A campaigner for part II architects’ equality has walked away from a High Court challenge against the ARB after learning the legal costs could leave him a ‘Pyrrhic’ victor
In February, Association of Part Two Architects-founder Paul McGrath announced he was pursuing legal action against the organisation following the rejection of his application to join the official register of UK architects. McGrath, who wants architectural assistants recognised as architects, today revealed he had abandoned the case following legal advice warning him of a ‘Pyrrhic’ victory.
A document written by McGrath’s barrister – seen by the AJ – said: ‘I must advise against pursuing the appeal. Any victory on the issue of principle will likely be Pyrrhic, and entail substantial exposure as to costs.’
The ARB board rejected McGrath’s plea for registration on the grounds he had failed to obtain a part three qualification or a qualification that demonstrated equivalence.
The activist’s legal advice claimed that with ‘additional experience’ his case could be strengthened. However, McGrath is understood to have ruled this out due to cost.
McGrath could now be liable to pay the ARB’s legal fees however it is understood an agreement between him and ARB could see this penalty wavered on the condition his appeal is finally laid to rest.
The Association of Part Two Architects (TAPTA) was established in November to challenge the ‘injustice’ by which architects from EU member states can join the ARB register while part two architects with ‘similar qualifications’ are barred.
McGrath at the time said: ‘Neither the RIBA nor the ARB properly represent our interests as they see Part II merely as a stepping stone to Part 3 and not a destination in its own right.
‘We need to come together and challenge the ARB over this discrimination. Is it fair to ask students to spend six years of their life studying and incur tens of thousands of pounds of debt simply to be called an “assistant”?’