The Architects Registration Board (ARB) has suspended an architect over a ‘wonky’ home cinema. 
A series of issues have led to an architect’s suspension by the ARB, whose review found he did not have sufficient professional indemnity insurance and failed to have 'effective systems in place to ensure that his practice was run professionally’. 
 
The Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) also found that the architect had failed to provide adequate terms of engagement to his client, for a project to create a floating cube in the pool-house, at a property worth £7 million in north London. 
 
Technology and Construction Court 
 
A hearing with a Technology and Construction Court Judge, found that the client had been ‘shocked’ when the box-like structure was completed, saying the designs were not what they had expected, had not been agreed on and had left them with an ‘ugly duckling’ which could not ‘be turned into a swan’. 
 
The hearing committee also held that he had failed to produce an adequate design in line with the Building Regulation Requirements, although he was not found guilty on either of these two counts. 
 
Whilst the advocate on behalf of the architect claimed that the case should never have reached the ARB and that the PCC had in fact ‘made a fool of itself’ for bringing this case forward, the architect was ordered to pay £500,000 in damages to the client. 
 
Issues were raised during the hearing which found the architect’s client must have been aware of what had been proposed – and signed off the key elements. It is simply not credible that the respondent would proceed to the construction phase with a design that his clients were not happy with and had not approved. In his defence, the architect said that because he was prevented from seeing the project through, he did not have the chance to tackle some of the omissions. 
 
The correct level of cover 
 
Having adequate Professional Indemnity Insurance is vital. We have highlighted this story to demonstrate the very real issues architects and those in the construction industry are facing. 
 
Professional indemnity insurance covers the costs of a compensation case brought against you by a client for mistakes made during the course of your work, disputes over your contract and intellectual property. 
 
Mistakes and misunderstandings 
 
However careful you are, mistakes and misunderstandings can happen during the course of a job and even small mishaps could lead to a costly claim against you. Therefore this type of insurance cover is key to protecting your business. 
 
The full story can be read HERE
 
The Cladding Crisis is also having a major effect on architects’ businesses. 
 
If you are struggling to find adequate insurance, please email info@hicommercial.co.uk
 
We recommend checking your renewal date and contacting us for quotes at least 30 days prior to your renewal date or, you could be forced to take the offer from your current insurer, whether it is the best deal for you and your business or not. 
 
If you are not sure about your commercial insurance policies, please call HI Commercial on 01482 247477 for peace of mind that you will be protected at all costs. At your service, at your side – commercial insurance with a personal touch. 
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