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OFT plural policy is a little prohibit too far

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I am amused and amazed to read that the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is pressurising the RIBA to prohibit sole architects from describing their firms as 'architects' in the plural.

Thirty years ago, when Max Boisot and I started in practice with a chartered surveyor partner, we received a threatening letter from the RIBA demanding to know whether a second architect (Max was not then registered) was part of the firm, since our letterhead used the plural.

Our solicitor (a young partner of Lord Goodman) wrote in the following terms: 'This is a matter of English usage. A firm of solicitors may comprise a solicitor and his dog. The same applies to architects.'We heard no more.

Brian Waters, The Boisot Waters Cohen Partnership, London

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