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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 > West Midlands > Real estate > Social housing > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. Social housing
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP boasts a broad range of capabilities, acting for an impressive client roster spanning a range of housing associations and housing developers. Practice head Jonathan Cox is highlighted for his broad expertise; Gemma Bell leads the housing corporate services team, handling mergers and group restructurings alongside Victoria Jardine, while Helen Tucker and Baljit Basra cover all social housing-related disputes. Other areas of expertise include governance, real estate transactions and construction matters such as procurement and remediation.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Cox; Peter Hubbard

Other key lawyers:Gemma Bell; Victoria Jardine; Helen Tucker; Baljit Basra

Testimonials

'Full service offer for housing associations'

'Anthony Collins provides specialist, sector-leading knowledge and service to clients both regionally and nationally. Its social housing teams is comprised of lawyers who are immersed in their particular practice area and, consequently, can provide clients with quick and reliable advice and guidance in the most complex social housing litigation'

'Helen Tucker and Baljit Basra stand out for their knowledge, experience and client service. Both are leaders in this sector. Helen is an expert in her field, whose realistic but robust approach to litigation breeds confidence in both her clients and those she instructs. Baljit stands out for her knowledge, experience and client care skills, which make her a favourite with many clients locally and nationally.'

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 the National Housing Federation in preparing the documentation to assist with the implementation of the Voluntary Right to Buy pilot in the Midlands.
  • Creating a contractor framework for Clarion Housing Group following the merger of Affinity Sutton and Circle.
  • Acted for Futures Housing Group on an acquisition of 475 tenanted properties from Genesis.
  • Instructed by Red Kite Community Housing to advise on the formation of an affordable housing delivery vehicle, a market sale vehicle, a commercial vehicle and a non-registered charitable housing vehicle.
  • Obtained injunctions on behalf of Whitefriars Housing against four males to exclude them from a whole area of Coventry due to them taking over homes of vulnerable residents, stealing from them, forcing them to sell drugs and using serious violence.

Gowling WLG regularly acts for housing providers on site acquisitions, development, regeneration and portfolio transactions. The 'very able' Jacqueline Knox specialises in social housing development and investment and non-contentious housing management, while Richard Beckingsale heads the regeneration team. Another mainstay of the practice is financing work for a diverse client base comprising of investment funds, REITs and other lenders.

Practice head(s):Jacqueline Knox; Richard Beckingsale

Other key lawyers:Chris Brierley

Testimonials

'Extremely communicative and knowledgeable team who go out of their way to provide an excellent level of service at highly competitive fee rates. Very responsive, they work with you to meet and exceed client expectations around often tight deadlines and timescales'

'Jacqueline Knox is a very able lawyer'

Key Clients

Sanctuary Housing Group

Metropolitan Housing Trust

Clarion Housing Group (formerly Circle Housing Group)

London and Quadrant

Orbit Homes

Bromford Housing Group

Bournville Village Trust

Home Group

London Borough of Barnet

LaSalle Investment Management

Cheyne Social Impact Fund

BAE Systems Pension Funds Trustees Limited

Coal Pension Properties Ltd

Northern Ireland Local Government Officers' Superannuation Committee

Triple Point Investment Management LLP

Triple Point Social Housing REIT plc

Horizon Infrastructure Partnership

Alpha Real Capital LLP

Universities Superannuation Scheme

Sage Housing

Legal & General Affordable Housing

Extra Care Charitable Trust

Methodist Homes

Work highlights

  • Advising Sanctuary Housing Association on data protection, Freedom of Information Act issues and environmental information regulations.
  • Acted for Triple Point Social Housing on the acquisition of numerous properties and portfolios of properties, mainly for use as supported living.
  • Acted for Cheyne Social Property Impact Fund on the extension of its investment of a further £12.5m in specialised supported housing charity Thera.
  • Advised Sanctuary Housing Association on its purchase of a portfolio of 25 houses.
  • Acted for Metropolitan Housing Association in relation to various aspects of its joint venture regeneration project with Barnet Council and Barratt London to deliver more than 1,500 new mixed tenure homes.

