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Architect prosecuted for 'ignoring ARB'

An architect from Islington, North London has been fined £1,000 for repeatedly ignoring letters from the ARB.

Last week Patricia Patel was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct by the board's Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) after the committee learnt that she refused to return a 'simple' form confirming she had Professional Indemnity Insurance.

Despite being sent 'numerous' reminders, the committee heard that Patel had 'failed to return the straightforward document', which only 'required a box ticking'.

The committee was told that she subsequently broke a verbal promise to reply and did not turn up at an initial hearing scheduled for 24 January.

The PCC felt her behaviour had breached Standard 12 of the ARB Code of Conduct for failing to 'handle correspondence properly concerning her compliance'.

Summing up the case, Peter Verdin, the chairman of the PCC, said: '[Patel's] neglect has caused the board significant expense and inconvenience.

'But I want to stress that the expense is an expense on the profession.'

He added: 'We have heard what [she] has said, but we regard this as a serous professional failure.'

A charge of being uninsured, which could have led to Patel being 'erased' from the register, was dropped.

by Richard Waite

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