How do I know if an architect has been negligent?

Jan Samuel  26-04-2019

In a case decided earlier this year, an architect was found to have been negligent by a judge in the Technology and Construction Court, after he changed the design of a property "from sleek modern to wonky industrial".

The architect had been engaged to prepare designs for a home cinema, in a very expensive property. When the work to the property was completed, the owner was not happy and alleged that what had been built was not what he wanted. He therefore sued the architect for £1 million and was awarded £500,000.

The architects had not kept careful records of the instructions they had received and the judge was not impressed with the records that the architects were able to produce. The judge therefore agreed with the claimant that the property had been re-designed without his consent.

The architect was found to have breached his duty of care, as he had not taken the trouble to record his client's instructions in writing, nor any changes to the original brief. The judge said that where the client does not provide the architect with a brief in writing, the architect must explain to the client what the risks of that are. The judge made it clear that only in exceptional circumstances, would the architect be able to depart from these requirements.

If the architect had kept better records of what he had instructed to do, the outcome of the case could have been different, but this will never be known.

If you have suffered losses at the hands of a professional, such as a solicitor, an accountant, an architect or a surveyor, we may be able to help. At Samuels Solicitors we have decades of experience in bringing claims for professional negligence in these circumstances.

Contact us today to find out how we can help.

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