The 'consistently good' team at Trowers & Hamlins LLP is well-respected for its work in the social housing sector and provides a comprehensive service for real estate and property litigation matters. The highly regarded Digby Morgan focuses on real estate work for social housing associations, spanning real estate transactions, development matters and large regeneration schemes. Yetunde Dania and senior associate Dorota Pawlowski handle tenant-related court proceedings and housing management, acting for registered providers on antisocial behaviour issues, disrepair, homelessness and evictions.

Practice head(s):Digby Morgan

Other key lawyers:Yetunde Dania; Dorota Pawlowski

Testimonials

'A consistently good service - we were kept well informed.'

'The team has wide experience and skills for the particular issues facing social housing management and development.'

'The partners respond quickly and efficiently when action is required.'

Key Clients

Clarion Group

WM Housing Group

Red Kite Community Housing

Bournville Village Trust

Accord Housing Group

Midland Heart Limited

Rooftop Housing Group

Cross Keys Homes Limited

United Communities

Flagship Housing Group

Peabody Group

Waterloo Housing (now Platform)

Fortis Living (now Platform)

Connexus / Floreat Homes

Rural Housing Trust

Hightown Housing Association

Bromford Housing Group

Homes England

West Midlands Combined Authority

Work highlights

  • Acting for United Communities on the acquisition of a substantial site in Bristol from a local developer.
  • Advised the City of Wolverhampton Housing Company in the tendering of a scheme for the redevelopment of the former Wednesfield School site in Wolverhampton with the construction of affordable homes and homes.
  • Acted for Cross Keys Housing on eight development transactions.
  • Continued to act for Accord Housing Association on the Symphony Project, which also includes Staffordshire County Council and Engie UK, to deliver new Dementia Centres of Excellence in Staffordshire.
  • Represented WM Housing Group in possession proceedings issued against a tenant due to threats made to concierge staff and continuous anti-social behaviour

Wright Hassall LLP has expertise handling a broad scope of matters in the social housing sector, including financing, securitisation and bond security issues, real estate transactions, compliance, housing management and injunction proceedings against tenants. The team is particularly active in the property area and acts on housing development projects, from the purchase of brownfield development site, to planning, construction and sales. Andrew Dudley heads the team and is supported by Claire Waring on the property development side and by Mary Rouse on housing management, while Carol Matthews and senior associate Natalie Owen cover securitisation work.

Practice head(s):Andrew Dudley

Other key lawyers:Claire Waring; Mary Rouse; Carol Matthews; Natalie Owen

Testimonials

'The team can be relied upon to provide sound advice and support across a wide range of often complex issues'

'Natalie Owen is good to work with and very supportive of her clients. She is well organised and has sound knowledge'

'Carol Matthews conveys a very calm and friendly persona but when required can be very assertive in support of her client without being confrontational. She can be relied upon to make good judgement calls and provide good sound advice in difficult and challenging circumstances'

Key Clients

Orbit Group Limited

Two Rivers Housing

Sovereign Housing Group

Housing & Care 21

Fortis Living Limited

Aldwyck Group Limited

London & Quadrant

Bromford Group Limited

Accent Group

Derwent Living Limited

North Hertfordshire Homes Limited

South Staffordshire Housing Association

Work highlights

  • Acted for Bromford Housing Association in the restructuring of mutual easements relating to surface water drainage and access.
  • Acting for West Kent Housing Association in the purchase of 75 affordable housing units in Maidstone.
  • Acted for Fortis in the purchase of more than 300 affordable housing units across a number of sites in the Midlands.
  • Acted on various sales of completed affordable housing units at a number of sites developed by Orbit Group, or by Orbit’s developer, to Warwickshire Rural Housing Association Limited and Northamptonshire Rural Housing Association.
  • Undertaking bond security work for Bromford Group, involving a charging exercise completed within four months.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP covers a broad range of social housing work, including site acquisitions, development, sales and leasing. Rachel Gwynne, who was promoted to head of social housing in May 2018, handles corporate governance work, while real estate practice head Louise Drew specialises in land disposal and asset management for registered providers. Paul Huggins focuses on social housing development, while Emma Gamble regularly advises on sales.

