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Square One Law advises Northumbrian Citizens Advice Bureau on CAB merger

The charities and social enterprise team at Square One Law has advised Northumbrian Citizens Advice Bureau on the merger of three of the six Citizens Advice Bureaux in Northumberland.

The new organisation has taken over delivery of advice services from Alnwick, Berwick and West Northumberland CABs and hopes to build on their reputation for delivering high quality information and advice services with a strong local focus.

Along with free advice on issues such as benefits, debt, housing, health and education, Northumbrian CAB provides support on personal matters including discrimination, divorce, redundancy and bereavement. Its team, which is made up of a small number of salaried staff and a large number of trained volunteers, also works in tandem with other local networks and partnerships to ensure those in need have direct access to the most appropriate and accessible support and advice.

As well as streamlining its operations, Northumbrian CAB hopes the merger will enable it to channel its resources more effectively, leading to better services for clients and greater financial stability. The CAB services are reliant on charitable funding and now Northumbrian CAB is appealing for additional support, both financial and through volunteers, to help it continue and expand its vital work.

Square One Law supported Northumbrian CAB through the merger, dealing with its incorporation and registration as a charity, undertaking a due diligence exercise on the merging CABs and preparing the transfer documentation. In addition, the firm provided detailed advice on a range of property and employment issues.

“Square One Law was very supportive of the aims and principles of the Citizens Advice Service and their experience of working with public and voluntary sector organisations was evident,” said Moira Macfarlane, bureau manager. “It was very much due to their support and professionalism that the merger process went as smoothly as it did.”

Senior associate John Hammill said: “I’m always pleased to provide advice to charities and this was an interesting transaction in which we set up a new charity to take over the activities of three merging Citizens Advice Bureaux. The merger puts Northumbrian CAB in a strong position to continue the provision of vital services to members of the public. We wish them every success and hope they get a good response to their appeal for financial and practical support.”

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