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Essex man convicted for false architect claims

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An Essex man and his company have each been convicted on six counts of misusing the title of architect 

Sami Ibrahim and his firm Alexander Miles Architecture, based in Brentwood, were found to have used the term ‘architect’ repeatedly on the company’s website, within its metadata and on its social media platforms, despite there being no one at the company registered as an architect.

Barkingside Magistrates’ Court heard that Ibrahim had removed online references to ‘architect’ after warnings from the ARB, only to reinstate them a short time later.

The district judge imposed fines totalling £5,970 on Ibrahim. He was absent from court and did not enter a plea.

However Ibrahim told the AJ that he had no knowledge of the court proceedings and said he would appeal.

‘I haven’t got any paperwork with regard to the court dates. I’m going to appeal, taking this back to court. I will win,’ he said.

He said his practice used to have a registered architect but that they had left. He refused to give the architect’s name or the date of their departure.

’We’re a small practice with an architect on the team. We decided to make our own separate route (without the architect). I’m an architectural consultant. This is an example of a scenario where people go on and off the register depending on who is there.’

He also threatened any publication that wrote about him with a defamation suit.

His website describes the firm as ’an architecture practice specialising in residential projects situated in Brentwood, Essex, serving London and the surrounding Home Counties.’ It states that 90 per cent of the firm’s planning applications are approved at first attempt.

The website lists on its news section a series of jobs – most recently in August 2018 – related to extensions and planning permissions.

However a series of damning reviews from 2019 on 192.com make a number of allegations about Ibrahim’s firm and warn other users not to commission work from them.

Companies House lists the firm as Alexander Miles and states that it was incorporated in June 2017. The nature of business is described as ’architectural activities’. Its accounts are listed as being overdue.

The ARB says that criminal convictions like this act as a deterrent to others who may have used the title of architect illegally.

A spokesperson for the ARB said: ‘Mr Ibrahim and Alexander Miles Ltd have 28 days to make the necessary changes. ARB will continue to monitor their trading style and take further appropriate action as necessary.’

The word architect still appears - albeit hidden in white text against a white background - when you search the company's site

The word ’architect’ still appears - albeit hidden in white text against a white background - when you search the company’s site

The word ‘architect’ still appears - albeit hidden in white text against a white background - when you search the company’s site [screengrab 3 February 2020]

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