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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

Editorial

Other

Index of tables

  1. Social housing: local authorities and registered providers
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1
    • Shazia Bashir - TLT

Rising stars

  1. 1

Trowers & Hamlins LLP's track record of acting for traditional housing associations and local authorities dates back more than 50 years. The size and scale of its practice marks the firm out as a clear market-leader, with it being able to draw upon strengths across a diverse range of practices to offer clients a wide pool of expertise. Its capabilities span areas such as social housing finance, employment, construction, real estate litigation, public procurement and planning, among others. Tonia Secker is the national head of the department; the group's varied workload includes PPP projects, partnerships, joint ventures (between local authorities, developers and housing associations), governance/regulatory advice and regeneration projects. In 2018, Secker, Paul McDermott and tax expert Michael Surry advised Homes England on developing a contractual framework to support the dispersal of over £1.5bn of grant funding to 23 strategic supply partnerships between the client and various housing associations, and to ensure compliance with the requirements of the state aid regime. In another matter, Jeremy Hunt and others assisted Karbon Homes with pre-bid issues connected with its proposed acquisition of 1,364 units (comprised of five lots) from the Guinness Partnership in the North East. Local authority work included Scott Dorling and real estate head Sara Bailey leading the advice to the London Borough of Enfield on the Meridian Water Regeneration Project. Andy Barnard is also noted. Ian Graham and Catherine Hand have retired.

Practice head(s):Tonia Secker (National Head of Housing & Regeneration); Sara Bailey (Head of Real Estate)

Other key lawyers:Andy Barnard; Scott Dorling; Sharron Webster; Ian Davis; Jeremy Hunt; Robert Beiley; Amy Shaw; Michael Surry; Paul McDermott

Testimonials

'Able to undertake complex land transactions and advise on governance structures. Recognised authorities on contract documentation for property and construction. We have used the firm for land and s106 acquisitions as well as more involved joint ventures. In addition, we use it for Treasury and charging matters.'

'Trowers & Hamlins is clearly a leading and well-respected firm in the social housing sector. It has specific sector expertise that is backed by expertise in other areas that can be called on as necessary. My experience of all of the people that I have dealt with at the firm has been a positive one and I have been impressed by their knowledge, responsiveness and clarity of thinking.'

'Sharron Webster's knowledge of the social housing sector and the regulatory environment is exceptional. Her undoubted knowledge is supplemented by great personal qualities of energy, enthusiasm, pragmatism and a willingness to be direct and to the point. Her advice is always clear and grounded in reality. Associate Darren Hooker works really well alongside Sharron, and ensures that the detail is dealt with efficiently and effectively. I have utmost confidence that matters are being dealt with and there is never any need to 'be on his case'.'

'Tonia Secker knows the housing and regeneration sector inside out.'

Key Clients

Newlon Housing

Network Homes Limited

Hyde Housing Association Limited

The Peabody Trust

The Guinness Partnership

Vivid Housing Limited

Origin Housing

Poplar Harca

Richmond Housing Partnership

Aster Housing Group

Thames Valley Housing Association

London & Quadrant Housing Trust

Octavia Housing

Sovereign Housing Group

Moat Homes

Orbit Group

Optivo

One Housing Group

Housing Solutions

Southern Housing Group

Swan Housing Association

Central & Cecil Housing Trust

mhs homes

Clarion Housing Group

Aldwyck Housing Group

Town & Country Housing

Enfield Council

London Borough of Sutton

London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Royal Borough of Greenwich

