On 22 November 2018 Mr Nicholas Rothe of Manchester was convicted on eight counts of the criminal offence of misusing the title ‘Architect’. Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Nicholas Rothe traded under the business name “Cheshire Architects and Construction” despite not having his name on the Register of Architects, contrary to section 20 of the Architects Act 1997, and continued to do so whilst ignoring ARB’s numerous warnings.
Taking into account the defendants’ refusal to engage with the ARB and their absence from court, the magistrates imposed a combined fine of £2,000 to Mr Nicholas Rothe and CA&C Ltd, with a further £3659.58 in costs and surcharges, creating a total of £5659.58.
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 Nicholas Rothe 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 Rothe’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)
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.
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