HCR Law Events


Ben Thomas

Partner, Head of Real Estate Cheltenham Real Estate

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About me

The variety and range of commercial real estate work is one of its attractions for me – I can be talking to a major investment manager one moment and the proprietor of a local clothes shop the next.

Their needs may be very different, but there are always common elements which I focus on – keeping them informed and being responsive, to reduce the frustration caused by uncertainty, and applying legal expertise with an awareness of their commercial needs.

It’s important to me to get to know the people I am acting for – I can give them better advice and much more help if I know what their aims are. I have worked for a wide range of companies, including a national bookmakers, a building society and a pharmaceutical company, among others; I know the Gloucestershire market very well, but am used to taking a wider view as well.

Outside work, my family and friends come first, closely followed by Welsh rugby – Gloucestershire too – and golf.

Testimonial from food supplier following Head of Real Estate Cheltenham’s expertise

Having completed an MBO in May 2022, Devonvale Bakery, a supplier to national retail and foodservice companies, vending operators and export markets, continued to increase their sales. This was so much so that the Managing Director, Martin Loader, needed to look for new premises ahead of their business plan. Martin found an appropriate new site and then asked Ben Thomas and the Real Estate team to support Devonvale on all commercial legal work from heads of terms through to deal completion on a 10-year lease with the new landlord. Following the completion of the deal, Martin said “Ben Thomas and the team at HCR were able to help and support us with all areas of the lease negotiations, legal advice and successful completion of the deal and did so within budget, in a friendly and professional manner and I would use them again for any future real estate work”.
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Top Tips & FAQs

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Trust your lawyer(s) to do the work for you so you can get on with what you are good at. Have faith in HCR that we will use the right people for the right job and that we will update you when necessary both in terms of news and costs.

Think of us as a team of business advisers, not just individuals handling individual matters.
Pick up the phone rather than email.

We can manage your stress/problems and help with the difficult decisions you need to make to grow your business.

Read questions I’m frequently asked

How much? and How long?

Lawyers are notoriously bad at talking about costs and money. The answer to both comes down to the importance of explaining the scope (what parties/documents are involved?), the likely timescale (something always comes up that no-one has foreseen) and fee (based on that clear scope and timescale) at the very start of a transaction, so the client has no doubt as to what is involved and how much it is going to cost.

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