Swindon Borough Council

Suffolk County Council

West Sussex County Council

Wealden District Council

Canterbury Council

London Borough of Islington

Hastings Borough Council

Mid Suffolk District Council

London Borough of Merton

Oxford City Council

Bath & North East Somerset Council

Westminster City Council

Chichester District Council

London Borough of Lewisham

London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

Wolverhampton City Council

Stevenage Borough Council

Homes England

Greater London Authority

Aviva Investors (REaLM) Fund

Church Commissioners for England

Work highlights

  • The firm advised Legal & General on the successful registration of Legal & General Affordable Homes as a "for-profit" registered provider with the Regulator of Social Housing.
  • The firm acted for London & Quadrant Housing Trust on a significant transaction with Hong Kong-based developer Knight Dragon, which relates to a scheme to deliver over 5,550 units as part of the 15,000+ delivered across Greenwich Peninsula (next to the O2).
  • In 2018, the firm acted for the GLA on the delivery of its Housing Zone programme.
  • The firm is acting for Residential Secure Income plc on the acquisition of 478 retirement living units from Places for People for £40.2m.
  • The firm is advising the ForViva Group on a comprehensive corporate restructure, which involves the consolidation of three separate social landlords to a single entity, effected by a statutory transfer of engagements and the establishment of a new group parent entity which will not be regulated by the Regulator of Social Housing.

Devonshires Solicitors LLP's footprint in the social housing sector is highlighted by the fact that it acts for 200 registered providers, which includes all of the London G15 members, and it has been a major player in the market since the early 1970s. It is at the forefront of the most current issues impacting the industry, working closely with key regulators, such as the Regulator of Social Housing, Homes England, Financial Conduct Authority and Charity Commission. The firm's multisciplinary capabilities enable it to advise clients on all types of complex issues, including those connected with housing management, development, governance and finance. Its first-rate team includes Andrew Crawford, Triya Maicha, Dan Moan and Elad Yasdi, who acted for Peabody Trust on its £350m acquisition of the Neptune Wharf and Monier Road sites on Fish Island in Hackney Wick, with planning consent to deliver 580 homes. On the contentious side, Donna McCarthy acted for Aldwyck Housing Group Limited in a High Court appeal brought by a tenant over the client's alleged failure to comply with its public sector equality duty under s.149 of the Equality Act 2010. Jonathan Jarvis, Maicha and Jonathan Corris made equity partners. Nick Billingham is also noted. Gareth Hall has stepped down from the partnership, but retains a role as a consultant. Andrew Cowan is another name to note.

Practice head(s):Andrew Cowan – Head of Social Housing; Julian Barker – Head of Banking; Sharon Kirkham – Head of Securitisation; Mark London – Head of Construction; Ronnie Tong – Head of Employment; Nick Billingham – Head of Housing Management; Philip Barden – Head of Litigation & Dispute Resolution; Paul Buckland – Head of Real Estate and Projects; Neil Toner – Head of Real Estate

Other key lawyers:Triya Maicha; Dan Moan; Elad Yasdi; Donna McCarthy; Jonathan Jarvis; Neil Lawlor; Caroline Mostowfi; Jonathan Corris

Key Clients

Hyde Housing Association Limited

Notting Hill Genesis

London & Quadrant Housing Trust

Sage Housing Limited

Peabody Trust

Metropolitan Thames Valley

Clarion Housing Group

One Housing Group

Stonewater Limited

First Priority Housing Association

Work highlights

  • Advised Clarion on its acquisition and development of Castle Hill, Ebbsfleet with a total development value of over £100m from Land Securities.
  • Advised First Priority Housing Association (FPHA) on entering into a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), the social housing sector’s first such arrangement.
  • Advising Metropolitan Housing Trust on its circa £1.6bn Clapham Park Regeneration Project, one of the largest regeneration schemes in the country.
  • Advised Radian Developments Limited and its group entities on a £63.9m joint venture deal with developer Thakeham Homes Limited.
  • Advised Notting Hill Housing Trust and Genesis Housing Association on their amalgamation to form Notting Hill Genesis.

Social housing is an area of focus at Winckworth Sherwood LLP, which acts for many of the UK's largest registered providers and local authorities, as well as various other stakeholders. Fielding a near 50-strong team, the firm is well-placed to advise on the largest and most complex development and regeneration projects nationwide, and it has also featured prominently in a number of the most significant mergers shaping the sector. Charlotte Cook is acting for Sage Housing Limited on the acquisition of 225 social housing units being developed on a BDW Trading Limited development site at Eagle Farm. In another notable mandate,  Charlie Proddow, Richard Tinham and senior associate Charlotte Harrison are advising Clarion on the acquisition of a land assembly site to be developed for circa 280 residential units for social housing use, and other leisure and retail units. Andrew Murray leads the experienced group, which also includes Ruth Barnes (head of the residential development sales team) and Will Rutter.

