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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Real estate > Social housing: local authorities and registered providers > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Social housing: local authorities and registered providers
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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‘Living up to its reputation’, Trowers & Hamlins LLP continues to be ‘at the forefront of the social housing market’. Its expertise runs deeper than housing-led regeneration and development projects; indeed, the team provides ‘high-quality advice’ to public authorities and housing associations across areas including corporate and commercial agreements, funding and litigation. Department head Tonia Secker demonstrates ‘real thought leadership in the sector’, which she brings to bear when acting for Greater London Authority (GLA) in relation to the development and implementation of its major housing schemes. In one headline example, Secker is advising GLA on the Affordable Homes Programme 2016-21, which aims at helping to build 90,000 affordable homes in London by March 2021. Moreover, the team is instructed by housing associations on equally significant mandates, which have included Rebecca Wardle acting for Swan Housing Group in relation to the Purfleet regeneration scheme. Further, Amy Shaw helped lead a team that assisted Hyde Housing Group with the formation of its LLP with Brighton Council for the delivery of 1,000 affordable units across Brighton. The department, which includes Sharron Webster and Ian Davis, has also been involved in some of the housing industry’s most significant mergers. Sara Bailey heads the real estate team, and Jeremy Hunt has expertise in the property aspects of regeneration projects. Additional contacts include Scott Dorling, Andy Barnard and Ian Graham.

Devonshires Solicitors LLP has ‘incredible command of the housing sector’ and specialises in advising housing associations on corporate, real estate and funding matters. The team has been instructed in several high-profile mergers in the housing sector, which included real estate head Neil Toner was part of a team advising London & Quadrant (L&Q) on its £505m merger with Gallagher Estates. Toner also assisted L&Q with its 51% stake acquisition in the Barking Riverside. Also in the development space, James Lyons, Elad Yasdi and Jonathan Jarvis advised Warrington-based Your Housing Group on its proposed joint venture with a Chinese-backed renewable energy group and a Spanish construction company for the multibillion-pound development of 25,000 low-carbon modular homes. Similarly, Jonathan Corris is advising Hyde Group on a £400m housing-led regeneration scheme at Rochester Riverside. Other key contacts include Nick Billingham, Gareth Hall and Andrew Cowan, who have advised clients such as Paragon Community Housing, Asra Housing Association, Amicus Horizon and Veridian on key mergers in the sector. Julie Bradley retired, but Robert Turner and Daniel Moan joined from Dentons and Kingsley Napley LLP, respectively.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP is ‘among the market’s go-to firms’ for corporate real estate transactions and housing developments. The department is instructed by a litany of housing associations, including Clarion Housing Group, which Charlie Proddow advised on its £90m acquisition of 229 affordable units at the Prince of Wales Drive development in Battersea. Proddow also assisted Moat with a land acquisition for the development of 50 residential units. Ruth Barnes heads the residential development sales team, which handles high-volume conveyancing work for several of London’s largest registered providers. Also recommended are Will Rutter, who specialises in development sales and acquisitions and tenanted stock issues; Charlotte Cook, ‘a responsive and personable’ adviser to registered providers, NHS bodies and local authorities; and Andrew Murray, who heads the practice group. Other major clients include L&Q, Bedfordshire Pilgrim Housing Association, Swan Housing Association and Thames Valley Housing Association.

By some clients’ measure, the ‘client service and housing-sector knowledge’ at Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP is ‘second to none’. The Birmingham-based team advises registered providers on M&A and corporate restructures, real estate development, litigation, funding and governance. Jonathan Cox, who is particularly ‘knowledgable of housing association governance structures’, is assisting several of the department’s clients with updates to their tenancy agreements in light of regulatory changes in the sector. Also in the corporate governance space, Victoria Jardine advised B3 Living on a structure to implement its strategy to expand its market rent portfolio. Gemma Bell has experience of complex corporate mandates in the sector, which recently included group restructures on consolidations for The Community Housing Group and Thirteen Housing Group. Bell also advised Cobalt Housing on its demerger from Onward Homes. Ranjit Bassey leads the social housing property team, and Baljit Basra and Helen Tucker are contacts in the housing litigation group. Senior partner Peter Hubbard and construction specialist Andrew Millross are also recommended.

