathan Goodwin. Mr Draper has not attended this hearing and is not legally represented. Mr Draper faces a charge of unacceptable professional conduct (“UPC”) based on ten allegations in relation to breaches of Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 11 of the Architects Code: Standards of Conduct and Practice 2010 (“the 2010 Code”) and Standards 8 and 11 of the Architects Code: Standards of Conduct and Practice 2017 (“the 2017 Code”) in that:

Part 1 – Complaint by Mr AA

1.1 he failed adequately or at all, to undertake his professional work without undue delay;
1.2 he failed adequately or at all to cooperate with the Architects Registration Board (“ARB”) with regard to a complaint about his professional work.

Part 2 – Complaint by Mr EG

1.3 he failed to enter into a written agreement with his client prior to undertaking any professional work which adequately, or at all, covered the matters set out in Standard 4.4 and / or 4.6 of the Architects Code: Standards of Conduct and Practice 2010;
1.4 he failed to carry out his work faithfully, conscientiously and with due regard to relevant technical and professional standards in that;
1.4.1 he failed to produce drawings sufficient for the client’s purposes and / or he provided drawings designed for someone else; and / or
1.4.2 he failed to produce drawings within a reasonable time frame; and / or
1.4.3 he failed adequately, or at all, to communicate or engage with his client.
1.5 He made representations to his client which were inaccurate, misleading and untrue in that;
1.5.1 He said he had submitted a planning application to the Council when he had not done so; and / or
1.5.2 He sent he had sent drawings to his client when he had not done so.
1.6 He failed adequately, or at all, to cooperate with the ARB with regard to a complaint about his professional work and / or to provide information relating to his professional indemnity insurance.

Dishonesty is alleged in respect of allegation 1.5.

Part 3 – Complaint by Mr DS

1.7 he failed to hold adequate insurance, and / or failed to provide evidence of Professional Indemnity Insurance;
1.8 he failed to ensure that he had a complaint handling procedure in place;
1.9 he failed adequately, or at all, to deal with a complaint from his client regarding his professional work; and
1.10 he failed adequately, or at all, to cooperate with the Architects Registration Board (“ARB”) with regard to a complaint about his professional work.

Service of notice and proceeding in absence

2. As the Respondent has not attended the hearing, the Committee firstly heard from Mr Goodwin regarding service of the relevant notice. Notice of the hearing was sent to the Respondent by Special Delivery on 26 February 2018, more than 42 days before the date of this hearing. The Notice contained the prescribed information and was sent to the Respondent at his registered address. Having heard his submissions and having heard and accepted the advice from the Clerk, the Committee is satisfied that service has taken place in accordance with the Professional Conduct Committee Rules (“the Rules”). The Committee also notes that the Respondent emailed the ARB on 16 January 2018 referring to the PCC hearing date being fixed to start on 23 April 2018, and therefore the Committee has concluded that the Respondent was aware of the fact that the hearing had been listed.

3. Having heard further submissions from Mr Goodwin and accepted the advice of the Clerk, the Committee went on to consider whether, in the circumstances, it was appropriate for the hearing to proceed in the Respondent’s absence. The committee has applied Rule 11 of the Rules, the principles set out by the Court of Appeal in R v Jones (Anthony William) [2003] 1 AC 1 and the factors set out in Tait v. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons [2003] UKPC 34 and GMC v Adeogba and Visvardis [2016] EWCA Civ 162. The Committee noted that its primary objective is the protection of the public and of the public interest, and that the “fair, economical, expeditious and efficient disposal of allegations made against medical practitioners is of very real importance”. As stated in Adeogba, “where there is good reason not to proceed, the case should be adjourned; where there is not, … , it is only right that it should proceed….there is a burden on…all professionals subject to a regulatory regime, to engage with the regulator, both in relation to the investigation and ultimate resolution of allegations made against them. That is part of the responsibility to which they sign up when being admitted to the profession.”