Practice head(s):Andrew Murray

Other key lawyers:Charlotte Cook; Charlie Proddow; Richard Tinham; Ruth Barnes; Will Rutter; Charlotte Harrison

Testimonials

'Partners are available at short notice, backed up by great support from associates'

'Unlike many other firms, Winckworth Sherwood offers a genuinely all-round service in terms of providing truly expert advice covering everything from general conveyancing and contract enquiries to more specialist and complex legal matters. This they do through a hugely experienced team of legal practitioners, all of whom understand the client's needs and are able to communicate often complicated advice in a straightforward and common sense manner. What stands Winckworth Sherwood apart from others is the openly collaborative way in which they approach business development, doing so with the appropriate professional authority, but balanced with good humour and a strong partnering ethos'

'Every individual at Winckworth Sherwoood with whom I have worked reflects the broader ethos of the firm in terms of promoting the importance of strong client relationships - whether that be in maintaining excellent lines of communication, providing ad hoc advice 'at risk', or demonstrating expertise in every facet of the legal process. Nobody embodies this approach more openly than Will Rutter, who not only provides sound, definitive advice and guidance on contract matters, but also recognises the 'idiosyncrasies' of the client in terms of the processes which inform their legal requirements - an important combination of skills in the increasingly challenging environment of affordable housing'

Key Clients

Bpha

Network Homes

One Housing

Notting Hill Genesis

Hyde

London & Quadrant

Swan Housing

Southern Housing

A2Dominion

Peabody

SovereignClarion Housing

Radian

Optivo

Sovereign

Clarion Housing

Metropolitan Thames Valley

Sage

Moat

Work highlights

  • Acting for Optivo on its purchase of 116 affordable units from St James Group in phase 2 of its White City Living development in west London.
  • Acting for Sage on the acquisition of the 225 social housing units being developed on a BDW Trading Limited development at Eagle Farm.
  • Acting for Peabody on its residential shared ownership and private development sales. The group has also recently been appointed to deal exclusively with all of the client's help-to-buy funding agreement administration.
  • Advising A2Dominion on the majority of its new-build sales and its staircasing work.
  • Advised London & Quadrant on its purchase of a large greenfield site outside Warwick to be developed for up to 450 homes, including 180 affordable homes.

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP's full-service capabilities enable it to advise registered providers and other clients on matters such as mergers, joint ventures and restructures; housing management and litigation; funding; construction and procurement; governance; and employment. With the Birmingham-headquartered firm having opened a Manchester office in January 2018, it has further strengthened its national presence. The team has a strong track record in high-profile and 'industry-first' mandates; Jonathan Cox's recent work included advising the National Housing Federation on its second Voluntary Right to Buy pilot - selling 3,000 homes across the Midlands to tenants - having previously advised the same client on its first pilot. Also notable is that senior partner Peter Hubbard, Cox and Gemma Bell assisted Red Kite Community Housing Limited with the creation of Twenty 11; this is a first-of-its-kind non-registered social landlord. Senior associate Phil Scully, who specialises in property litigation, joined from Gateley Plc in 2018. Victoria Jardine, Helen Tucker, Baljit Basra, Matthew Gregson and Andrew Millross are among other notable individuals.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Cox; Peter Hubbard

Other key lawyers:Gemma Bell; Victoria Jardine; Helen Tucker; Baljit Basra; Matthew Gregson; Andrew Millross; Phil Scully

