Blake Lapthorn works for free to win PMA job

Blake Lapthorn Linnell has replaced Manches as the principal legal adviser to the Property Managers Association (PMA) by offering to work free of charge.

The firm, led by head of retail Stanley Beckett, has been appointed as the new sole legal adviser to the association, which represents the interests of the retail sector.

The firm will provide legal advice on general commercial matters, ranging from contractual issues to the disclaimers needed when providing information on the association’s website. PMA president Mike Harrison said this was under an agreement that the services would be provided on a pro bono basis.

The PMA has historically used Manches for all of its legal matters. However, Harrison, who was promoted to the role of PMA president in April, has a longstanding relationship with Blake Lapthorn through his position as the estates manager at high street retailer bonmarché.

Harrison said the decision to swap legal advisers was made after Beckett made a presentation at the PMA’s annual conference on the changes to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, which came into effect on 1 June 2004.

He said although the presentation was not considered a pitch for a place on the association’s legal panel, no other firms were considered for the role.