An architect acquitted in one of the most celebrated Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) cases is back in serious trouble with the courts, the AJ can reveal.
Ingrid Morris, who successfully fought off four charges from the ARB at a 1999 PCC hearing, is now facing a High Court writ that could cost her up to £250,000.
Morris’ PCC case became a cause célèbre for those objecting to the ARB’s work, including the likes of Paul Hyett.
Ian Salisbury, who became a long-term ARB critic after the case, was a neutral expert witness.
But now Morris, a founding partner at Hammersmith-based Morris and Bone Architects, is facing major legal strife over work carried out on a listed property in Cleveland Square, West London.
She is accused by the client on the scheme, Charles Hope, of falsely claiming to have obtained listed building consent to remove a historic staircase.
However, a court heard that Kensington and Chelsea Council found out that the consent had not actually been granted. Morris and Hope were both found guilty of charges under listed building legislation, with Morris being fined £12,000 and Hope £6,000.
Now Hope has launched a civil case against Morris to recover the costs of returning the staircase to its original position and the fine. This could cost the architect up to £250,000.
This however is not the extent of Morris’ new problems. Hope’s legal team claims that she had told her client that she had Professional Indemnity Insurance, when, in fact, she did not.
If this is true, she will have broken the ARB’s strict PII rules, and will face the problem of covering all costs and expenses on her own.
And if the case goes against her, which looks extremely likely, Morris will almost certainly face a fresh PCC, a case that will probably see her struck off.