Key Clients

Clarion Housing Group

Riverside Housing Group

W M Housing Group

Trafford Housing Trust

London & Quadrant Housing Trust

Orbit Housing Group

One Manchester

Thirteen Housing Group

Futures Housing Group

Aspire Housing Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for Whitefriars Housing in obtaining injunctions against a group of men preventing them from 'cuckooing' vulnerable tenants (i.e - taking over homes of vulnerable residents, stealing from them, forcing them to sell drugs and using serious violence).
  • Acted for Futures Housing Group on an acquisition of 475 units from Genesis.
  • Advising The Wrekin Housing Group on the consolidation of its group structure, which is designed to ensure that the most effective governance and value-for-money arrangements are put in place for the Group.
  • The firm was jointly instructed by Boston Mayflower Limited and Shoreline Housing Partnership Limited to advise on the merger of the two groups to form Lincolnshire Housing Partnership Limited.
  • Acted for Guinness Partnership on a circa £86m disposal of 1,300 units; this is one of the largest social housing tenanted disposals that has taken place in the sector.

Pinsent Masons LLP's national team undertakes a significant amount of work for London-based local authorities in relation to major housing regeneration schemes in the city. Practice head Anne Bowden, legal director Nick McDonald and senior associate Amy Walker are part of a team acting for Westminster City Council on a flagship 1,750-home housing regeneration project at Church Street. In another matter, Scot Morrison and others assisted the London Borough of Wandsworth with setting up a joint venture with Taylor Wimpey to deliver an innovative 2,000-home regeneration scheme at the Winstanley and York Road Estates near Clapham Junction Station. The firm is also involved in the Earls Court regeneration scheme, which is currently the largest housing scheme in London. Elsewhere, the firm is one of only seven to serve as legal advisers on Homes England's programme panel, with the group assisting the client with projects nationwide. David Meecham and Caroline Ramsay are among other notable individuals in the team.

Practice head(s):Anne Bowden

Other key lawyers:David Meecham; Scot Morrison; Nick McDonald; Amy Walker; Caroline Ramsay

Testimonials

'We use various legal advisers and Pinsent Masons' services are of a very high standard'

'Anne Bowden, in particular, is a stand-out practitioner because of the depth of her housing knowledge, and also her sense of empathy for how clients function and what they are trying to achieve. Anne is highly focused and competent at creative problem solving, as well as being a strong communicator'

'They all communicate and work well together. As a client I don't have to check for consistency between legal documents because I know that the team is communicating'

'Anne Bowden, who leads the team, has a good overall grasp of the projects even on aspects where she has no direct involvement'

Key Clients

Homes England

Westminster City Council

London Borough of Lambeth

London Borough of Haringey

London Borough of Wandsworth

Galliford Try Partnerships

Lovell Partnerships

Countryside Properties

London Borough of Hackney

London Borough of Brent

Places for People

London & Quadrant

Hyde Housing Association

Work highlights

  • Advising Homes England on a wide range of complex housing development projects, including the procurement of a development partner for the regeneration of Standish Hospital in Gloucestershire, as well as the procurement of a developer partner for the construction of a residential scheme (circa 50 new homes) at Castle Court on Osprey Quay (Portland).
  • Advising the London Borough of Wandsworth on its regeneration of the Alton Estate in Roehampton, London, one of the largest housing estates in the UK.
  • Acting for Basingstoke & Deane Council on the creation of a joint venture to deliver a 3,500 dwelling urban extension at Manydown, in partnership with Urban and Civic.
  • Acting for London Borough of Brent on the creation of a joint venture for delivery of a £50m residential development scheme as part of its wider South Kilburn regeneration programme.
  • Advising Crawley Borough Council on the redevelopment of its town hall.

