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Architect handed reprimand for contract blunder

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Architect Neil Shepherd from Stratford-upon-Avon has been issued a reprimand by ARB for failing to provide terms of engagement to his client

The architect was alleged to have failed to provide adequate written terms of contract, failed to provide designs in accordance with the brief, and made errors in calculating the footprint of the house and in the measurements for the roof.

Shepherd accepted he should have provided written terms of engagement and that his designs should have been more accurate.

ARB’s Professional Conduct Committee agreed the omission amounted to unacceptable professional conduct because it fell short of the standard expected of an architect.

The architect received the reprimand at a meeting of the ARB’s PCC in London on 3 July 2013.

PCC chair Alexandra Marks said: ‘The fact is that the requirements of all professions to set out the scope of the retainer, the basis of charging, and the method of dispute resolution have become much more rigid over the years.

‘This is something every architect needs to embrace, for failure to do so is likely to lead to a situation such as this.’

While Shepherd’s failure to prepare designs in accordance with the initial brief was not deemed serious enough for a disciplinary finding, the committee ruled that errors concerning the house’s footprint and roof amounted to serious professional incompetence.

The committee noted that there was no question of impropriety in any form and decided to issue a reprimand after considering Shepherd’s sincere regret and unblemished career of 40 years.

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