Tony Bingham may have been too hard on the clients who took their architect to the cleaners after he failed to carry out his fundamental duty of co-ordinating the works (25 May, pages 64-65).
But, as ever, there is so much we don’t know about the story. Was the architect inexperienced? If so, the client might have to accept some share of the blame for the shambles. Did they investigate the architect’s ability to do the job by talking to former clients and looking at previous work? Without background information, we must assume the clients would be justified in reporting their architect to the Architects Registration Board (ARB) tribunal, which exists for this situation.
Bingham might castigate the heavy use of “prosecution, charge sheets, lawyers, a trial” but this process was invented by the ARB, not clients, and it was the architect, not the clients, who upped the stakes by appealing to the High Court.
I am a little surprised that the High Court did not entirely agree with the ARB. An architect who arranges for separate contracts for elements of a domestic job that demand the closest co-ordination deserves to be punished.