Under the leadership of practice head Linda Convery, TLT's highly rated group maintains a strong profile in development and housing-led regeneration projects. With a team spanning the London and Bristol offices, it provides the gamut of advice to more than 40 registered providers, local authorities and private developers/contractors. Reflective of its standing in the market, the firm was reappointed to the London Borough Legal Alliance panel and is one of only two firms appointed to both lots: lot one covers regeneration, development, property and planning, and lot 2 includes litigation, contracts, procurement, property and employment. The firm is also on the panels of a sizeable number of G15 members. In 2018, Convery (who has more than 30 years of experience in the social housing sector) and Shazia Bashir assisted Swan Housing Association with preparing the certificate of title on its regeneration project at Blackwall Reach to facilitate the drawdown of a £50m loan facility from the GLA. Another more recent highlight saw legal director Hugh James and others assist Southern Housing Group with acquiring 500 units of housing stock, which are spread across seven local authority areas and consist of shared ownership, social rent, affordable rent and supported housing units. Associate Kristian Scholfield joined from Devonshires Solicitors LLP. Gillian Bastow has retired from private practice and Paul Butterworth moved to Ashfords LLP.

Practice head(s):Linda Convery

Other key lawyers:Shazia Bashir; Hugh James; Kristian Scholfield

Testimonials

'They are a well-led team of professionals, which provides a full range of specialisms and keeps me continually informed as to the precise position on my work'

'I have found the team to be universally friendly, attentive and proactive in its approach'

Key Clients

One Housing Group Ltd

Peabody Trust

The Guinness Partnership Limited

Network Homes Limited

London Borough of Lambeth

Notting Hill Housing Trust

Saxon Weald Homes Ltd

Swan Housing Group

London & Quadrant

Catalyst Housing Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for Swan Housing Association on the phasing of the transfer of land at Craylands, as part of a multimillion-pound regeneration project.
  • Acted for Peabody Trust and its subsidiary Peabody Enterprises on the acquisition of 110 units from Bellway Homes. The acquisition was as a result of a planning obligation on the part of Bellway under a section 106 agreement and involved the negotiation of a development agreement and leases of the units for onward sale on a shared ownership basis and rent.
  • The firm has handled the sale of a significant number of shared ownership units, fixed equity units and shared equity units for Catalyst Housing Limited and the disposal of outright sale units for Catalyst By Design Limited (including help to buy).
  • Advised Guinness Developments Limited on the acquisition of a site with the benefit of planning permission. The deal was complicated because it involved the negotiation of various conditions, which had to be met by the seller before the land could be transferred to The Guinness Trust; this included the transfer of adjoining land from a trust into the name of the seller, and also involved the negotiation of overage provisions.
  • Advising Wandle Housing Association's executive team on various issues concerning the creation of a joint venture with a major housebuilder.

Bevan Brittan LLP's social housing practice is gaining momentum, with the firm strengthening its offering in 2018 by hiring Wendy Wilks and senior associate Fiona McDonald from Dentons. In addition, Sarah Greenhalgh joined the Birmingham office from Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP and Kate O’Brien was promoted to senior associate. The firm has also picked up a string of new clients, including London & Quadrant Housing Trust, Home Group and Network Homes. It acts for more than 70 housing associations, and also advises local authorities in London and further afield throughout England. The London practice is particularly well known for its strengths in property and development, corporate and finance, and housing management. In addition, the firm is also able to offer clients the expertise of practitioners who are knowledgeable in niche areas, such as social housing insurance, fraud, health and safety, and procurement. Steven Smith, Andrew Shaw and David Wardle are advising London Borough of Ealing on its £1bn Southall Gateway mixed-use development, which is set to create 4,000 new homes and significant new infrastructure. In 2018, Chris Harper, senior associate Andrew Spicer, and others assisted PFP Capital (part of the Places for People Housing Group) with the acquisition of the national assets of the Igloo Regeneration Fund (managed by Aviva Investors), which includes a number of large ongoing developments for both social and private housing, and other land for future residential development. Jonathan Turner is the overall head of the social housing practice. Neil Brand, Matthew Waters and planning head Kathryn Lawrance are also recommended.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Turner – Head of Housing; Andrew Shaw - Housing Lead Partner for London

Other key lawyers:Wendy Wilks; Fiona McDonald; Sarah Greenhalgh; Kate O'Brien; Steven Smith; Andrew Shaw; David Wardle; Chris Harper; Andrew Spicer; Neil Brand; Matthew Waters; Kathryn Lawrance

