On 15 April 2015, Nigel Lassetter and his company Cadz Limited of Hockley, Birmingham were ordered to pay a total of £3,476 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to misusing the title ‘architect’ in their business, in breach of the Architects Act 1997.
Birmingham Magistrates Court heard that both Cadz Ltd and its director, Mr Lassetter, had used the title ‘architect’ within the content of various websites and domain names and had continued to do so despite numerous warnings from the ARB that it was illegal.
The Court heard that while Cadz Ltd had employed architects in the past, Mr Lassetter had failed to amend his website to take account of the fact that no architects had been at the practice for several months. In addition to the content on the practice website, www.cadz.org.uk, several domain names namely www.architectsbirmingham.co.uk and www.architectswestmidlands.co.uk had been created as a further advertising vehicle for Cadz Ltd. Mr Lassetter had also used the affixes ARB and RIBA after his name, despite never being registered with the ARB or a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
Mr Lassetter entered a guilty plea on behalf of himself and the company and the Court imposed a total fine of £2,976, ordering that Cadz Ltd pay a further £500 in costs to the ARB.
A spokesperson on behalf of ARB’s Professional Standards Department said:
‘Only registered architects are legally allowed to use the title ‘architect’ in business or practice. If the public believe that they are dealing with a registered person when they are not, then they are being deceived and are at risk of appointing someone who does not necessarily satisfy the criteria required to become an architect. These prosecutions demonstrate the serious consequences for anyone that persists in misleading the public. Anyone wishing to use the services of an architect should check the Register at www.architects-register.org.uk ‘
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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 regulate use of the title “architect” and to take action when it is being used 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 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, Professional Standards Manager, on 020 7580 5861, or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.