A Humberside businessman who claimed online to be an architect despite not being registered has been fined
Christian Lawson, who, according to Companies House, owns at least 75 per cent of shares in CK Architectural, based on Hessle Road in Hull – was convicted of eight counts of misusing the term ‘architect’ on 7 September.
Kingston upon Hull & Holderness Magistrates’ Court slapped a £500 fine on Lawson and a further £500 penalty on CK Architectural, with the two parties sharing an additional £2,226 bill in costs and surcharges.
The conviction follows a 10-month investigation by the Architects Registration Board (ARB). It is understood that misuse of the word ‘architect’ occured on Lawson’s business websites, including in various URLs.
A LinkedIn page for Lawson describes him as managing director of CK Architectural, and says that he ‘started life designing aircraft-refuelling vehicles’ before he ’moved across into building design/architecture’.
CK Architectural Hull says on its website that it is ‘a committed, approachable and affordable architectural design company that provides architectural services’.
An ARB spokesperson said: ’Lawson chose to ignore the legal restrictions surrounding the use of the title, and the courts demonstrated a willingness to protect the public from those illegally calling themselves an architect. We will continue to monitor Lawson’s trading style and, if necessary, recommence legal action.’
Lawson and CK Architectural have been contacted for comment.
Meanwhile the ARB has this week formally decided to increase the retention fee by £4 to £111, in part to increase funds for tackling fake architects.
The body has warned of an estimated 7,500 individuals falsely claiming they are architects. Earlier this week it revealed proposals to employ a full-time member of staff to ‘promote the register’ along with creating an administrative post to deal with any uplift in the resulting case load.
Under Section 20 of the Architects Act 1997, only those on the ARB register are legally permitted to use the protected title ‘architect’ in the course of business or practice.