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Bankruptcy and liquidation

Guidance for architects facing bankruptcy or liquidation

We are conscious of the impact changes to the economic climate can have on the financial stability of some architects’ practices. We continue to receive a high number of queries in this area, both in terms of enquiries from concerned architects and notifications of bankruptcies and liquidations.


Take action now
We appreciate financial instability can be extremely stressful but the good news is that advice and support is available from a number of sources.  It’s best to take action as early as you can to give you time to explore the range of options available to you.

Personal financial difficulties
If you are experiencing personal financial difficulties, a great source of useful information on Debt and Money is provided by Citizens Advice.  Information from Citizens Advice can vary depending on where you live so be sure to select advice tailored to your area of the UK.

Professional financial difficulties
If you are facing professional financial difficulties you can reach out to an architectural professional body, the Architects Benevolent Society or the Insolvency Service.

The Architects Benevolent Society provides support to people in times of crisis to help them to get back on their feet.  Their support is free and eligibility doesn’t depend on being a member of any professional body but is instead based on your work experience in the UK.

The Insolvency Service supports those in financial distress and, through their enquiry line, provides information on insolvency and sources of further advice such as options for dealing with debt.

Professional Indemnity Insurance
The availability of ongoing or run-off professional indemnity insurance (where the practice has ceased) will vary considerably according to the particular situation.  You should establish what your exact circumstances are and take advice from your insurance broker/provider or an insolvency practitioner on any steps you can take to ensure your continued cover.

We want to reassure you that if you are facing financial difficulty, such problems will not automatically lead to removal from the Register. Just remember let us know within 28 days If you are the subject of a bankruptcy order, make an arrangement with your creditors, or are the director of a company which is wound up (other than for reconstruction purposes).

We may ask you to send us some information about your financial situation, such as how the difficulty arose and the impact on your clients and creditors.  If your practice has been placed into liquidation we may ask for the company’s Statement of Affairs.

Further regulatory action would only be considered should it appear there has been willful disregard of responsibilities or actions lacking of integrity.

Further advice
We hope this information is useful but feel free to contact the Professional Standards team for further advice and we’ll be happy to help.