Architect suspended by Architects Registration Board after debt collector pours acid on client’s car

An architect whose client’s car was doused with acid has been suspended by the Architects Registration Board (ARB).

Michael Phillips was suspended for four months after a debt collector he employed used intimidation tactics to pursue disputed debts of nearly £150,000 owed to him by clients Cornell and Susan Riklin.

An ARB hearing last week heard how debt collectors employed by Phillips poured acid over the Riklin’s car, causing £15,000 worth of damage, Building Design reports.

The breakdown in the relationship between the two parties became so bad that the Riklins were forced to obtain an injunction against the architect to stop him harassing them.

The Riklins had disputed the architect’s bill for work carried out on their grade II-listed Hampshire home.

Phillips rejected a smaller lump sum offer made by his clients and appointed a debt collector to chase the invoice instead.

The hearing found Phillips guilty on four counts of unacceptable professional conduct.