Key Clients

L&Q Housing Trust

Home Group

Hyde Housing Association

Sanctuary Housing Group

Places for People

Network Homes

Peabody

Southern Housing Group

London Borough of Ealing

London Borough of Havering

London Borough of Newham

Work highlights

  • The firm advised Havering London Borough Council on a housing estate regeneration joint venture with Wates.
  • The firm is advising Peabody Trust (via its subsidiary, Peabody Land) on the procurement and appointment of a long-term corporate strategic and investment partner to work with it on the development and regeneration of the area known as Thamesmead Waterfront in South East London.
  • The firm is acting for London Borough of Newham on the redevelopment of a 22 acre housing estate to deliver around 3,500 new homes.
  • The firm is advising Brighton & Hove City Council on a £178m joint venture with Hyde Housing Association for the development of 1,000 new homes.
  • The firm acted for Peabody on the acquisition of 190 affordable housing flats within a 45 storey tower and terrace development in Elephant & Castle from a joint venture developer, and subsequent onward sale of the terrace to a London Local Authority.

Capsticks LLP's social housing practice has gone from strength to strength, since Chimi Shakohoxha and James Howard joined from Clarke Willmott LLP in 2017. With its team undergoing significant expansion, the firm now has one of the largest social housing practices in the UK. The firm is a particularly popular choice among registered providers; it now acts for more than 220. Shakohoxha heads up a specialist team which focuses on complex development and regeneration work. Another key figure in the housing management sphere is Daniel Skinner. Elsewhere, the firm provides corporate and commercial contracts advice, and its securitisation team (which is led by Susie Rogers) is experienced in property charging matters. Reflective of the strength of its reputation, in 2018, the firm was re-appointed to the Housing Associations’ Legal Alliance panel and it also won a place on the South East Consortium framework. Work highlights included Shakohoxha and others acting for Southern Housing Group as the lead developer on the acquisition of two adjacent sites at an industrial estate, which is part of the Fish Island redevelopment in northeast London. Associate Helen Gascoigne is another name to note.

Practice head(s):Chimi Shakohoxha; James Howard

Other key lawyers:Daniel Skinner; Susie Rogers; Lee Clarke; David Firth; Abi Condry; Helen Gascoigne; Jonathan Winckworth

Key Clients

-Optivo

Knightstone Housing Association Ltd

Stonewater Limited

Vivid Housing Limited

Sovereign Housing Association Limited

Moat Housing Group Limited

Riverside Housing

Hyde Housing Association Limited

London & Quadrant Housing Trust

Poplar Housing and Regeneration Community Association (Poplar Harca)

Work highlights

  • Acted for Optivo on its circa £33m joint venture with housebuilder Cala Homes. The transaction was the first joint venture entered into by Optivo as a newly formed entity, and it was also the first large transaction that it had done with Cala Homes.
  • The firm is advising L&Q Housing Trust on charging 1,800+ units to secure a £150m loan, in favour of a security trustee.
  • Assisted Vivid with charging 1,700 units to secure a £150m private placement to a US investor (who was new to the sector) via a security trustee.
  • The firm is advising a central London-based social housing REIT on a pipeline of projects to acquire supported housing units and care homes, and to then negotiate and agree implementation documents, including share purchase agreements, leases and service contracts with RPs and service providers.
  • Assisted BPHA with obtaining an ASB injunction against a tenant with support needs, which included considering Equality Act issues.

Clarke Willmott LLP's sizeable team is spread across its seven offices nationwide, and comprises of lawyers with deep sector experience. Hannah Langford has previously worked as a property and contracts lawyer at Clarion Housing Group, while associate Muzammel Mian was formerly with the Metropolitan Housing Trust. Housing management and property development are particularly notable areas of strength, but the firm's work also covers corporate, governance, tax, regulatory, employment and human resources, property litigation, and banking and securitisation, among other disciplines. Illustrative of its presence in the market, the firm acts for more than 100 registered providers. In 2018, Lindsay Felstead was the lead adviser to Lewisham Homes on an ex parte application for an injunction to exclude a vulnerable tenant from a property where he had allowed unlawful occupiers to gain entry. On the non-contentious side, Vicky Kells and associate James Young assisted Bromford Housing Association Limited with title due diligence and charging of properties as part of a £300m bond issue. Kary Withers is the overall head of the social housing team, which also includes Oliver Smedley and Stuart Wilson.