Practice head(s):Rachel Gwynne; Louise Drew

Other key lawyers:Paul Huggins; Emma Gamble

Testimonials

'Shakespeare Martineau provides a service that is responsive and has a personal approach'

'Solution focused approach with the outcome in mind. The individuals are always friendly, informative and response appropriately and quickly'

'The team has a very can-do attitude. They provide practical solutions and suggestions'

'Attention to detail and a willingness to help resolve difficult and awkward issues'

'The housing team is professional, approachable, quick and efficient in their response'

'Stewart Freeman and Michael Lang deliver a service that is responsive and highly professional'

'Stewart Freeman assisted with a shared ownership problem fantastically, addressed question quickly and understood the pressure the association was under to complete on the sale'

Key Clients

Midland Heart

Bromford

The ExtraCare Charitable Trust

Paragon Asra Housing

Cottsway

Stafford & Rural Homes

Walsall Housing Group

Orbit Group

Nottingham Community Housing Association

Trent & Dove

Work highlights

  • Advised Stafford & Rural Homes on its acquisition of a site for the construction of 80 extra care apartments.
  • Advising Midland Heart on its Fully Mutual Housing Association Strategy.
  • Advising Walsall Housing Group on auction sales.
  • Advising Cottsway on a major development project with a private developer.
  • Advising Orbit Homes on the site set up for the sale of a 189 unit mixed-tenure development.

Shoosmiths LLP primarily acts for registered providers and trusts on property transactions, development of social housing including planning and construction, and the financing of portfolios. Bhavesh Amlani heads the residential development and social housing practice alongside the experienced David Perry. Senior associate Bukola Obadun-Craigs left to join Brethertons LLP in mid-2018.

Practice head(s):Bhavesh Amlani; David Perry

Key Clients

London and Quadrant Housing Trust

Bromsgrove District Housing Trust Limited

Midland Heart Limited

Derwent Housing Association Limited

Severn Vale Housing Society

Two Rivers Housing

Croydon Churches Housing Association

Walsall Housing Group

Nottingham Community Housing Association

Cambridge and County Developments

Muir Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for Walsall Housing Group on the negotiation of, and ongoing work in connection with, a major strategic development agreement with a national housebuilder for the delivery of 100+ units in Penkridge.
  • Acted for Midland Heart on the acquisition of 46 affordable dwellings, comprising 25 affordable rent and 21 shared ownership across two phases of a development in Leicestershire.
  • Acted for Cambridge and County Developments on the acquisition of 60 affordable dwellings at a development at Brampton, Cambridgeshire.
  • Advising Derwent Housing Association on all aspects of a major photovoltaic lease project for a 1,500-roof portfolio.
  • Represent the Bromsgrove District Housing Trust on the negotiation of, and ongoing work in connection with, a major strategic development agreement with a national housebuilder for the delivery of 120+ units in Bromsgrove.

At Pinsent Masons LLP, the team led by David Meecham stands out for its expertise in housing development work for local authorities and charities, and regularly acts on land acquisitions, planning, construction, procurement and regeneration matters. Homes England is a key client of the practice.

Practice head(s):David Meecham

Key Clients

Homes and Communities Agency

Ministry of Defence

Ebbsfleet Development Corporation

Brent London Borough Council

Birmingham City Council

London Borough of Hackney

Crawley Borough Council

London Borough of Southwark

London Borough of Hounslow

Westminster City Council

Southampton City Council

Methodist Homes

Coventry City Council

Lichfield City Council

St Mungo Community Housing Association

Work highlights

  • Represented HSBC in relation to the security aspects of its £200m facility agreement with Genesis Housing Association.
  • Acted for Homes England for the first grant of a lease for the accelerated construction pilot scheme, for a residential development at Daedalus Waterfront.
  • Continuing to advise The Extracare Trust on its fundraising to assist it in its development of retirement villages.
  • Advising Homes England on the complex acquisition of land for redevelopment for use as residential, schools, commercial, retail and leisure.
  • Acting for Crawley Borough Council on the redevelopment of the existing town hall site and adjoining site, for use as affordable housing, market sale and PRS units, commercial units, offices and others.

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