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Architect vows to clear name after winning ARB appeal

The victor of an appeal against the ARB's professional conduct committee has pledged to fight on to fully clear his name.

Altrincham-based practitioner Michael Cummings saw his punishment reduced from removal from the register to suspension at a hearing in London last Thursday.

But Cummings told the AJ he was 'not pleased'with the result and is seeking a further appeal to overturn the original guilty verdict on the grounds that the ARB acted 'outside of the scope of the Architects'Act'.

'I have taken advice and been told I have a case, 'Cummings said.

Cummings was found guilty of unprofessional conduct last October for 'failing to manage his financial affairs prudently'.The PCC concluded Cummings had not paid architect Granville Gough £20,000 for work completed on his behalf and erased him from the register.

But having failed to attend the original hearing, Cummings appealed to the High Court claiming mitigating circumstances and the PCC was forced to review the case.Chair Michael Churchouse decided to reduce the penalty since the case concerned two professionals and not a member of the public.He also took as mitigation that Cummings had practised for a long period and had 'excellent references'.

However, Churchouse reiterated the guilty verdict, stating that Cummings'behaviour 'amounted to disgraceful conduct'.

The ARB's regulation executive, Alan Peacock, denied the revised sanction undermined the authority of the PCC since Cummings failed to present his mitigating factors at the original hearing.

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