Mr Neil Pike
THE ARCHITECTS REGISTRATION BOARD
PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT COMMITTEE
In the matter of
Mr Neil Pike (044109K)
The Respondent, Neil Pike:
- 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;
- confirms that he has been offered the opportunity to appear before a Hearing Panel of the Professional Conduct Committee to present his case, but does not wish to do so.
The Architects Registration Board 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 Neil Pike in the terms set out below:
- The Allegation
A charge of unacceptable professional conduct has been brought by the ARB against the Respondent in that:
- He failed to provide to his client terms of engagement prior to undertaking any professional work.
- He failed to deal with a complaint adequately, or at all.
- He failed adequately, or at all, to put in place effective procedures for supervising less qualified technical staff and/or for the administration of written terms of engagement.
- Statement of agreed facts
- The Respondent practises as an Architect under the style of Neil Pike Architects who were engaged in March 2017 in relation to the proposed conversion of a terraced house in to two flats. On 10 March 2017 and 3 May 2017 Neil Pike Architects issued invoices for work done.
- The client became dissatisfied with the service and by letter dated 14 May 2018 raised a formal complaint with Neil Pike Architects. The Respondent was required to ensure that prior to undertaking any professional work Neil Pike Architects had entered into a written agreement with the client which adequately covered the matters particularised in Standard 4 of the 2017 Code.
- The Respondent accepts that no written terms of engagement were provided to the Complainant. The Respondent also accepts that he failed to reply substantively, or at all, to the Complainant’s letter dated 14 May 2018.
- The Respondent concedes that the complaint letter was received and signed for, but that it remained unopened under a pile of paperwork which was not discovered until after matters had been raised by the ARB and which he acknowledges to be unacceptable.
2.5 In his initial response to the ARB dated 27 July 2018, the Respondent indicated, amongst other things, that he had not been to the site, met the client or had any communication with them.
- As the principal architect the Respondent had an obligation to supervise the architectural work carried out by less qualified technical staff.
2.7 The Respondent accepts the terms of engagement were not issued and a complaint raised by the client was not addressed and recognises the shortcomings in relation to his management of less experienced members of his practice. No evidence has been provided by the Respondent of the project being discussed at the various meetings and no evidence has been provided of meeting notes, contemporaneous notes or copies of diary entries and/or other documentation in relation to the project.
2.8 The Respondent accepts that he failed to have in place effective procedures for the supervision of less qualified technical staff and/or the administration of written terms of engagement.
2.9 Following a complaint to the ARB on 18 June 2018 the Investigations Panel reached a Final Decision on 19 October 2018 and resolved to refer the case to the Professional Conduct Committee, resulting in the allegations particularised herein.
2.10 The Respondent admits the allegations as set out above. By letter dated 5 April 2019 representations were made, and documentation provided in a Remediation Bundle, by Blake Morgan Solicitors instructed on behalf of the Respondent.
- Statement as to unacceptable professional conduct
The Respondent admits the allegation particularised above amounts to unacceptable professional conduct because of the seriousness of the breaches and a disciplinary order is necessary as set out under Section 15 (1) (a) of the Architects Act 1997.
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:
- A penalty order in the sum of £1,000 pursuant to Section 15 (2) (b) of the Architects Act 1997.
Taking into account the Indicative Sanctions Guidance, a penalty order is the appropriate sanction. It is necessary to mark the conduct of the Respondent as being unacceptable but there is evidence of insight into the failings and a previous good disciplinary history.