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Two guilty of unlawful use of 'architect' title

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The ARB has won separate court cases in London against two individuals who illegally used the title ‘architect’

Sofia Kasapantoniou of Tower Hamlets was found guilty on 7 December at Thames Magistrates’ Court on four counts of unlawfully using the title ‘architect’.

Kasapantoniou, who had used the title on her LinkedIn profile despite not being a registered architect and who had ignored a number of warnings from the ARB, was fined £2,304 with a further order for £2,131 in costs.

Evidence used by the ARB against Kasapantoniou included an email, in which she presented herself to a new employer as a registered architect and fabricated a registration number.

In a separate hearing at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court, also on 7 December, Eric Wessels of Planning and Projects Ltd in Waltham Forest pleaded guilty to using the title ‘architects’ on the practice’s website, as well as on his LinkedIn profile, despite being repeatedly told not to do so by the ARB. 

Wessels was sentenced to a 12-month conditional discharge on each charge and was ordered to pay costs of £3,000.

A spokesperson on behalf of ARB’s Professional Standards Department said: ‘For an individual to continue to use the title when they are not on the Register undermines the regulatory purpose of the Architects Act.

’Both Sofia Kasapantoniou and Eric Wessels 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 both individuals’ trading style and, if necessary, recommence legal action.’ 

The ARB is a statutory body, established by Parliament under the Architects Act 1997, which regulates the UK architects’ profession in the public interest. This act requires the ARB to, among other things, maintain the register of architects and prosecute those who use the title of ‘architect’ unlawfully. 

The maximum fine for misusing the title of ‘architect’ is set at £2,500, and is paid to HM Treasury, not the ARB.

 

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