Why do we need this legal fighting fund? 

Pre COVID-19, steep rent increases had been forcing out cherished neighbourhood favourites, such as our founders Gardners’ Bags. Members were already battling to stay open and the economic hit of the pandemic has been devastating. After 150 years of trading at Spitalfields Gardner’s iconic shop now lies empty. Let’s stop the same happening to other local businesses.

At the end of the year, the Moratorium on Evictions ends. Small business tenants unable to come to an agreement about rent payments will face legal costs as landlords resort to legal action to recover rent many members simply cannot pay due to Government enforced business closures.

To make things worse, the furlough scheme winds up at the end of October and new lockdown measures are looming. Having to pay backdated rent on top of current rent and cover vital staff salaries will simply destroy many businesses. The knock-on effects? Our community can’t pay for their homes due to job losses from the neighbourhood. Vital community hubs close their doors, services the young and elderly rely on are lost leaving more people isolated and vulnerable.

How can you help?

In the first 24 hours, we raised 30% of our goal! Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed or shared our CrowdJustice page already.

Once we reach 5k we automatically receive match funding from a generous local supporter! All contributions no matter their size will enable us to reach our target. If all our friends and social media followers donated  £10 we could smash our goal and be ready to respond to requests for urgent legal support.

Opening this fighting fund with 10k means we can immediately provide 50 hours of legal support from qualified solicitors with a specialism in commercial property law. This will ensure our members who’re most in need can be represented and respond to landlords demands fully aware of their legal rights just when they need it most.

Importantly, your support now will be the catalyst for a rolling legal fighting fund so that as the crisis plays out we can develop the legal knowledge, resource and action required to support longterm policy reform.

Why this is important right now!

We’ve been fighting for 10 years for fair rents and now together with our partners the New Economics Foundation, allies Guardians of the Arches and with Queen Mary University we are asking the government to implement a new commercial rents policy that will enable a sustainable recovery from the worst recession on record!

Our crowdfunder not only enables us to raise much needed financial support for practical assistance for our members it also helps grow the momentum we need to build the case for affordable rent policies for small businesses from landlords and government alike.

Narrow windows of opportunity to change the world for the better come along every few decades. The pandemic has thrown a spotlight on the issue of affordable rent, will you help us ‘build back better’?


  • Donate and share our Crowdfunder page! 
  • If you cannot donate your voice still holds power. Share this link  across your social media using this hashtag #BuildBackBetter
  • Tell your small business friends to join the EETG. More members = more power! Any small business in London can join here today!

The following legal professionals have been recommended by our members.


Michael Large

Michael qualified in 2002 and has a wide range of experience in commercial litigation and dispute resolution. His main focus is in relation to property-related disputes of varying size and type.

Michael has over ten years’ experience in the railway industry, advising property owners on how to protect their property investments from disputes and legal risks.

Amongst his more interesting instructions, Michael has also acted for the UK’s biggest landlord for many years, successfully representing them in litigation involving major redevelopments worth hundreds of millions of pounds, and protecting access rights required for the Olympic Games.

His clients include commercial and residential landlords and tenants, property developers, businesses, and individuals.

He is a Member of the Property Litigation Association and lectures for RICS (the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) and LexisNexis (one of the leading trainers of lawyers).

Kate Gould

Kate Gould qualified in 1997 at Nicholson Graham & Jones, a highly regarded City firm now forming the London office of K&L Gates, and worked in their property department for seven years before taking a career break to raise three children.

She quickly found ways to volunteer in her local community, supporting new mothers as part of the local NCT branch, contributing as a user to the hospital maternity service review panel, leading residents judicial review of planning permission in her road, and helping elderly neighbours to move out of their dilapidated house and into a flat.

She joined Thea Ltd in December 2015 as a consultant and has worked on a mixture of residential and commercial clients including small landlords, intermediate landlords and tenants, individuals, businesses and charities. After volunteering with London CLT from 2014, she was formally appointed as Legal Adviser to the Board in 2016 and advises on many different aspects of acquiring, developing and allocating permanent affordable housing to local families in housing need as well as on corporate organisation and compliance issues.

Victoria Cochrane

Victoria qualified as a solicitor in May 2004 with Gordons Partnership LLP. She has remained with that firm throughout her career, was made partner in 2013 and has recently moved to working as a consultant to the firm. Victoria has gained significant experience over the years within the property and corporate spheres and prides herself on providing practical, commercial advice. She can be contacted on 020 7421 9437 or by email on