On 29 February 2016, Mr Nigel Lassetter and his company Cadz Limited of Hockley, Birmingham were ordered to pay £2,500 in fines and costs after pleading guilty for the second time to five charges of misusing the title ‘architect’ in their business, in breach of the Architects Act 1997.
The prosecution was brought after Mr Lassetter used the title knowingly within the content of various websites and domain names despite not being registered with the ARB and there not being an architect in control and management of the architectural work at the practice.
Despite Mr Lassetter’s assertions that he was unable to fix the breaches, Birmingham Magistrates Court took into account the serious offences which had been committed for a second time and the fact that these had not been amended despite numerous warnings from the ARB. It fined Mr Lassetter £500 in relation to each of the five offences, totalling £2,500, and ordering him to pay a victim surcharge of £20, a court charge of £230 and costs to the ARB of £1,488.
A spokesperson for the ARB Professional Standards Department said ‘Only registered architects are legally allowed to use the title ‘architect’ in business or practice. We are glad the Court took Mr Lassetter’s continued use of the title seriously and disregarded his assertion that the websites connected to his practice could not be amended. We will continue to monitor the position 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‘
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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