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Legal bill blamed for 'appalling'ARB retention hike

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The ARB's retention fee was hiked yet again last week, a move that is sure to trigger further frustration in the profession.

The rise agreed by the board last Thursday - to £74.50 a year - was even higher than recommended by its finance committee, which had suggested an increase from £70 to £73.

ARB board member Nick Tweddell, a member of the finance committee, said a large share of the 'appalling' rise was down to escalating legal bills in the battle with board rebel Ian Salisbury.

Figures published this month show an extraordinary rise in lawyers fees. In 2002 the board spent just £45,000, in 2003 £86,000, and in 2004 it rose to £149,000. With 30,000 registered architects, this represents nearly £5 per head.

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