On 24 January 2020, Mr Sami Ibrahim and his company Alexander Miles Ltd (trading as Alexander Miles Architecture) of Brentwood, Essex, were each convicted of six charges of the criminal offence of misusing the title ‘architect’.
Barkingside Magistrates’ Court heard that, despite no one at the practice being registered as an architect, Alexander Miles Ltd used the term ‘architect’ repeatedly on its website, within its website metadata and on its social media platforms. It was also heard that Mr Ibrahim removed references to the term ‘architect’ from its online presence following numerous warnings from ARB, only to return them following a short period of time.
Noting Mr Ibrahim’s absence from court, the District Judge imposed penalties totalling £5,970. It is hoped that the criminal convictions, fines and negative publicity associated with cases such as this will act as a deterrent for others who may otherwise have used the title illegally.
In regulating misuse of the title ‘architect’ ARB’s objective is to limit the harm as swiftly and effectively as possible. Mr Ibrahim and Alexander Miles Ltd have 28 days to make the necessary changes. ARB will continue to monitor their trading style and take further appropriate action as necessary.
Notes for Editors
o ARB has a Board of 11 members all appointed by the Privy Council. This includes one independent, non-executive Chair and ten non-executive Board members made up of five members of the public and five architects.
o The Architects Registration Board (ARB) is the statutory body established by Parliament under the Architects Act 1997 to regulate the UK architects’ profession in the public interest. Among other duties, the Act requires ARB to:
– Maintain the Architects Register
– Prescribe the qualifications needed to become an architect in the UK
– Issue a code laying down the standards of professional conduct and practice expected of architects
– Investigate allegations of unacceptable professional conduct or serious professional incompetence
– Investigate and where appropriate prosecute unregistered individuals who unlawfully call themselves an architect
– Act as the UK’s Competent Authority for architects
o The maximum fine for each offence, currently £2,500, is set by the Architects Act 1997. Magistrates determine the amount of the fine and related costs after considering the nature of the offence and any mitigation put forward by the defendant. Money raised from fines is paid to HM Treasury, not to ARB.
o ARB’s Title Protection Policy can be found on our website here.
For further information please contact Rebecca Roberts-Hughes (ARB Director of Policy and Communications) on 020 7580 5861 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.