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Architect reprimanded over disputed fee for mosque

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An architect has been reprimanded by the Architects’ Registration Board over a dispute involving a £36,000 bill for design work on a mosque in Cheadle, Greater Manchester

The ARB’s professional conduct committee (PCC) ruled that Ghassan Kamha was guilty of unacceptable professional conduct for failing to set out his formal terms of engagement in writing.

CMA Welfare Trust, which runs the mosque, has refused to pay an invoice for £36,000 submitted by Kamha after he agreed to do pro bono work on a planning application for a new mosque building.

A statement from the ARB said: ‘The committee considered that, regardless of Dr Kamha’s desire to assist the trust on an informal basis, there is a professional obligation at the heart of every relationship between client and architect, whether paid or not, to set out clearly the terms covered in Standard 4.4.

‘The committee considered that his failure to adhere to this professional obligation, regardless of his reasons for doing so, amounts to unacceptable professional conduct.’

The ARB issued a reprimand to Kamha, taking into consideration his ‘unblemished career across 35 years as an architect’, as well as an expression of remorse and apology offered to the committee.

The committee rejected a second charge against the architect that he had created a Facebook page and shared confidential documents he received while instructed by the trust.

At a separate hearing on 26 June 2017, the PCC erased architect Reymond Smale from the register after he failed to pay a fine of £500.

At a hearing in December, Smale was found guilty of failing to enter into a written agreement with his client, prior to undertaking any professional work, and failing to have a written procedure for the handling of complaints.

The ARB said: ‘In light of the potential damage to the reputation of the board, the profession and the PCC in the eyes of the public were its sanctions not enforced, the committee concluded that erasure was the appropriate sanction.’

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