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

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  1. Social housing
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

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Who Represents Who

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Pinsent Masons LLP’s team provides advice ‘which combines commercial reality and a good understanding of public law with the practicalities and restriction of working in the public sector’. ‘First-class’ team head Anne Bowden provides ‘to the point, clear and helpful’ advice, has expertise in nationwide regeneration and development schemes and acts for numerous local authorities. Kate Orviss focuses on PFI housing projects. Recent highlights include advising the Borough of Wandsworth on an estate renewal scheme, which involves structuring contractual agreements with the private sector, site assembly issues, including buying residential and community assets in preparation for the regeneration, advice on CPO strategy, planning issues and technical housing law issues. Other work includes advising Westminster City Council on the development and letting agreements for University Technical College, which included assisting in negotiations with Network Rail; advising the Borough of Haringey on the creation of a borough-wide housing investment vehicle with a private sector partner; and assisting the Homes and Communities Agency with various matters including the procurement of a development matter for the regeneration of a hospital, and assisting with the provision of Builders Finance Fund grant funding for recipients of various housing-led schemes.

Walker Morris LLP’s practice is led by Chris Woodthorpe, who has ‘excellent industry knowledge and exceeds clients expectations’; he acts for registered providers, the Homes and Communities Agency, local authorities and developers and contractors on a broad range of issues including residential and mixed-use developments, landlord and tenant matters, acquisitions, disposals and stock transfers. Karl Anders heads the firm’s housing management and litigation department; he has notable expertise handling possession claims, injunction applications, public law and judicial review challenges, and enfranchisements and enforcements, including forfeiture and right-to-buy. Lucie Bryan, who joined in January 2017 from an in-house position, is a key name for advising social landlords on housing management issues. Recent highlights include advising a national FTSE 250 contractor on delivering mixed-tenure housing for five registered providers, as well as assisting with site acquisitions for associated joint ventures and negotiating conditional sales contracts; advising Cambridge City Council on its options and powers to deliver below-market rented housing and below-market sale homes for residents who don’t qualify for social housing; and handling Rykneld Homes’ acquisition of a site in North Wingfield for the delivery of affordable housing, which included assisting with title issues, third party agreements and negotiations with the council to provide mutual rights of access and services.

Bevan Brittan LLP’s team has ‘a proactive approach to problems and extensive industry knowledge’. Practice head Richard Stirk, Julie Cowan-Clark and Shelley Williams are ‘diligent, thorough, and dependable, have excellent property and social housing knowledge and experience, and present complex legal drafting and terminology in a client-friendly manner’. Stirk has a focus on development and security work and Cowan-Clark advises on asset management, security and commercial leasing and plot sales management; she and Williams mainly act for housing associations. Recent highlights include advising Yorkshire Housing on the acquisition of a greenfield development site, which was a contractor-led scheme involving site assembly issues, and assisting Leeds and Yorkshire Housing Association with a regulatory review involving locating title information, missing deeds and the reconstitution of title deeds. John Cox joined the firm from Clarke Willmott LLP.

Rollits LLP’s team acts for social housing clients on site acquisitions, options, conditional contracts and site assembly work. Practice head Douglas Oliver focuses on s106 matters, construction, management agreements and purchases and David Myers handles site and unit acquisitions for registered providers. Oliver recently advised a local registered provider on a 50-unit contract for a national builder, which included handling s106 agreement amendments, and assisted a regional registered provider with title, contract and transfer issues relating to a low-cost housing development managed by the client.

At Schofield Sweeney, Andrew Hurst and Simon Petchey are the key names. The duo act for registered social landlords and their funders on a broad range of issues including funding, governance, group structures and mergers, development and regeneration projects, and everyday housing management advice and litigation. Recent highlights include advising a housing group on the completion of two social housing schemes and assisting with ongoing negotiations for future schemes. Other clients include Leeds Federated Housing Association and Horton Housing Association.

Addleshaw Goddard’s key contact is Lee Shankland following Ruth Snell’s retirement. Shankland is ‘always ready to roll up his sleeves and pitch in’, and focuses on social housing finance matters; he also advises major lenders and stakeholders including the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the Homes and Communities Agency and the Department for Local Government and Communities.

John Murray is the key contact at Ward Hadaway and has longstanding experience of acting for registered providers. Other names to note include Helen O’Neill, who advises developers partnering with social housing providers on large residential and mixed-use schemes, and associate Simon Thirtle, who handles contentious social housing matters. Recent highlights include obtaining anti-social behaviour injunctions for a registered provider; assisting Inclusion Housing with funding and occupational agreements; and advising County Durham Housing Group on property and development acquisitions from housebuilders.

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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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