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United Kingdom > Yorkshire and the Humber > Real estate > Social housing > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



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Who Represents Who

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Anne Bowden  heads Pinsent Masons LLP’s department, which also counts Kate Orviss  and legal director Stephen Glass as key practitioners; Bowden focuses on national housing schemes and work for local authorities, while Orviss handles PFI housing projects and Glass regularly acts for housebuilders on residential developments and funding structures. Recent highlights include advising the London Borough of Haringey on its procurement of a strategic investment and development partner for the Haringey Development Vehicle, acting for Leeds City Council on its deliverance of new homes in the East Leeds Extension, and assisting Westminster City Council with the development and letting arrangements for its flagship Sir Simon Milton University Technical College which is cross funded by the delivery of 47 residential units. The team is also handling a regeneration scheme opposite Clapham Junction station for the London Borough of Wandsworth and counts the Homes and Communities Agency as a key client. Lovell Partnerships, the London Borough of Hackney, Countryside Properties and Galliford Try Partnerships are also clients.

Walker Morris LLP ‘provides an excellent level of service across the board’ and ‘easily understands the intricacies of any deal it is involved in’. Department head Chris Woodthorpe is ‘one of the best people in the market’ and advises government departments, local authorities, developers and contractors; recent mandates include advising North Lincolnshire County Council on a city centre regeneration for social housing, assisting the Cabinet Office with the disposal and development of a mixed tenure scheme including affordable units and retirement living accommodation, and handling the acquisition of units at Stonebroom Alfreton for Rykneld Homes. Clients also single out housing management and litigation expert Karl Anders, who is assisting a social housing provider with changes derived from the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016 and associated Social Housing Rents (Exceptions and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2016. Consultant Richard Auton is recommended for local housing company delivery structures.

Key practitioners in Bevan Brittan LLP’s practice include department head Richard Stirk , Julie Cowan-Clark , Hugo Stephens  and John Cox ; Stirk handles security, property development and sales mandates, Cowan-Clark regularly acts for housing associations on developments, asset management issues, commercial leasings and plot sale management; Stephens focuses on finance mandates, and Cox is a key name in the housing management team. Clients include Warrington Borough Council and Together Housing Association; Stirk acted for the latter on the recertification of its stock. Other mandates for the department include assisting Yorkshire Housing with its acquisition of a strategic site for development and with its Section 106 acquisition programme, advising Unity Housing Association on its loan agreements and security in a double refinance, and handling a range of property issues for Richmond Fellowship.

Rollits LLP’s expertise encompasses site acquisitions, section 106 agreements, construction issues, landlord and tenant mandates, charity law work and site assembly work. Practice head Douglas Oliver  regularly acts for registered providers; he recently advised Yorkshire Housing on a site assembly matter and assisted Hull Churches Housing Association with 34 units that are pursuant to a section 106 agreement. Recently promoted partner David Myers  is also a name to note; he acted for Yorkshire Housing on its acquisition of land at Allerton Bywater for the development of 55 affordable homes. Other clients include Leeds Federated Housing Association, Pickering & Ferens Homes, Boston Mayflower, Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust and the Abbeyfield Society.

Andrew Hurst  and Simon Petchey  are the key names to note at Schofield Sweeney; Hurst is recommended for his funding and social housing development expertise and regularly acts for registered providers and funders, while Petchey’s recent work includes assisting various housing associations with refinancing work.

Ward Hadaway’s registered provider client base includes Inclusion Housing, which it advised on five projects with Civitas Social Housing; Livin Housing, which it assisted with an option agreement relating to a development; and Isos Homes, which is acted for on its merger with Derwentside Housing. Bernicia, Byker Community Trust, Home Group, Thirteen Group and Mosscare St Vincent’s are also clients. Key practitioners include department head John Murray, who specialises in housing management issues and has experience in anti-social behaviour, disrepair and leasehold disputes; and associate Simon Thirtle, who handles housing litigation. The practice works closely with the firm’s Newcastle office.

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Legal Developments in Yorkshire and the Humber 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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