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ARB finds two architects guilty of professional misconduct

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The ARB has reprimanded two architects for unacceptable professional misconduct

London architect Marcella Bellistri has been fined £500 after the Architects Registration Board’s professional conduct committee found her guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.

Bellistri admitted three charges relating to work preparing plans for an extension to a client’s property.

Firstly, she failed to provide a written estimate of costs stage payments or any other contractual provisions as required under the Architects Code of Conduct. Secondly, she sent the client an invoice including VAT when she was not VAT registered. Finally, she falsely declared that she had professional indemnity insurance when she registered with the ARB, a move the committee described as ‘reckless’.

A statement from the ARB said: ‘The committee found that the Bellistri’s failure to issue her client with adequate terms of engagement and charging VAT when not authorised to do so were significant failings, and that her conduct fell substantially below the standard expected of a registered architect.

‘It further found her failure to have appropriate professional indemnity insurance placed both her and her client at material risk.’

Fining her £500, the committee said that Bellistri had repeatedly apologised for her actions and repaid her fees in full to the client.

In a separate hearing on a completely unrelated case, Paul Walker of Atec Global was issued with a reprimand after being found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.

Walker failed to provide any terms of engagement to a client on an extension project, and had caused two unnecessary periods of delay to the project.

The committee noted that Walker had shown ‘full insight and regret’ and that he had issued revised terms of engagement to the client.

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