4. The Committee has borne in mind the following:

• The nature and circumstances of the Respondent’s absence, and in particular whether his absence may be deliberate and voluntary.
• Whether an adjournment might result in the Architect attending at a later date. No request for an adjournment has been made by the Respondent. The Committee saw no evidence that led it to conclude that by adjourning the matter, the Respondent would attend the hearing on any future date.
• The likely length of any adjournment and what would be achieved by adjourning. For the reasons stated above, an adjournment was not considered appropriate.
• Whether, despite the architect being absent, he has expressed a wish to be represented at the hearing. The Respondent has not stated this to be the case and no communication has been received from any legal representative that they have been instructed.
• The extent to which any representative will be able to receive instructions from and present a case on behalf of the Architect. For the reasons stated above, this is not a relevant consideration.
• The extent of the disadvantage to the Architect in not being able to give evidence having regard to the nature of the case. The Respondent has not provided any written submissions for the Committee’s consideration despite having been given the opportunity to do so. In any event, he is afforded the safeguard under Rule 11d of the Rules.
• General public interest and in particular the interests of any victims or witnesses, that a hearing should take place within a reasonable period of time to which it relates. The Committee has borne in mind that the three complainants have attended this hearing to give evidence.
• The effect of delay on the memory of witnesses.

5. The Committee has exercised the utmost care and caution in reaching its decision, and has carefully considered the overall fairness of the proceedings. In considering this application, it has balanced the potential impact on the Respondent’s livelihood and reputation in hearing the matter today in his absence, as against the public interest in proceeding with the hearing in a timely manner. Having done so, the Committee is satisfied that the Respondent has been given an adequate opportunity to make arrangements to appear before it to argue his case in person and that he has chosen to voluntary absent himself. He has given no explanation for his absence and has not requested an adjournment of the hearing. Taking all these factors into account, the Committee has concluded that it is fair and in the interests of justice to hear the case in his absence.

Allegation background

Complaint by Mr AA (“Complainant 1”)

6. On 1 September 2016, Complainant 1 made a complaint to the ARB about the Respondent who he had appointed in May 2016 to revise drawings for a side and rear extension of the Complainant’s property. The Respondent indicated a three week lead time to prepare the drawings. However, despite being chased by Complainant 1 and promises by the Respondent, drawings were not provided until 12 August 2016. Complainant 1 was only prepared to continue working with the Respondent provided he kept to agreed time schedules. However, it is alleged that time lines were not met.

7. Having been contacted by Complainant 1, the Board emailed the Respondent on 4 November 2016 with a copy of the complaint. The Respondent contacted the ARB to request an extension of time to respond, but it is alleged that he failed to respond as required by the revised date of 24 November 2016. A further request was made by the Board for a response to which the Respondent stated that he had posted his response as his email wasn’t working. It is alleged that the Respondent stated that he would resend his response by recorded delivery but no response has been received by the Board.

Complaint by Mr EG (“Complainant 2”)

8. On 14 March 2017, Complainant 2 made a complaint to the ARB about the Respondent who had been instructed to produce a full set of planning drawings, with construction drawings to follow.

9. It is alleged that the Respondent cancelled meetings and failed to keep in contact with Complainant 2. It is alleged that despite representations that the Respondent had submitted drawings to the Council, he had in fact not done so.

10. Following a complaint being made to the Board, the Board wrote to the Respondent on a number of occasions between April and May 2017, but the Respondent failed to respond to its correspondence.

Complaint by Mr DS (“Complainant 3”)

11. On 7 June 2017, Complainant 3 made a complaint to the ARB about the Respondent who had been engaged to design and manage the refurbishment of Complainant 3’s property. He was also the Contract Administrator. Following problems with the building works, Complainant 3 notified the Respondent of a potential claim and requested details of his professional indemnity insurance, which, it is alleged, the Respondent did not provide. Similarly, it is alleged that the information was not provided to solicitors instructed by Complainant 3 when they requested his insurance details.

12. Following the ARB being contacted, it wrote to the Respondent enclosing a copy of the complaint to which the Respondent did not respond.

13. In reaching its decisions, the Committee has carefully considered the live evidence of the Complainants. It also considered the documentary evidence presented to it in the Report of the Board’s Solicitor and the 154 pages of documents exhibited to it, which include the respondent’s detailed written representations to the Board. The Respondent has not provided any defence submissions or documentation.

