Ronald Thwaites QC's Ely Place Chambers has established a unique business arrangement as it tries to pay off a loan and buy its freehold.
The scheme enables heavy debts to be paid off by the arrival of new tenants. Tenants purchase shares in a pension fund, which is run independently by a management company. By adding money to the fund the share value increases, the pension fund grows and the chambers can reduce its debt to Coutts Bank.
The scheme enables heavy debts to be paid off by the arrival of new tenants
The scheme avoids having to obtain a much larger loan, which can only be paid back through a percentage of tenants' contributions to the chambers. Thwaites bought the building from Anglo-American Bank. In addition, the set - which takes up three floors of Ely Place, off Holborn in London - rents out a further three floors in the building. The let is subject to a five-year lease, but the chambers will reclaim the accommodation as the set size expands. The set, a civil common law group, currently has 12 members, but is seeking new tenants. Recent work includes acting for Private Eye in the recent libel action brought by accountant John Stuart Condliffe.