Trail of unpaid tax and debt prompts suspension from professional register

An architect who racked up more than £40,000 in unpaid tax and other liabilities before plunging his practice into voluntary liquidation has been suspended from the Register of Architects for 12 months.

The Architects Registration Board said Jonathan Llewellyn, of Chippenham, in Wiltshire, had been found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct over the handling of finances at Maya Studio, of which he is the former director.

It said a hearing of the board’s Professional Conduct Committee had been told Llewellyn had failed to manage Maya Studio’s finances properly for a period of six years, and had referred himself to the panel following the practice’s descent into voluntary liquidation.

The panel heard that Llewellyn had a 23-year career as an architect but that when his practice went into liquidation in 2013 it had owed HM Revenue and Customs £36,009 in unpaid VAT, corporation tax, National Insurance contributions and PAYE, along with £4,215 to other unsecured creditors.

Representing himself at last week’s hearing, Llewellyn accepted responsibility for not ensuring that his company met its financial obligations and agreed his failings amounted to unacceptable professional conduct, the ARB said.

Suspending Llewellyn from the Register of Architects for 12 months, the committee found his failings had diminished both his reputation and that of the profession as a whole.

It added that the fact Llewellyn’s failings related to basic financial mismanagement over a six-year period had been an aggravating factor.

Part of the hearing that dealt with Llewellyn’s health took place in private.