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On 2 November 2015, Mr Liam Ward of Ward Design, Magherafelt, Northern Ireland was ordered to pay a total of £2,500 in fines and costs after he was convicted for misusing the title ‘architect’ in breach of the Architects Act 1997.

A District Judge of the Magherafelt Courthouse heard that Mr Ward had used the title on social media and online directories despite there being no registered architect at the practice at that time. Mr Ward had failed to amend the offences despite receiving warnings from the ARB.

The District Judge decided to fine Mr Ward £1,000, and ordered him to pay a further £1,500 to ARB in costs.

A spokesperson on behalf of ARB’s Professional Standards Department said:

‘Only practices with a registered architect in control and management of the architectural work are legally allowed to use the title ‘architect’. Mr Ward chose to ignore the legal restrictions surrounding the use of the title and the Court demonstrated a willingness to protect the public from those illegally calling themselves an architect. Anyone wishing to use the services of an architect should check the Register of Architects at ‘

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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

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