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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 > Scotland > Real estate > Social housing > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Social housing
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Harper Macleod LLP is seen as 'an industry leader' within the social housing sector, as evidenced by the fact that it acts for more than half of the registered social landlords in Scotland (who collectively own or control circa 50% of the housing stock there). Its other clients include local authorities, private sector developers and joint venture bodies. Practice head Derek Hogg, who has specialised in social housing for more than 20 years, is working with David McIndoe and associate Collette Miller to advise the More Homes team of the Scottish Government's Housing and Social Justice Directorate on its affordable home ownership schemes. In addition, Hogg and James McMorrow are assisting Wheatley Housing Group with a large-scale governance review. The team's multifaceted workload also includes mergers and constitutional partnerships, commercial property acquisitions and disposals, public procurement and state aid advice, and dispute resolution. Associate Stephanie Nichol is recommended.

T C Young, whose track record in the social housing sector dates back more than 40 years, acts for more than 121 registered social landlords (RSLs) - more than 70% of RSLs in Scotland. Alison Brynes leads the team, whose expertise includes stock transfers, factoring and property management, development, finance, debt recovery and procurement. Mark Ewing leads the firm's advice on governance issues. Brynes, Douglas Collingham and Lauren Little recently acted for New Gorbals Housing Association in the Laurieston Living development, a major regeneration project which will bring a mix of private and housing association homes to the Gorbals area in Glasgow. Brynes and Collingham also advised Forth Housing Association on acquiring an NHS building and then leasing it to a public body for refurbishment. Jim Bauld assisted Milnbank Housing Association with pursuing an action for recovery of possession of a property on the grounds of antisocial behaviour by the tenant's children. Other notable individuals in the team are Andrew Cowan, Christine Stuart, consultant Len Freedman, Alastair McKendrick and associate Claire Mullen. Stephen MacGregor has retired.

Addleshaw Goddard's group, which is led byHeather Pearson, provides a full service to RSLs on all types of contentious and non-contentious matters. Susan McDonald, who has specialised in social housing for more than 20 years, is experienced in housing management, development conveyancing and tenancy matters, among other areas. Pearson's team includes employment law specialist Kim Pattullo, and also Paul Minto, who advises RSLs on investment transactions and development projects involving onshore wind farms. In addition, following the firm's merger with HBJ Gateley in 2017, the team increasingly plays a key role in social housing finance transactions. Pearson and managing associate Suzanne Murphy recently acted for Paragon Housing Association in its circa £1m turn-key acquisition of completed new-build properties in Alva. Link Group, Wheatley Housing Group and Kingdom Housing Association are other notable clients.

BTO Solicitors LLP has been engaged in the social housing sector for four decades, and its team has a first-rate reputation in strategically significant mandates. Karen Brodie, and associates Marieclaire Reid and Lesley Gray, have been advising Clyde Valley Housing Association Limited on the acquisition of a number of development sites as part of its ambitious development programme. The team has also acted for Southside Housing Association in various matters; Brodie is assisting the client with a community hub project, which will receive Big Lottery funding and will be taken forward with another local community organisation. Team head Patrice Fabien recently advised the same client on governance issues, including updates to its Code of Conduct for Governing Body Members, and on a response to a complaint by a bidder over the client's approach to a procurement exercise. Grant Hunter oversees the firm's RSL litigation work and is experienced in disputes arising from tenancy breaches, stock transfers and development projects. Caroline Carr and Marion Davis are accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as specialists in employment law and charities law respectively, while consultant Ann O’Connell is an accredited construction law specialist. David Young is knowledgeable about debt recovery, tenancy litigation, factoring and ASBOs. Sandra Cassels and Paul Motion are also recommended.

Burness Paull LLP's profile in the social housing sector sees it act for a mix of housing providers, housing charities and developers. Since it was appointed to Sanctuary Group's new legal panel in April 2017, the firm has undertaken a significant amount of work for the client through its Scottish subsidary Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association (SSHA); recent highlights included Stephen Phillips acting as the lead adviser on a complex inter-group restructuring, and Scott Peterkin and others assisting the client with the Scottish property aspects of the acquisition of a portfolio of 35 care homes (including 13 in Scotland) from Embrace Group. In addition, Peterkin, Craig Whelton and other members of the firm's property and planning teams are acting for SSHA in the High Rise Regeneration Project in Cumbernauld.Peter Chambers (who co-heads the practice with Peterkin) assists clients such as Hillcrest Housing Association and Link Group with large-scale developments, financing and development agreements with housebuilders. Chambers also advises housing provider Cruden Group on strategy and contract structuring to faciltate the delivery of affordable homes. Other facets of the firm's social housing work include assisting with health and safety, employment, construction and Freedom of Information requests. Scottish Futures Trust, Springfield Properties and Glasgow Housing Association are other clients.

