Legal panel to advise medieval charity

Three of the south east’s leading law firms have been selected to offer expert legal advice to one of the country’s oldest charities.

To meet its modern day obligations, the Rochester Bridge Trust has appointed Coffin Mew LLP and Cripps Pemberton Greenish LLP to its new panel, along with the charity’s current solicitor, Knights plc, formerly asblaw LLP.

Bridge Clerk Sue Threader said: “The Trust decided to carry out a review and expand its access to legal advice in light of the growing diversity of its estates, in terms of geography and the types of property; our commitment to good charity governance; and the range and complexity of other activities we undertake.

“The Trustees were keen to identify firms who would both be able to respond to the Trust’s own values and commitment to effective working relationships and also offer the appropriate blend of expertise and professional creativity.”

Established in 1399, the Rochester Bridge Trust provides passage over, under and across the River Medway. The charity’s income derives from 14th and 15th century endowments, meaning its work is provided at no cost to the public. 

The Trust requires a range of advice relating to the management of three significant estuary bridges, its extensive property estate across England, and a range of charity and employment matters. 

Nick Leavey, Head of Commercial Property at Coffin Mew, added: “We appreciate the Trust’s modern approach to a charter that was granted by Richard II more than six centuries ago. This panel is a great opportunity for us to build a relationship with this fascinating charity which is named for Rochester but has an estate that extends across the country.” 

Nick Rowe, a Partner at Cripps Pemberton Greenish, said: “Headquartered in Kent for more than 150 years, we are proud to support many of the county’s leading charities and businesses. We are delighted to bring our considerable real estate and charity experience to this relationship in order to help the Rochester Bridge Trust achieve its goals.”

As well as a board of Trustees (also known as Wardens), and a team of staff, the Trust is supported by a portfolio of professional advisors.

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