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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 > South West > 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

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Isabelle Clement - TLT

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TLT  is well known for advising local authorities, registered providers and private contractors on major London regeneration projects, property transactions and disputes. David Isaacson  acted for TPG in a joint venture with Blackthorn Homes for the development of private for-sale housing on land acquired jointly by the two parties. Further, Isaacson is assisting New Charter Housing Trust with the due diligence for its proposed merger with Adactus Housing Group. Employment lawyer Siobhan Fitzgerald  specialises in housing-sector work, Kane Kirkbride  has experience with disputes in the social housing sector, and Isabelle Clement  is an active associate in the practice group. Paul Butterworth joined Ashfords LLP in September 2018.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP  is ‘a clear market leader’ in the social housing space. Headed by Joseph Acton, the Exeter team works in conjunction with the firm’s London office to provide comprehensive contentious and non-contentious advice to national residential developers and housing associations. Acton provides ‘all-round knowledge and support’ to clients on various corporate and property transactions, including a property portfolio disposal, and a corporate cost sharing partnership for the provision of utilities servicing thousands of housing units. Georgina Savill-James is assisting a housing association with numerous property disposals in connection with a stock realisation project. Managing associate Hannah Jackson often works alongside the firm’s London-based partners to advise housing associations on significant bank financing and debt capital markets transactions. Rachel Carter is another key figure in the department. Additional clients include regional developers such as Devon & Cornwall Housing Group and Plymouth Community Homes, and national groups including Yarlington Housing Group, TGP and Galliford Try Group.

Ashfords LLP  handles property transactions and joint venture agreements for housing associations and local authorities, but is particularly strong in social housing-related litigation. Indeed, the ‘unflappable’ Sian Gibbon has acted for registered providers and local authorities in a range of property disputes. In the non-contentious space, Michael Gay advises Knightstone Housing Association on lease-hold flat and house disposals in accordance with certain Housing and Communities Agency standards. Additionally, Tim Heal has acted for housing associations in a litany of housing unit acquisitions. Specialising in public procurement, Elizabeth Gibson is advising a London borough on the establishment of a corporate group for the development of social and market housing. Similarly, Gibson assisted Exeter City Council with the establishment of a wholly-owned housing company for the development of social and affordable housing. Sovereign Housing Association, TGP and London Borough of Croydon are also among the team’s clients.

Bevan Brittan LLP ’s real estate team has developed ‘a good understanding of the social housing sector’ through its deep public-sector expertise and experience with major residential regeneration schemes. Practice head Jonathan Turner is acting for Peabody Land in connection with the £3.5bn Thamesmead Waterfront regeneration. Matthew Waters is advising Brighton & Hove City Council on a joint venture with Hyde Housing for the development of 500 living-wage rent homes and 500 shared-ownership homes. Chris Harper advised JV North (a consortium of housing associations across the north of England) on the procurement of consultant and contractor frameworks for new build housing developments in the North West and the Midlands. Additionally, Alison Buckingham assisted Yarlington Housing Group with the negotiation of an option agreement with Persimmon Homes in relation to affordable units in various stages on a development site near Taunton. Steven Eccles has handled property disputes for clients such as Sovereign Housing Association.

Headed by Oliver Smedley, Clarke Willmott LLP’s social housing sector group provides ‘good property support’ to regional and national housing associations in property transactions, joint venture development partnerships and disputes. Helen Wittram advised Aster Group on its £6.7m acquisition of 42 affordable housing plots from Bellway Homes. Wittram is also acting for a registered provider in relation to its acquisition of land, subject to planning permission, for the development of affordable housing. On the contentious side, Kary Withers acted for TGP in connection with the temporary relocation of rooftop telecoms equipment so that the client could undertake urgent roofing repairs. Anna-Liisa Blanks-Walden has represented housing association clients in construction disputes, and Simon Day advised Sovereign Housing Association, as landlord, on a commercial letting agreement. Senior associate Aaron Macauley also has experience with property disputes in the social housing sector.

‘Professional, knowledgeable and approachable’, Stephens Scown LLP provides ‘great “plain-English” advice at competitive rates’ and has experience in a variety of matters involving social housing, shared ownership and community land trusts. Having assisted English Rural Housing Association with various site acquisitions, Keith Wright is now instructed to handle all of the client’s property work. Hilary Pitts has acted for housing associations in housing stock transactions and development land acquisitions. Additionally, construction lawyer Jim Gorrod advised Devon and Cornwall Housing Association on the construction of its new office in Exeter. The team, which includes Simon Harding, has also advised Hastoe Housing Association on an increasing number of site acquisitions and enfranchisement issues, and has also assisted the client with property disposals from its older stock portfolio.

Acting primarily for regional housing associations, Tozers Solicitors LLP is known in the South West for providing ‘excellent advice on development contracts and land sale agreements’. Simon Sanger-Anderson heads the cross-departmental social housing practice group and is noted for his ‘deep industry knowledge’ and ‘friendly and accommodating service’. Stephen Burtchaell, who leads the registered provider property group, has been instructed by various housing associations in housing stock transactions, development agreements, property acquisitions and commercial letting arrangements. Key clients include South Devon Rural Housing Association, Cirencester Housing Association and Plymouth Community Homes; the team has also acted for national housing groups such as TGP.

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Legal Developments in South West for Social housing

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

    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.

    - Falcon Chambers

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