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Architect hit with ARB reprimand for contract gaffe

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Cambridge architect Tristan Rees Roberts has been found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct and issued with a reprimand after failing to adequately administer a contract

Rees Roberts was accused of failing to provide adequate terms of engagement prior to carrying out professional work at a hearing of the Architects Registration Board’s Professional Conduct Committee on 30 October.

It was also alleged that he failed adequately to administer the contract and advise his client on her rights and obligations under it.

Rees Roberts was engaged to refurbish a property and the works were carried out using the JCT Minor Works Contract but no contract was signed by the parties, nor was the client provided with a copy. 

When the client encountered subsequent difficulties and went into dispute with the contractor, it became apparent that Rees Roberts had not administered the contract appropriately, and his client was not made aware of her rights and obligations.

Further, Rees Roberts failed to ensure that it was clear who was responsible for securing the necessary consent from the freeholder for the works, so that there were unnecessary difficulties.

Rees Roberts admitted that he had failed to provide adequate terms of engagement, as expected by Standard 4 of the Architects Code of Conduct, and that he failed adequately to administer the contract or to advise his client on her rights and obligations. He accepted that these actions amounted to unacceptable professional conduct.

The committee concluded that had there been proper compliance with Rees Roberts’ professional obligations then the issues may have been capable of resolution, or been less difficult to conclude.

Having considered the isolated nature of the incident, the regret Rees Roberts had shown, the steps he had taken to prevent a recurrence of these issues in the future and his previously unblemished career, the committee decided that a reprimand was the appropriate sanction.


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