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Navigating a legal minefield on a listed building purchase for SME Environmental Holdings

Mason Thomas Law client Mark Mcgrail, owner of SME Environmental Holdings, has been recognised by Rotherham Civic Society for the restoration of a Grade II listed “hidden gem” of a building in Rotherham town centre.

He transformed the rundown building into The George Wright Hotel, a boutique hotel, bar and restaurant, following a £500,000 revamp.

The 18th century former office, built in a Tudor Revival style which is tucked away behind the High Street on The Crofts in Rotherham, was acquired by Mark in 2018.

The building was a fire damaged, derelict shell when he purchased it. Having such a long history, meant that Mark had to contend with a number of issues, not least the fact it was listed. Other legal issues included cross boundaries with neighbouring properties and access. Luckily, Cathy Thomas, Solicitor and Director of Mason Thomas Law was by his side throughout the negotiations and navigated a successful purchase for Mark.

Mark said: “Any legal problem you can imagine was thrown at us when I was buying the building. However, it was a project I really believed in and with Cathy’s support I had every confidence in being able to secure the building and transform it into modern and usable venue to boost the town centre economy.

“I absolutely trust Cathy. She ensures that timescales are met, and she does what she says she will do. I recommend her 100%.”

Cathy Thomas, Director and Solicitor of Mason Thomas Law, has long worked with Mark, overseeing legal proceedings on a number of his property purchases.

He added: “I like buildings with character as its both challenging and rewarding transforming them. Unfortunately, that often means that purchases aren’t straightforward. However, it’s not an issue as I know that Cathy and her team at Mason Thomas Law have my back and will get things sorted.”

Since opening in in 2018, The George Wright Boutique Hotel has become known as Rotherham’s premier wedding destination.

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