DLA Piper plays pro bono role in Cutty Sark preservation

DLA Piper plays pro bono role in Cutty Sark preservation” />
DLA Piper has helped to secure a lease for the trust preserving the Cutty Sark in Greenwich, one of the world’s oldest ships and the only surviving ‘tea clipper’.

The lease, finalised on 5 April, was negotiated with the London Borough of Greenwich in East London by DLA Piper real estate consultant Michael Cassidy, who worked pro bono on behalf of The Cutty Sark Trust, which manages the preservation of the vessel.

As well as the lease Cassidy also secured the delivery of the corresponding development agreement, which defines how development work on The Cutty Sark Conservation Project will progress without disturbing Greenwich residents.

Together the two contracts will allow the trust to receive the first instalment of an £11.75m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which will be used to continue a three-year investment project the trust began in 2006 to improve the ship’s setting and facilities and to enhance it as a tourist attraction.

Cassidy said: “Securing the lease and the development agreement was absolutely vital to the trust so that it receives the lottery funding it needs to preserve the Cutty Sark for future generations.”

The work was part of a longer-term pro bono relationship between DLA Piper and The Cutty Sark Trust that began in 2004. During this time the firm has also advised the trust on planning, employment and contractual issues to assist with the conservation scheme, including the purchase of specialised timber from India with which to repair the ship.

A team of seven DLA Piper lawyers are currently working on the second phase of work with the trust to review the project’s future legal requirements.

Richard Doughty, chief executive officer of The Cutty Sark Trust, said: “DLA Piper’s assistance has been extremely wide-ranging and it’s been reassuring to know that one has such a team like this on hand to deal with the legal complexities that this kind of project inevitably throws up.”