14. The Committee has accepted the legal advice given by the Clerk. It has had regard to the fact that the burden of proof is on the Board and that the civil standard applies, namely proof on the balance of probabilities. Whether the conduct alleged amounts to UPC is a matter for the Committee’s independent judgment to which no burden of proof applies. Neither the seriousness of the allegation nor the seriousness of the consequences affects the standard of proof to be applied. In addition, the Committee draws no adverse inference of guilt by reason of the Respondent’s non-attendance at this hearing.

15. The Committee makes the following findings of facts:
Allegation 1.1

The Committee finds the facts proved for the following reasons:

Complainant 1 gave clear, credible and consistent evidence. His evidence was measured and not prone to exaggeration or malice. He stated that the Respondent initially indicated, in May 2016, that he would be able to produce and deliver drawings within three weeks. He stated that the Respondent had informed him that for understandable personal reasons, the Respondent would be unable to keep his appointments in June 2016. Complainant 1 stated that in July 2016, the Respondent stated that he had prepared and emailed the drawings, but Complainant 1 had not received them. Complainant 1 stated that the Respondent stated that he made several attempts to send the drawings but it hadn’t proved possible because of email and staffing problems. Complainant 1 stated that only after having threatened legal proceedings, did the Respondent deliver the drawings on 12 August 2016. He stated that, despite being told that the drawings had been submitted to the Council, the Council had indicated that the application had not been received.

16. Standard 6 of the 2010 Code states:

You should carry out your professional work faithfully and conscientiously and with due regard to relevant technical and professional standards
6.1 You are expected to carry out your work promptly and with skill and care and in accordance with the terms of your engagement.
6.2 You should carry out your professional work without undue delay and, so far is reasonably practicable, in accordance with any time-scale and cost limits agreed with your client.
6.3 …..

17. The Committee accepts the chronology of events provided by Complainant 1 and having done so, finds that the Respondent failed adequately, or at all, to undertake his professional work without undue delay. In the circumstances, the Committee finds that the Respondent has acted in breach of Standard 6 of the 2010 Code.

Allegation 1.2

18. The Committee finds the facts proved for the following reasons:

From the documentary evidence before the Committee, it is apparent that the ARB emailed the Respondent on 4 November 2016 to which no response was received by the deadline date. The Board again emailed the Respondent on 23 December 2016 requesting a response by 6 January 2017. On 17 January 2017, a further email was sent to the Respondent which failed to deliver. As such the Board telephoned the Respondent who stated that he had posted his response and that his email was not working. The evidence indicates that the Respondent stated that he was going to use another email account and that he would resend his response. However, no response was received by the third deadline of 24 January 2017, or at all.

19. Standard 11 of the 2010 Code states:

Co-operation with regulatory requirements and investigations
11.1 You are expected to co-operate fully and promptly with the Board, and within any specified timescale, if it asks you to provide information which it needs to carry out its statutory duties, including evidence that you are complying with these Standards.
11.2 …..

20. In the circumstances, the committee finds the allegation proved and that by doing so, the respondent acted in breach of standard 11 of the 2010 Code.

Allegation 1.3

21. The Committee finds the facts proved for the following reasons:

Complainant 2 also gave clear, credible and consistent evidence. His evidence was also measured and not prone to exaggeration or malice. Complainant 2 stated that the Respondent failed to provide him with written terms of engagement prior to undertaking professional work. He adduced a copy of a text message which read: “Hi Ted £6,500 for the house and church and £6,000 for your house £3k for planning for building regs, cheers mate Dave”. Complainant 2 stated that the Respondent sent him no other terms of engagement. There is no other evidence before the Committee regarding any other written terms of engagement the Respondent may have sent to Complainant 2.

22. Standard 4 of the 2010 Code states:

Competent Management of your Business
4.1…..
4.2…..
4.3…..
4.4 You are expected to ensure that before you undertake any professional work you have entered into a written agreement with the client which adequately covers:
• the contracting parties;
• the scope of the work:
• the fee or method of calculating it;
• who will be responsible for what;
• any constraints or limitations on the responsibilities of the parties;
• the provisions for suspension or termination of the agreement;
• a statement that you have adequate and appropriate insurance cover as specified by the Board;
• your complaints-handling procedure (see Standard 10), including
• details of any special arrangements for resolving disputes (e.g. arbitration).
4.5…..
4.6 You are expected to ensure that your client agreements record that you are registered with the Architects Registration Board and that you are subject to this Code; and that the client can refer a complaint to the Board if your conduct or competence appears to fall short of the standards in the Code.