Shepherd and Wedderburn acts for local authority and housing association clients in a wide range of matters by drawing upon its strengths across a number of disciplines, including projects, construction, litigation and pensions. Its first-rate reputation in real estate sees it regularly advise RSLs on related social housing matters; Elaine Hunter recently assisted Southside Housing Association with a number of matters, including the acquisition of a development site at Paisley Road West in the south of Glasgow. On the contentious front, practice head Stephen Humphreys (who has more than 25 years of experience of the social housing sector) is representing Kingdom Housing Association in ongoing actions to recover heritable property, while Colin Archibald and others are acting for Loretto Housing Association (which is part of the Wheatley Housing Group) in a structural defects claim against Cruden (the contractor) and Cameron & Ross (the structural engineer) over a building which was converted from a hospital to create 17 flats and a day centre facility. Neil Maclean advises social housing clients on employment law issues, while Rhona Harper is an expert on procurement.

Anderson Strathern is a one-stop shop for contentious and non-contentious social housing advice. Team head David Hunter advises social housing providers on matters such as leasing, site acquisitions and development. Deputy head Shirley Evans specialises in litigation and housing management issues (where she acts for local authorities and housing associations); in 2017, she handled an eviction action for Manor Estates Housing Association. The group also assists clients with other matters impacting the sector, including residential development projects, public procurement, real estate finance and governance. In the renewable energy sector, Martin Whiteford is advising Ore Valley Housing Association on a CHP project. In addition, Hunter, Gavin Thain and Deborah Lovell assisted Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association, East Lothian Housing Association and Grampian Housing Association with an innovative renewable energy initiative (in partnership with Edison Energy) to generate free electricity for tenants and reduce fuel poverty levels. Fiona Killen is knowledgeable about data protection and freedom of information issues affecting social housing clients.

Morton Fraser has a particularly strong capability in finance transactions, and its practice head Andrew Meakin acts for a number of the most active lenders in the social housing sector, including Santander, Nationwide and Royal Bank of Scotland. Meakin, associate Lauren Hart and others acted for Bank of Scotland in various transactions, including the provision of new loan facilities of £7m to Cunninghame Housing Association. Elsewhere, Suzanne Hardie has been instrumental in the growth of the firm's work for RSLs, where the scope of mandates includes advice on development acquisitions, tenancy issues, governance and regulatory matters. Real estate finance specialist Ainsley Reid, who is dual-qualified in Scottish and English law, joined from Dentons in December 2017. Employment head Innes Clark is another key figure.

A core area of strength at Shoosmiths is its advice to RSLs on real estate development projects (including the associated site acquisitions and sales) in Edinburgh, Fife and Glasgow. Janette Speed and senior associate Gillian Wood are acting for Port of Leith Housing Association in its acquisition of development sites at Granton Harbour and Brunswick Road (both in Edinburgh). Kingdom Housing Association, Dunedin Canmore and Wheatley Group are other notable clients on development matters. Elsewhere, the firm also advises RSLs on other matters; Karen Harvie has expertise in employment and governance issues. Solicitor advocate Andrew Foyle undertakes recoveries work and is also knowledgeable about insolvency-related issues. Commercial litigator Stuart Clubb and corporate partner Stuart Murray are also recommended. Laura Bloxham departed for Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP in 2017.

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Legal Developments in Scotland for Social housing

  • Parking rights: here to stay? Consent might be the surprising answer ‚Ä©

    In the field of the acquisition of easements by prescription, little has caused more consternation over the last decade or so than the question of whether a right to park cars can be acquired by twenty years user as of right. The types of property capable of being adversely affected range from individual residential units all the way up to major development sites. The establishment of such a right can have a devastating impact on the value of the burdened land.‚Ä©
    - Falcon Chambers

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