Practice head(s):Kary Withers (Sector Leader)

Other key lawyers:Oliver Smedley (National Head of Property & Development (Social Housing); Lindsay Felstead (National Head of Housing Management); Vicky Kells (National Head of Social Housing Finance);

Testimonials

'Stuart Wilson's advice is speedy without being hurried, detailed yet concise'

'Hannah Langford and Sarah Cave are very skilled and knowledgeable, and take time to explain complex information. They are personable and always professional, and assertive (but non-aggressive) when dealing with difficult individuals on the other side. I feel very confident I am getting sound advice that enables me to make informed decisions'

'The team has a strong focus on seeing matters through to completion. It considers all aspects of a transaction and not simply its specific remit, bringing in colleagues from other disciplines, where necessary'

'Hannah Langford has experience of working for a local authority and a registered provider. Hannah is very focused on seeing issues through to a conclusion'

'I have had the pleasure of working on numerous complex projects directly with Hannah Langford, Ayesha Ramzan, Shinal Badiani, Aaron Macauley and Megan Churchill. They have personalised the working relationship, establishing trust and commitment to providing legal advice to make my projects a success. Clarke Willmott takes the time to truly understand the complexities of our projects which in turn enhances the quality of the service provided'

'The team has in-depth knowledge of the housing sector and the legal issues affecting it, as well as a willingness to dig deep to find the answers'

Key Clients

Lewisham Homes

Settle Group

London & Quadrant Housing Trust

Newlon Housing Trust

Clarion Housing Association Limited

The Guinness Partnership Limited

Hexagon Housing Association

Optivo

One Housing Group

Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing

Stonewater Housing

Greatwell Homes

Women’s Pioneer Housing Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Newlon Housing Trust on the acquisition of a strategic housing site in North London.
  • Acted for Clarion Housing Association Limited on the acquisition of 103 shared ownership units from a national house builder.
  • Assisted Hexagon Housing Association with acquiring two sites in South London to enable it to deliver social housing objectives
  • Representing The Guinness Partnership in concurrent 1954 Act lease renewal proceedings against Telefonica UK Limited (“Telefonica”) and also proceedings in the Upper Tribunal against Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited (“CTIL”) regarding the grant of a new lease to Telefonica and/or Code agreement to CTIL pursuant to paragraph 20 of the Electronic Communications Code (“the Code”); this follows the introduction of the new Code, which came into force on 28 December 2017.

Ashfords LLP demonstrates strong capabilities in the contentious and non-contentious aspects of social housing. The success of the firm's practice is evidenced by the fact that it acts for some of the largest social landlords in the country, as well as numerous London Boroughs and other local authorities. Its team includes Sian Gibbon and legal director Joanne Young, who are among a number of individuals with experience advising social landlords on housing litigation and tenancy management; the scope of their contentious work includes cases involving anti-social behaviour, disrepair claims and EPA claims, and homelessness reviews. Tim Heal and Michael Gay are active in property and development work, and their experience covers matters such as construction, site purchases and shared ownership. Elizabeth Gibson heads a team that assists public and quasi-public sector clients with public procurement and planning issues connected with residential-led developments. Vanessa James is an expert in employment law and data protection, while Patrick Blake is the head of construction.