23. In the circumstances, the Committee finds the facts proved as alleged and that the Respondent acted in breach of Standard 4 of the 2010 Code.
24. Allegation 1.4

Allegation 1.4.1

The Committee finds the facts proved for the following reasons:

Complainant 2 provided drawings the Respondent had produced. He gave clear evidence that those drawings related to another property and another client. Given that, in any event, the drawings did not relate to Complainant 2’s property, the Committee finds that the Respondent produced drawings that were not sufficient for the client’s purposes, and therefore that the facts alleged are proved. In the circumstances, the Committee finds that the Respondent failed to carry out his work faithfully, conscientiously and with due regard to relevant technical and professional standards in breach of Standard 6 of the 2010 Code.

25. Allegation 1.4.2

The Committee finds the facts proved for the following reasons:

Complainant 2 adduced a schedule of text messages between himself and the Respondent between 7 May 2016 and 16 January 2017, together with WhatsApp messages between 19 February and 22 February 2017. Having had sight of the contents of those messages, it is clear that Complainant 2 repeatedly asked, on 19 occasions for the Respondent to produce drawings. In his WhatsApp message to Complainant 2 on 22 February 2017, he recognises that he “didn’t drop drawings off last week”. In any event, the only drawings produced by the Respondent bore the name of another client and related to another property. The Committee finds that the Respondent failed to produce drawings within a reasonable period of time and therefore finds the facts of this factual sub-particular proved. In the circumstances, the Committee finds that the Respondent failed to carry out his work faithfully, conscientiously and with due regard to relevant technical and professional standards in breach of Standard 6 of the 2010 Code.
26. Allegation 1.4.3

The Committee finds the facts proved for the following reasons:

The Committee has had regard to the contents of an email from Denise Flint, written on behalf of Complainant 2. In it, and with reference to the need for drawings, she states: “You have promised this so many times I have a record on my phone of at least 30 texts asking if you are still going to make meetings, having the drawings etc etc….and you never even having the decency to reply”. Complainant 2 in his evidence also stated that, despite the respondent having been repeatedly texted, the Respondent failed to respond to him. In the circumstances, the Committee finds the facts of this sub-particular proved. In the circumstances, the Committee finds that the Respondent failed to carry out his work faithfully, conscientiously and with due regard to relevant technical and professional standards in breach of Standard 6 of the 2010 Code.

27. Allegation 1.5

Allegation 1.5.1

The Committee finds the facts proved for the following reasons:

The Committee has noted the contents of the Respondent’s WhatsApp message of 22 February 2017. In it he stated: “the application is in….If you want me to with draw the application that’s up to you”. Complainant 2 stated in evidence, and the Committee accepts, that the Respondent could only have been referring to the submission of a planning application to the Council as this was the issue to be dealt with at the time. Whilst there is no direct evidence from the Council that no such plans had been lodged, Complainant 2 stated that he subsequently contacted the Council on a couple of occasions over approximately the following two weeks, as did a subsequently appointed architect who was appointed in approximately April or May 2017, who was told that no such application had been lodged. The Committee therefore accepts, on the balance of probabilities, and in the absence of contradictory evidence, that no such application was submitted. The Committee finds that the respondent’s WhatsApp message above gives the wrong idea or impression, and hence is misleading. In the circumstances, it also finds that his representations were inaccurate and untrue.

28. Allegation 1.5.2

The Committee finds the facts proved for the following reasons:
The Committee has had sight of Complainant 2’s repeated requests to the Respondent to provide drawings. In the Respondent’s WhatsApp message of 22 February, he stated “I understand that I didn’t drop drawings off last week”, but subsequently states “I have a record of giving you the drawings”. Complainant 2 gave clear and unequivocal evidence that drawings relating to his property were not provided, and stated that he asked the Respondent to evidence that he had sent the drawings, but the Respondent failed to evidence that he had. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the Committee does not consider it credible that, had Complainant 2 been sent drawings, that he would have repeatedly continue to request them from the Respondent. In the circumstances, the Committee finds that in saying that he had sent drawings when he had not done so was inaccurate, misleading and untrue.

