ARB’s Professional Conduct Committee rejects appeal

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At a hearing on 30 August 2019, the Court of Session in Edinburgh heard an appeal against the decision of the ARB Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) on 1 November 2018 to erase Neil Rothnie from the Architects Register

The Court rejected all the grounds of appeal. The PCC had found Mr Rothnie guilty of serious professional incompetence (SPI) and unacceptable professional conduct (UPC) for providing an incompetent design for a property in Aberdeenshire and failing to respond adequately to communications. This followed an earlier finding by of UPC against Mr Rothnie for a similar matter in 2014.

It was submitted to the Court that the finding of SPI and the sanction of erasure was unnecessary and unreasonable and that the PCC members had failed to properly deal with a perception that they may be biased.

Where a guilty finding is made, the PCC will consider whether to make a disciplinary order. The Lordships saw no reason to intervene with the decision of the PCC which in their view had been properly made. Costs in the case were awarded to ARB.

ARB has a Board of 11 members all appointed by the Privy Council. This includes one independent, non-executive chair and ten non-executive board members made up of five members of the public and five architects.

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