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Construction/property lawyer anyone?

(6 Posts)
WhatsthatTicking Sat 27-May-17 12:40:27

Hi, my architects firm has gone into administration, they had drawn up plans and submitted as part of preliminary application but we did not get to the stage of submitting full application. The administrators of the company are not reposnding and we need to get our project moving, so have instructed a new architect who will start from the beginning (carry out a survey, draw plans) which inevitably will be similar to what the previous architect had done. Question is where do we stand on copyright issues from the previous architect? And are we able to claim back the money spent with previous architect for the work done, which is of no use to us now?

HeyCat Sat 27-May-17 12:46:00

Copyright: you need to check the terms of your contract with the architect, that will state how much you can use their work for other purposes. Your new architects will be familiar with taking over projects from other architects so may be able to give you a steer.

Reclaiming fees: they are in administration because they are bankrupt, i.e. Do not have enough money to pay their debts. The administrators will pay off debts in an order set out by statute. Even if you could successfully sue for your fees (which would cost you time and money) you would be an unsecured creditor so would be right at the bottom of the list and very unlikely to receive anything. So unless it's a huge amount of money I'd let it go.

WhatsthatTicking Sat 27-May-17 13:26:33

Hi HeyCat, thank you for your response and yes I agree it's a small amount in the big scheme of things so not worth chasing.

I haven't actually signed a contract, we appointed them via email and the work begun, I have emails of the plans but not the actual files the new architect needs and the there is no copyright information or stamp on the plans that have been emailed to me. As the administrators are not coming back to me I have no idea what their policy is on copyright! Frustrating....

eurochick Sat 27-May-17 13:30:48

Re:copyright weigh up what are the chances of being pursued if you use their work that you have paid for and consider whether it is worth taking that risk.

WhatsthatTicking Sat 27-May-17 14:19:06

Hi Eurochick, we are not using their work as the new architect doesn't have the files to continue, so he is starting again from scratch, survey etc.. the only issue is the plans will of course be similar to what previous architect drew as it's a double story extension and remodel of the house, there is only really one outcome of the design!

OVienna Sat 27-May-17 18:47:01

TBH I wouldn't give it a second thought. These people have other things to worry about at this point.

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