29. Having found that the Respondent made representations that were inaccurate, misleading and untrue, the Committee went on to consider whether in making those representations, he did so dishonestly. In considering whether the Respondent acted dishonestly, the Committee has applied the test for dishonesty as set out in Ivey v Genting Casinos (UK) Ltd t/a Crockfords [2017] UKSC 67.

“When dishonesty is in question the fact-finding tribunal must first ascertain subjectively the actual state of the individual’s knowledge or belief as to the facts. The reasonableness or otherwise of his belief is a matter of evidence (often in practice determinative) going to whether he held the belief, but it is not an additional requirement that his belief must be reasonable; the question is whether it is genuinely held. When once his actual state of mind as to knowledge or belief as to facts is established, the question whether his conduct was honest or dishonest is to be determined by the fact-finder by applying the objective standards of ordinary decent people. There is no requirement that the defendant must appreciate that what he has done is, by those standards, dishonest.”

30. Given its reasons for its findings in respect of this allegation, in the absence of any alternative explanation for why the Respondent made inaccurate, misleading and untrue representations, the Committee has drawn the inference that he knew that what he said was untrue and was intended to mislead his client. As the Respondent was responsible for submitting a planning application and for sending drawings to his client, in saying that he done those things when he had not, the Respondent must have known that his representations were inaccurate, misleading and untrue. The Committee considers that ordinary decent people would consider knowingly making inaccurate, misleading and untrue statements in these circumstances to be dishonest. As a result, the Committee finds that the Respondent’s actions in respect of allegations 1.5.1 and 1.5.2 were dishonest, and therefore finds the allegation proved in respect of the dishonesty element.
31. Standard 1 of the 2010 Code states:

Honesty and Integrity
1.1. You are expected at all times to act with honesty and integrity and to avoid any actions or situations which are inconsistent with your professional obligations. This standard underpins the Code and will be taken to be required in any consideration of your conduct under any of the other standards.
1.2 You should not make any statement which is contrary to your professional opinion or which you know to be misleading, unfair to others or discreditable to the profession.

32. In the circumstances, the Committee finds that the Respondent, acted in breach of standard 1 of the 2010 Code.

33. Allegation 1.6

The Committee finds the facts proved for the following reasons:

From the documentary evidence before the Committee, it is apparent that the ARB emailed the Respondent on 25 April 2017 sending a copy of Complainant 2’s complaint and requesting information about the Respondent’s professional indemnity insurance. No response was received by the deadline date. The Board wrote to the Respondent by recorded delivery on 15 May 2017 requesting a response by 30 May 2017. However, no response was received by the deadline, or at all. In the circumstances, the Committee finds the allegation proved and that by doing so, he acted in breach of Standard 11 of the 2010 Code (which is set out above).

34. Allegation 1.7

The Committee finds the facts proved for the following reasons:

Complainant 3 also gave clear, credible and consistent evidence. His evidence was also measured and not prone to exaggeration or malice. He adduced correspondence from solicitors he had instructed dated 7 November and 2 December 2016 sent to the Complainant intimating a potential claim and requesting details of his professional indemnity insurance. The Respondent failed to reply or provide details of his insurance as required by Regulation 8(1)(n) of the Provision of Services Regulations 2009. The Committee has drawn a proper inference that the Respondent failed to provide evidence of his professional indemnity insurance because he did not have any. Had he had appropriate cover in place, the expectation is that he would have provided a confirmation of that fact and evidenced it. The Committee also notes that following Complainant 3 making his complaint, the ARB wrote to the Respondent requesting evidence of his professional indemnity insurance, yet he failed to respond to the Board or provide any such evidence.

35. Standard 8 of the 2017 Code states:

8.1 You are expected to have adequate and appropriate professional indemnity insurance cover for you, your practice and your employees. You should ensure that your insurance remains adequate to meet a claim. You are expected to maintain a minimum level of cover, including run-off cover, in accordance with ARB’s guidance.
8.2 …..
8.3 …..
8.4 When requested, you are expected to provide ARB with evidence that you have professional indemnity insurance in accordance with this Standard.