Following its merger with Murray Maclay & Spens in 2017, Dentons has become an active player in the social housing sector, where its ‘pragmatic, specialist team’ is instructed by public authorities and housing associations in corporate, real estate and financing matters. Department head Wendy Wilks is acting for Family Mosaic Housing in relation to the acquisition of 94 units at a development site in Islington, and also assisted a housing association with the amendment of a planning permission for a London regeneration project. Similarly, Stephen Ashworth is advising Places for People on the planning aspects of a regeneration project at the Gilston Park Estate, which is one of the UK’s largest urban extension projects. David Knox, who focuses on employment and pensions funding, leads a team that is advising Port of Leith Housing Association Group on its pension schemes and obligations. Also recommended are employment specialist Roger Tynan and senior associates Theresa Ferguson-Battershill and Fiona McDonald. Additional clients include GLA, Brighton & Hove City Council and Affordable Housing Finance.

Pinsent Masons LLP has ‘an excellent social housing team’, which specialises in acting for local authorities in the formation of residential development vehicles. Clients singled out Scot Morrison in particular, whose highlights have included advising London Borough of Haringey on the procurement of an investment and development partner for the Haringey Development Vehicle, and assisting London Borough of Wandsworth with the formation of a joint venture with Taylor Wimpey for a development near Clapham Junction station. Similarly, department head Anne Bowden advised a central London borough on the formation of a development partner for a residential scheme at one of London’s most prominent regeneration sites. David Meecham acts for Homes and Communities Agency in relation to all of its major funding and regeneration schemes, which recently included the formation of a development partnership for a residential scheme in Chesterfield. Further, in the registered provider space, Meecham advised St Mungo Community Housing Association on the formation of a development partnership for a residential site in Edgware.

Split between the firm’s London and Bristol offices, TLT’s social housing group handles land acquisitions and major regeneration schemes for some of the nation’s best-known housing associations. In one example of the team’s involvement in high-profile regeneration work, Gillian Bastow advised L&Q on agreements for the development and transfer of 550 affordable units in the Elephant Park project at Elephant and Castle. Linda Convery assisted Network Homes with the £30m acquisition of a site for the development of 400 homes and a commercial space. Legal director Hugh James acted for a London borough in relation to the acquisition of a housing development including shared-ownership and affordable units, and associate Shazia Bashir advised a housing association joint venture on a £14m acquisition of affordable units from Countryside Properties. Paul Butterworth joined Ashfords LLP in September 2018.

Bevan Brittan LLP is a well-known name in the local authority world, and with a host of instructions from registered providers, the firm has been ‘building a strong reputation in the social housing market’. The housing group is jointly led by Jonathan Turner and Andrew Shaw: Shaw assisted Peabody with its £38m acquisition of 190 affordable units at the Elephant and Castle regeneration site, and Turner advised East Wick and Sweetwater Projects on the procurement and contracting strategy for the supply chain arrangements for a 1,500-unit residential development making up part of the Olympic Legacy scheme. On the local authority side, Matthew Waters advised Brighton and Hove City Council on its £178m joint venture with Hyde Housing Association for the development of 500 shared-ownership homes and 500 living-wage rented homes. Housing litigator Neil Brand is also recommended.