Practice head(s):Sian Gibbon; Tim Heal

Other key lawyers:Michael Gay; Elizabeth Gibson; Vanessa James; Patrick Blake; Joanne Young

Key Clients

Southern Housing Group Limited

Knightstone Housing Association Limited

The Guinness Partnership Limited

London & Quadrant Housing Trust

Evolve Housing & Support

London Borough of Croydon

Cornerstone Housing

London Borough of Wandsworth

Real estate partner Andrew Yates leads Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP's public sector, housing and regeneration team. In the traditional affordable housing arena, its work includes assisting local authorities with estate regeneration schemes, as well as advising registered providers on development and finance, governance arrangements and group structures. Beyond affordable housing work, the firm distinguishes itself in the growing build-to-rent (BTR)/private rented sector (PRS), where it is involved in some of the largest development projects and investment transactions in the market. A key client of the firm is Homes England; much of the firm's work for the client involves large-scale BTR/PRS schemes. Prashanth Satyadeva heads up the social housing finance practice.

Practice head(s):Andrew Yates

Other key lawyers:Prashanth Satyadeva

Key Clients

Homes England (Homes and Communities Agency)

University of Cambridge

London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Greater London Authority

Kings Cross Limited Partnership

TradeRisks

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP - which had acted for Notting Hill Housing Group (NHHG) for over 35 years prior to its merger with Genesis Housing Association in 2018 - has been retained to advise the amalgamated entity (which is now known as Notting Hill Genesis). Of counsel Sara Branch acted for NHHG on the merger. Anne O’Neill heads up the team, which is active in all aspects of public and private sector regeneration projects and development schemes. Of counsel Jonathan Preece has particular experience assisting registered providers with acquiring land for development purposes, as well as its subsequent disposal. In addition to undertaking development matters, of counsel Nichola Padget has expertise in real estate disputes involving dilapidation, service charge and rent review issues, among others.

Practice head(s):Anne O'Neill

Other key lawyers:Sara Branch; Jonathan Preece; Nichola Padget

Key Clients

Armada 1 South Development LLP

Chobham Farm North LLP

Gallions 2A Development LLP

Gallions 2B Development LLP

Hastoe Housing Association

Project Light Development 1 Limited

Project Light Development 2 Limited

Notting Hill Genesis

TLD Kidbrooke LLP

Work highlights

  • Acted for Notting Hill Housing Group on its merger with Genesis Housing Association.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP (which resulted from a recent merger between Penningtons Manches LLP and Thomas Cooper LLP) has successfully grown its social housing practice, with clients drawn to its broad range of services. In addition to advising existing clients, the firm has won mandates from new clients, including London & Quadrant, BPHA and Heylo. Linda Storey heads the team, which acts for more than 50 housing associations. It also generates work from local authorities, local housing companies, private developers and consultants. In 2018, Andrew Casstles led the advice to Richmond Housing Partnership Limited on a £3.1m land acquisition, which included assistance with the planning-related aspects of the transactions. In addition, Casstles and Storey acted for Metropolitan Thames Valley on the forward-funding acquisition and development of 58 affordable residential units by way of phased freehold block transfers and individual flat leases from a national developer. Other services span areas such as housing management, securitisation, construction and joint ventures. Peter Massey and Ben Robinson are also active practitioners in this space. Tim Johnson joined from Shoosmiths LLP.

Practice head(s):Linda Storey

Other key lawyers:Andrew Casstles; Peter Massey; Ben Robinson; Tim Johnson

Work highlights

  • Advised Aldwyck Housing Group Limited on the forward-funding purchase, development and sale of 11 shared ownership houses on a new housing estate, which included negotiating the proposed estate charge regime and complex fixed and variable rent charge provisions.
  • Advised Peabody Enterprises Limited on a conditional land purchase (via a sub-sale arrangement), which involved negotiating a collateral agreement to protect the security of Peabody’s deposit which was being passed from the client to the owner.
  • Advised Metropolitan Thames Valley on the forward-funding acquisition and development of 58 affordable residential units by way of phased freehold block transfers and individual flat leases from a national developer.
  • Advised Octavia on the acquisition of s106 units via airspace leases (granted at golden brick stage out of a long leasehold title) with a related development agreement at a mixed-use site that included market units, a hotel, service apartments, offices, gym, retail units and school.
  • One of three firms acting for Sage Housing on its nationwide programme concerning affordable housing purchases.

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Legal Developments in the UK

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