Mr Fabrizio Lepore
THE ARCHITECTS REGISTRATION BOARD
PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT COMMITTEE
In the matter of
FABRIZIO LEPORE (078913E)
Emma Boothroyd (Chair)
David Kann (PCC Architect Member)
Martin Pike (PCC Lay Member)
In respect In respect of the charges against Fabrizio Lepore (“the Registered Person”):
The Registered Person:
- accepts the facts and matters set out below and consents to the Consent Order Panel of the Professional Conduct Committee making a disciplinary order against him in the terms set out below; and
- confirms that he has been offered the opportunity to appear before a Hearing Panel of the Professional Conduct Committee to present his case, but has foregone his right to do so.
The Architects Registration Board accepts the facts and matters set out below and consents to the Professional Conduct Committee making a disciplinary order against the Registered Person in the terms set out below.
An allegation of Unacceptable Professional Conduct has been brought by the ARB against the Registered Person. The ARB has particularised the allegation as follows:
- The Registered Person did not provide adequate terms of engagement to the Referrers, contrary to Standard 4.4 of the Architects Code.
Statement of agreed facts:
- The Registered Person is a registered architect and owner and Director of his own company based in London.
- FM and PR (“the Referrers”) purchased a house (“the Property”) in 2014 with the intention of carry out renovation work. In 2018 they contacted and met with a number of potential architects; the Registered Person was recommended to them by a neighbour.
- Following an initial meeting, the Referrers appointed the Registered Person and an initial letter of engagement and instruction was sent dated 16 February 2018.
- The Referrers nominated a contractor for the works, based on a recommended from a friend, as one of the contractors invited to tender with the tender process being coordinated by the Registered Person. In October 2018 the Referrers and Registered Person discussed an additional fee relating to the design of bespoke furniture. Later in the project, a discussion was also held as to the potential employment of a project manager; the Complainant ultimately did not proceed with any such appointment.
- The Registered Person issued an updated terms of engagement letter dated 28 October 2018. This increased his fees by £2,400 and added a new phase of works, Phase G, which included bespoke furniture and kitchen design.
- During the course of the project matters arose which led to the Referrers making a formal complaint to the ARB on 28 August 2020. They have advised that for the most part they were happy with the design produced by the Registered Person.
- The Registered Person accepts that he did not provide adequate written terms of engagement contrary to Standard 4.4 of the Architects Code (2017).
- The Registered Person accepts that he had a professional obligation to provide his client with full and adequate terms of engagement that complied with the requirements of Standard 4.4 of the Architects Code: Standards of Professional Conduct and Practice (2017). The Registered Person accepts that the original terms of engagement of 16 February 2018, plus the re-issued terms of engagement in October 2018, were not compliant with Standard 4.4 of the Code.
- The Registered Person accepts that neither terms of engagement letter sets out details of:
- Any constraints or limitations on the parties;
- Provisions for the suspension or termination of the agreement;
- Confirmation of the existence of Alternative Dispute Resolution schemes the contract is subject to or how they may be accessed;
- A complaint handling procedure being available upon request;
- Confirmation that the Registered Person is subject to the Code of Conduct.
- The Registered Person accepts that the information set out in Standard 4.4 of the Code ought to have been provided to the Referrer, in full, at the outset of the project in writing and in accordance with Standard 4.4 of the Code. He has now prepared Terms and Conditions that are compliant with Standard 4.4 of the Code.
Statement as to Unacceptable Professional Conduct
- In light of the admissions above, the Registered Person admits that his conduct amounts to Unacceptable Professional Conduct.
- In respect of Standard 4.4, setting out compliant terms of engagement in writing is essential for both the architect and the client to understand their respective rights, responsibilities and obligations. The terms of the Code are clear and the Registered Person has a duty, as a registered architect, to be aware of and adhere to the Code.
- The Registered Person accepts that his terms of engagement were not adequate and that it was necessary for him to provide adequate written terms of engagement for the project, as required under standard 4.4 of the Architects Code. A failure to provide adequate terms is serious because it can lead to difficulties in seeking resolution if issues arise during a project. The Registered Person accepts that as a result of not sending adequate terms of engagement, both he and the Referrers were exposed to the risk of repercussions when issues arose in this project.
- The Consent Order Panel of the Professional Conduct Committee, with the consent of the parties and having taken account of its responsibilities to protect the public and maintain the reputation of the profession, makes the following disciplinary order
- In all of the circumstances, the Registered Person agrees to a disciplinary order of a reprimand.
- The Registered Person has no previous disciplinary history. He has engaged in the regulatory process and has admitted the factual allegation. He has also admitted that this amounts to Unacceptable Professional Conduct.
- The admitted allegation has the potential to diminish both the Registered Person’s reputation and that of the profession generally and therefore the parties agree that the Registered Person’s conduct is sufficiently serious to require the imposition of a disciplinary order. In light of the admissions and low risk of repetition, the parties agree that a reprimand is an appropriate and proportionate disciplinary order to impose.
- That concludes this determination.