Clarke Willmott LLP advises housing associations on a range of construction and development projects, litigation and property deals, but is particularly ‘recommended for strategic land acquisitions’. Indeed, Hannah Langford, who joined the team from Clarion Housing Association, advised Newlon Housing Trust on the acquisition of land from a local authority, and continues to act for the client in relation to the development of an affordable housing scheme. Construction specialist Stuart Wilson joined the team from Trowers & Hamlins LLP, and has acted for London boroughs and major housing associations in development finance transactions and high-value regeneration projects. Kary Withers and Lindsay Felstead have experience acting for housing associations in housing sector disputes such as anti-social behaviour injunctions, possession claims and boundary disputes. Also recommended are Oliver Smedley and senior associate Joanna Jackson. Chimi Shakohoxha, Jonathan Hulley and James Howard left for Capsticks LLP.

Penningtons Manches LLP is instructed by a host of national housing associations in relation to property transactions, litigation, landlord and tenant issues and development joint venture agreements. Headed by Linda Storey, the team has been involved in several affordable housing and shared-ownership developments. In one example, Andrew Casstles advised Southern Housing Group on the acquisition of two development sites and a leaseback transaction, while Storey handled the shared-ownership leases and unit sales at the site. Similarly, Peter Massey assisted Sovereign Housing Association with a joint venture agreement with Kier Construction to develop a 280-unit mixed-tenure residential scheme. Senior associate Charlotte D’Avola leads a team that provides ongoing advice to Family Mosaic Housing in relation to charging, release and substitution work. David Masters is instructed by housing associations in connection with Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 obligations. Mark Sellers, who advises registered providers on site acquisitions and development agreements, joined the team from Prince Evans Solicitors LLP.

Ashfords LLP handles property transactions and public sector procurement, and is ‘particularly strong in housing sector litigation’, where it acts for housing associations and local authorities. Sian Gibbon is perhaps ‘the driving force behind the litigation team’s success’; she represented a national housing association in a long-running damages claims and handled all non-routine contentious matters for London Borough of Wandsworth and London Borough of Richmond, including residential possessions, homelessness reviews and disrepair claims. Tim Heal has advised a registered provider on residential acquisitions and shared ownership sales, and Jessica Taylor and procurement specialist Elizabeth Gibson are acting for a central London borough in relation to the redevelopment of a housing estate. Also recommended are legal director Joanne Young (‘an absolute star’) and associate Marjorie Hill.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is particularly active in social housing funding projects, and carries out a considerable amount of work for Homes England. In one example, practice head Andrew Yates acted for Homes England in relation to the 10,000-home regeneration project with Gallagher Estates. The team also has experience acting for public authorities in housing-led regeneration schemes, which included advising GLA and London Borough of Tower Hamlets on a joint venture with Swan Housing Association for the development of 1,500 homes at the Blackwell Reach regeneration. Prashanth Satyadeva and Eleanor Hunwicks are key figures in the social housing finance practice.

Capsticks LLP is ‘very highly regarded in the housing sector’, where it acts for registered providers in development and property transactions, but is especially well-known for its ‘trail-blazing’ housing management team. Jointly headed by Michael Owen and Jonathan Hulley, the housing management group has expertise in a range of contentious housing matters including tenure and leasehold litigation, tenancy reviews and policy advice. In the development space, Chimi Shakohoxha advised Moat Housing Group on a joint venture agreement for a residential development in Dulwich, and also assisted Clarion Housing with the land and development agreements for a golden brick scheme to be built by Taylor Wimpey. Additionally, Lee Clarke assisted a registered provider with its high-value merger with another registered provider. Daniel Skinner has ‘encyclopaedic knowledge of housing and property law’, and associate Helen Gascoigne is ‘a tried and tested legal adviser, with strong sector knowledge and a quiet efficiency’.

Headed by Anne O’Neill, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP provides comprehensive advice to Notting Hill Housing Trust, which includes advice on land and real estate acquisitions, development agreements and lease arrangements. In one stand-out matter O’Neill advised Notting Hill Housing Trust on the acquisition of a brownfield site in the Royal Docks Basin and an agreement with Mayor of London for the creation of thousands of affordable homes. She is also advising Notting Hill Housing Trust on the acquisition of affordable and shared ownership units at Chobham Farm North. Of counsel Sara Branch is also recommended.

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