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Pro bono support for major office premises move for charity in Stoke-on-Trent

Earlier this year we were contacted by our Charles Russell Speechlys Foundation charity partner, Emmaus UK, with a request for assistance for one of their federation members – Emmaus North Staffs. Emmaus entities provide safe homes, community support and meaningful work to formerly homeless people across the UK, and the Real Estate team in our Guildford office were delighted to work closely with the charity in recent months to support a major office premises move.

Ben Butterworth, Associate in Real Estate, advised Emmaus North Staffs on the taking of a new lease of a 5,000 square foot retail premises in The Potteries Centre, in the heart of Stoke-on-Trent. From these new premises, which opened to the public in May 2022, Emmaus North Staffs will sell new and used furniture and household goods and will also provide workshops for the public.

Alongside these negotiations, Ben Butterworth and Georgina Bernard, Trainee Solicitor, further advised the organisation on the grant of a lease of new warehouse premises in central Stoke-on-Trent. The lease of Emmaus’ existing premises was coming to an end and the charity’s offer to relocate to the new warehouse was accepted just six weeks before this and the timeframe in which the new lease had to be agreed was very tight as a result.

Our team also advised the organisation with exiting their existing warehouse premises, with Oliver Park, Associate in Real Estate Disputes, working closely with the Emmaus team to advise and assist them in respect of the exit. The Emmaus team are now busy finalising the move into the new warehouse, which will also be used as the branch’s head office and for ancillary storage.

Throughout these matters, the Charles Russell Speechlys’ team worked closely with John Webbe, Executive Lead at Emmaus North Staffs to agree the new leases in a smooth and timely fashion and ensure that the organisation was not left without crucial retail and warehousing premises. Speaking on the pro bono assistance provided, John outlined “The charity's decision late last year to vacate our long-held premises in Hanley was an exciting one - but it was a major task to find somewhere to move to within six very short months. The team at Charles Russell Speechlys patiently guided me through exiting the existing lease and negotiated hard on our behalf for the leases for both of the new premises. We are hugely grateful as we could not have achieved all this without their assistance”.

If you are interested in hearing more about the Firm’s pro bono work, contact Sarah Farrelly.

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