The Legal 500


United Kingdom > London > Real estate > Social housing: local authorities and registered providers

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Index of tables

  1. Social housing: local authorities and registered providers
  2. Leading individuals

The ‘responsive and agile’ lawyers at Trowers & Hamlins LLP are ‘good problem-solvers’ with ‘an in-depth knowledge of the social housing sector’. The firm ‘brings a broad range of skills to bear where needed’. Highlights included advising County Durham Housing Group on the large-scale voluntary transfer of 19,000 homes from Durham County Council to a newly created group of social landlords, forming the county’s largest social landlord group. Other clients include The Peabody Trust, The Guinness Partnership and The Homes and Communities Agency. National head Ian Graham is ‘excellent’ and London head Sara Bailey ‘goes the extra mile, adding real value’. Catherine Hand is ‘hardworking, pragmatic and brings a great deal of sector experience’. Other standout practitioners are Andy Barnard, Ian Doolittle, Scott Dorling and Tonia Secker.

Devonshires Solicitors LLP provides a broad range of sector-specific expertise on matters including governance, dispute resolution, development, mergers and acquisitions and housing management. The firm gained momentum with a number of major panel wins including The Home and Communities Agency regulation panel and The Housing Associations’ Legal Alliance. Practice head Andrew Cowan and Nick Billingham are recommended.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP provides an ‘exceptional level of service’. The ‘knowledgeable, responsive and commercialCharlotte Cook advised key client One Housing Group on its acquisition of three redevelopment sites, with an estimated £30m development value, from the Merchant Taylors and Christopher Boones Almshouse Charity. The firm also gained a number of significant new wins, including Genesis Housing Association (now its sole legal supplier), Essential Living and Circle Housing. Charlie Proddow is ‘knowledgeable, professional, responsive’ and ‘inspires complete confidence’.

Birmingham-based Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP has a full-service offering, which is ‘one of the best in the field’. Highlights included undertaking a review of Affinity Sutton’s contract and invitation-to-tender documents relating to a £100m maintenance contract. The firm also advises on governance and corporate, housing management, procurement and construction, and property and development matters. Helen Tucker and Jonathan Cox are both ‘very dedicated, knowledgeable and practical’.

Lewis Silkin LLP has an excellent track record in major redevelopment programmes and regeneration schemes. Highlights included advising key client Peabody on the property and tax aspects of its £150m mixed-use regeneration of the former University College London Archway Campus site. The firm’s enviable client following includes 13 of the G15 housing associations and names such as Octavia Housing and Housing Solutions Group. Linda Convery and Gillian Bastow moved to TLT.

Penningtons Manches LLP has expanded its client base with a number of new client and panel wins including Housing Association Legal Alliance, Peabody Housing Trust and Wandle Housing Association. The firm advised One Housing Group on its purchase for redevelopment of Acton Town Hall. Andrew Casstles and Peter Massey are recommended for their ‘attentive and collaborative’ approach.

The ‘responsive’ team at Pinsent Masons LLP is noted for its ‘wide breadth of experience’. The firm advises its impressive client base of local authorities on a range of property and regeneration work. Highlights included assisting the London Borough of Enfield on a procurement process and development agreement in relation to the 800-unit Alma Estate housing renewal project. It also continues to advise The Homes and Communities Agency on various matters. Practice head Anne Bowden is recommended for her ‘knowledge of regeneration projects and practical approach’.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP has particular expertise in advising its client base – which includes London Legacy Development Corporation, the Greater London Authority and The Homes and Communities Agency – on a range of property and development matters. The firm advised London Borough of Tower Hamlets on the £500m redevelopment of the entire Robin Hood Gardens estate in Poplar, which is due to include the construction of 1,500 homes by Swan Housing Association. Andrew Yates and regulatory expert Janet Turner QC co-head the team.

Clarke Willmott LLP is noted for its ‘comprehensive service’ and ‘good knowledge, commercial approach and value for money’. The firm advises on a range of matters including property, development and regeneration, construction and housing management. Practice head Chimi Shakohoxha, who ‘responds quickly and gets to the point’, acted for L&Q Housing Association on its purchase of a freehold reversion of a long lease from an NHS trust. Construction specialist Jessica Taylor joined the team from Clarkslegal LLP in 2014.

DWF’s broad practice runs the gamut of social housing advice: areas of expertise include housing management and litigation, development, regeneration, governance and stock transfer. The firm advised the Homes and Communities Agency, a new panel win, on the disposal of various sites for regeneration. Other clients include Housing Plus Group, Together Housing Group and Places for People. Mitch Brown heads the team.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP practice head Wendy Wilks has a focus on development, finance and governance matters. The firm advises a range of registered providers including Family Mosaic Housing, Thames Valley Housing Association and A2 Dominion Housing Association. Senior solicitor Theresa Ferguson-Battershill is a key name for property transactions.

The ‘proactive and thorough’ team at TLT is noted for its ‘excellent industry knowledge’. The firm advised The Guinness Partnership on its phased acquisition of over 250 affordable housing units in Kent. Other clients include One Housing Group and Peabody. Kate Silverman heads the team.Derek Moore and associate Andrew Shaw are also recommended. Linda Convery and Gillian Bastow joined from Lewis Silkin LLP

The Exeter-based team at Ashfords LLP advises a range of housing associations, ALMOs and local authorities in housing management issues. Practice head Sian Gibbon is a contentious specialist with experience in advising clients, including Hounslow Homes, on issues arising from the management of its property interests. The firm also advises clients on development matters. Mark Moore is the key name for such real estate work.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP provides ‘an excellent service’ and has ‘impressive expertise in all legal aspects of property development’. The firm continued to act for key client Notting Hill Housing Group on a range of property matters. Practice head Anne O’Neill ‘stands out in her ability to ensure the best possible position for her clients’. Of counsel Sara Branch is ‘an excellent property lawyer’.

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