The practice blog

Importance of written agreement and brief: Architect to pay damages over project gone wrong

In a job that has gone out of control over the last few years in a nightmarish scenario, the architect, Daniel Marcal, has to pay £500K worth of damages to the clients for professional negligence said the judge yesterday for home cinema works to £7M mansion in North London.

The clients, Mr and Mrs Freeborn, say: “What was provided is so different from what the claimants reasonably expected that I consider demolishing this cinema is the reasonable course going forward.”

The architect says he had a limited role and the couple had approved all stages of the project, adding that he felt “intimidated” by Mr Freeborn.

The judge says: the architect did not have enough documentation, including a written brief (which was then a “breach of duty”).

The lawyers say: “the case could have “wide implications” for architects who must ensure they have written agreements with  clients.”

Moral: work with a reasonable client, a written brief and agreement in place.

As reported in the Evening Standard.