36. In the circumstances, the Committee finds the facts of this sub-particular proved and that the Respondent acted in breach of standard 8 of the 2017 Code.

37. Allegation 1.8

The Committee finds the facts proved for the following reasons:

The Committee has had sight of Complainant 3’s complaint to the Board. In it he raises the Respondent’s failure to have a complaints handling procedure. From the exhibited communications before the Committee, the issue of a complaints handling procedure was raised by the Board with the Respondent, yet he failed to respond. The Committee has drawn a proper inference that the Respondent failed to provide evidence of his complaints handling procedure because he did not have one. Had he had one, the expectation is that he would have provided a confirmation of that fact and evidenced it.

38. Standard 10.1 of the 2010 Code states:

10.1 You are expected to have a written procedure for prompt and courteous handling of complaints which will be in accordance with the Code and provide this to clients. This should include the name of the architect who will respond to complaints.

39. In the circumstances, the Committee finds the facts of this sub-particular proved and that the Respondent acted in breach of Standard 10 of the 2010 Code.
40. Allegation 1.9

The Committee finds the facts proved for the following reasons:

The Committee has not had sight of any written evidence of Complainant 3’s complaint or of any emails or other correspondence to which Complainant 3 stated the Respondent did not respond. However, the Committee has noted that it considered Complainant 3 to be a credible witness. As such, the Committee accepts that Complainant 3’s evidence that he did make a Complainant to the Respondent which went unanswered. The fact that he had referred the matter to the Board and had instructed solicitors corroborates his evidence that he had made a complaint. Similarly, his assertion that the Respondent did not respond to him is consistent with the Respondent’s conduct in failing to respond to Complainant 2, Complainant 3’s solicitors and the ARB. The Committee therefore finds the facts of this sub-particular proved.

41. Standard 10.2 of the 2010 Code states:

10.2 Complaints should be handled courteously and promptly at every stage; and as far as practicable in accordance with the following time scales:
a an acknowledgement within 10 working days from the receipt of a
complaint; and
b a response addressing the issues raised in the initial letter of complaint
within 30 working days from its receipt.

42. In the circumstances, the Committee finds the Respondent acted in breach of standard 10.2 of the 2010 Code.

43. Allegation 1.10

The Committee finds the facts proved for the following reasons:

From the documentary evidence before the Committee, it is apparent that the ARB wrote to the Respondent on 12 July 2017 sending a copy of Complainant 3’s complaint. However, no response was received by the deadline date of 26 July 2017, or at all.

44. Standard 11 of the 2017 Code states:

Co-operation with regulatory requirements and investigations
11.1 You are expected to co-operate fully and promptly with the Board, and within any specified timescale, if it asks you to provide information which it needs to carry out its statutory duties, including evidence that you are complying with these Standards.
11.2 …..

45. In the circumstances, the Committee finds the allegation proved and that by doing so, he acted in breach of Standard 11 of the 2017 Code.
Finding on Unacceptable Professional Conduct

46. Having found all the allegations proved, the Committee went on to consider whether the Respondent’s conduct amounts to UPC. UPC is defined as conduct which falls short of the standard required of a registered person.

47. In reaching its findings, the Committee has carefully considered all the evidence presented to it, all submissions made and has accepted the advice from the Clerk. The Committee recognises that not every shortcoming on the part of an architect, nor failure to comply with the provisions of the Code, will necessarily result in a finding of UPC. However, a failure to follow the guidance of the Code, whether in one’s professional or private life, is a factor that will be taken into account should it be necessary to examine the conduct or competence of an architect. The Committee reminds itself that a finding of UPC is a matter for its own judgment.

