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News Release – 24/06/2013

Courts impose fines for misusing the title “architect”

ARB has recently mounted two successful prosecutions for misuse of the title “architect”.

The first of these was heard by Londonderry Magistrates’ Court on 18 April 2013, when Mr Christopher Neff was found guilty of breaching section 20 of the Architects 1997 by misusing the title “architect”.

The Court heard that Mr Neff had used the name “Neff and Co. Architects” to describe his practice on various websites. He was fined £750 and ordered to pay ARB costs of £1500.

The second case was heard by Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court on 17 June 2013, when Mr Hekmat Kaveh was found guilty of breaching section 20 of the Architects Act 1997 by misusing the title “architect”.

The Court heard that Mr Kaveh’s registration as an architect lapsed in March 2000, and he had not been registered since then.  A complaint was raised with the Board in 2012, and despite numerous warnings from ARB that he was acting unlawfully, Mr Kaveh continued to use the title “architect” when filing details of his businesses at Companies House.

The Court found that Mr Kaveh had been neglectful in allowing the title “architect” to be used, and as well as imposing a fine of £1000, the Court also ordered Mr Kaveh to pay a further £5000 in costs to ARB.



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, and is responsible for delivering the Architects Act in the public interest.  Membership of the Board is composed of seven architects who are elected by the profession, and eight members of the public who are appointed by the Privy Council.

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 the Professional Standards department at

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