Architects need to be protected from their innocence by the Institute. Architects are not businessmen, if they were, they would be design-builders and there would be no architects.
The London bubble and the fact that most London projects are 'OPM' (other peoples' money so nobody cares), have lawyers, surveyors, planning consultants and CGI artists charging serious fees, keeps London fees up.
The rest of the country (the real world) has clients using their own money or own borrowings, so keep pressure on fees, and there are too many small practices charging subsistence fees.
The Institutes have to go to government and tell them minimum fee-scales are required to do the job. They have to go to the PII market, and get their support. (a lousy service is likely to increase risk of claims).
I always tell clients that the more time we can spend on the project, the better the solution will be, the more efficient the building will be, the quicker the construction will be, and the better end-value of the building will be. Much more importantly, the cheaper the final account with the contractor will be.
Every 0.5% extra on the architects (or engineers) fees, brings 20 times the savings in construction.
There is no way the likes of Malcolm Fraser Office can balance the books in the current market. The care that they take in feasibility studies, design development, competition submissions can only be funded by free overtime and weekend working by dedicated staff, and partners just writing off their time. In the regions, the client won't even think of paying for that.
When the impending mega-crash comes, I will close my office and do my own developments -with private banks or private funding. For years we have used London projects to subsidise our local projects, that will end overnight when the banking system collapses.
This is all going to be horrible.
Comment on: Malcolm Fraser Architects goes into liquidation
I always find that if your on-site projects are more than 2hrs away, you cannot make a penny on them. You have to (obviously) consider all your traveling is really leisure time, but then you still really have to write off all that as non-productive. You can always kid on you are thinking about projects while touring along, but you aren't.
Anyway, when the fees-cales were lost 35 years ago, architecture became a hobby. The only way any architects make money these days is by providing a poor service, or never building anything. Most Architects I know who are surviving, are doing so on their own investments and property developments.
-or working 70hrs a week.
-or using London rates and London aggressive fee claims on variations.