Architect removed from ARB’s register for posting false reviews

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ARB’s Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) has removed Andrew Guy of BESPRAK Architecture + Interiors from the Architects Register

A hearing of ARB’s PCC concluded that Andrew Guy of BESPRAK Architecture + Interiors in Havant had committed unacceptable professional conduct (UPC) and has been removed from the Architects Register.

Andrew Guy is no longer on the Architects Register and is not able to legally practise as an architect in the UK.

UPC allegations

The allegations against Guy were that he had posted false reviews under a pseudonym(s) in relation to multiple businesses and in doing so had acted dishonestly and/or without integrity.

Guy neither attended the hearing nor was he represented, but denied the allegations in his written responses to ARB.

He submitted correspondence to the ARB purporting to resign from the register. He submitted that the PCC had no jurisdiction to hear this matter as a finding of UPC can only be made against a registered architect.

Karen Holmes, the registrar and chief executive of the ARB responded to that email. She stated that: “I understand that you are currently subject to an investigation by ARB’s Professional Standards Team and are scheduled for a hearing that begins on Monday 3 February.

“Consequently I cannot use my discretion to remove you from the Register at this time.”

In addition to documentary evidence, the PCC heard that eight complainants supported the allegations against him and heard the live evidence of six.

Guy was the common link and only connection between the otherwise unconnected businesses for which the negative reviews had been written. Three of those businesses were architectural practices, three were property letting businesses, and two were businesses run by individuals with whom Guy had previously had a personal relationship. The negative postings continued over a period of approximately 10 months and only stopped when he was notified of possible action being taken against him.

The PCC found all the facts proven.

PCC sanction

Although the matters did not occur in the course of Guy’s architectural practice, the PCC considered that the deliberate and dishonest posting of false reviews across a range of businesses would be considered deplorable by both fellow members of the profession and members of the public. His conduct represented a serious departure from the standard expected of the Architects Register and amounted to unacceptable professional conduct.

When considering sanction, the PCC noted that while Andrew Guy had no previous adverse regulatory findings and had removed some of the posts following receipt of a ‘cease and desist’ letter, his dishonesty was deliberate, repeated and intended to cause reputational harm. He had acted in a way that was menacing and intimidatory, and lacked any insight in relation to the impact of his actions, according to the ARB.

Additionally, Guy had taken active steps to avoid the ARB investigation and frustrate the regulatory process.

The PCC concluded that the protection of the public and the reputation of the profession required Guy’s name to be erased from the Architects Register.

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