48. The Committee recognises that any failing should be serious. The Committee has borne in mind the case of Spencer v General Osteopathic Council [2012] EWHC 3147 (Admin) and accepts that “mere negligence does not constitute misconduct” and that “a single negligent act or omission is less likely to cross the threshold of misconduct than multiple acts or omissions (The Queen on the Application of Dr Malcolm Noel Calhaem –v- General Medical Council [2007] EWHC 2606 (Admin). Misconduct, which is akin to UPC, was defined in the case of Roylance v GMC [2000] 1 AC 311 as, “a word of general effect, involving some act or omission which falls short of what would be proper in the circumstances. The standard of propriety may often be found by reference to the rules and standards ordinarily required to be followed by a medical practitioner in the particular circumstances”. The Committee also recognises that any failing must be serious (Vranicki v Architects Registration Board [2007] EWHC 506 Admin).

49. The Respondent’s actions found proved reflect a breadth of serious failings on his part over a lengthy period of time relating to a number of clients and his regulator. The Respondent’s conduct has also been found to be dishonest, where honesty lies at the heart of what it is to be a professional. The Committee has found that the Respondent has breached several standards of his professional code. His actions and the corresponding breaches of the Code, are serious and substantially adversely impact both on the reputation of the Architect and the profession generally.

50. As such, the Committee has reached the inevitable conclusion that the Respondent’s conduct, both individually and collectively, amounts to unacceptable professional conduct, which finding the Committee so makes.

Sanction

51. The Committee then considered whether to impose a sanction, and if so, which one. The Committee has had regard to the public interest, which includes the need to protect the public, to maintain confidence in the profession and the Board and to declare and uphold proper standards of conduct and behaviour. The Committee has carefully considered all the evidence and submissions made during the course of this hearing. It has heard and accepted the advice of the Clerk. It has borne in mind that the purpose of imposing a sanction is not to be punitive although it may have a punitive effect. It has taken into account the Respondent’s interests, the indicative sanctions guidance and the need to act proportionately. It has taken into account any aggravating and mitigating factors in this case. The Committee has exercised its own independent judgement.

52. Mr Draper having failed to engage with these proceedings, the Committee had no information before it regarding any mitigating factors, insight or steps the Respondent had taken to address his failings. As such, the Committee has not identified any mitigating factors other than the fact that the Respondent has no adverse regulatory history.

53. The Committee has identified the following aggravating factors:

• These were serious, repeated and persistent failings in relation to a number of clients that demonstrated a wide ranging of failings in the Respondent’s practice and level of compliance with his professional obligations.
• His failings resulted in material inconvenience to the Complainants;
• The Respondent’s dishonesty is particularly serious given that he had stated that he had lodged a planning application when he had not;
• The Respondent has persistently failed to comply with his regulator for whom he has shown a wholesale disregard for his professional obligations, thereby impeding its role in being able to carry out its statutory regulatory function;
• His failings in relation to his lack of insurance put clients at a substantial risk of loss in the event of a claim being made against him;
• The Respondent has not demonstrated any insight into his failings nor made any expression of regret or apology. Given that, the Committee concluded that the risk of the Respondent repeating his UPC found proved was high.

54. The Committee notes that the matters found proved are serious to the extent that Mr Draper’s failings diminish both his reputation, and that of the profession generally for the reasons set out in its determination on UPC. The Committee therefore concluded that the Respondent’s conduct was sufficiently serious for it to require the imposition of a sanction and has considered them in ascending order of severity.

55. The Committee first considered whether to impose a reprimand. The Committee considered that such a sanction was neither appropriate nor proportionate given that it did not consider the Respondent’s UPC to be at the lower end of the scale given the aggravating factors identified.

56. The Committee then considered whether to impose a penalty order and concluded that such a sanction was neither appropriate nor proportionate to protect the public or the reputation of the profession. The UPC found proved is too serious for the imposition of a penalty order.

57. The Committee next considered whether a suspension order was appropriate. Having carefully considered the Indicative Sanctions Guidelines, the Committee considered that such a sanction would be insufficient to protect the public or the reputation of the profession. Given the aggravating factors set out above, and taken in the round, the Respondent’s failings are fundamentally incompatible with continuing to be an architect. The Committee considers that the matters found proved are so serious that only erasure from the Register will protect the public and / or the reputation of the profession. The Committee therefore directs that the Respondent’s name be erased from the register. The Committee recommends that the Respondent shall be entitled to apply for restoration to the Register in no less than five years’ time which the Committee considers proportionate given the aggravating features of this case.

58. That concludes this determination.

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