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ARB punishes architect over late payment

An architect based in north London has been found guilty of professional misconduct after a late payment to a structural engineer

Alexander Thompson of Building Doctors in Enfield was handed a £2,500 fine at a hearing of the Architects Registration Board’s Professional Conduct Committee.

He was accused of delaying payment of a professional fee that was owed to the structural engineer who was working on the same project as him.

In doing this, he was alleged to have acted without integrity.

Thompson had agreed with his client that he would pay him an engineer’s fee for work on a project, the Committee was told.

In actual fact, the cheque was mistakenly made out to Thompson’s practice rather than the engineer, and the architect duly banked the cheque without informing anyone else.

When quizzed by the engineer over the whereabouts of the cheque, Thompson said he had cash flow problems, and ensured him that payment would be made shortly.

However the engineer was only paid the money after writing directly to the client and making a complaint to ARB around six months later.

In his defence Thompson claimed the engineer been untrustworthy, and denied unacceptable professional conduct.

The Committee ruled that Thompson’s actions showed a lack of integrity that amounted to unacceptable professional conduct. The Committee was ‘particularly concerned by the fact that Thompson does not appear to accept that he has done anything wrong’.

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