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Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Work 0345 415 0000
Fax 0344 984 1501

Nigel Emmerson

Work 0191 279 9546
Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Work Department

Real estate: residential.


  • Head of the Housing Group which comprises:
  • PRS/BTR: Grainger, Akelius, Hearthstone Investments, Dorrington, Walworth Investment Properties, Southern Properties, Allsop.
  • Housebuilder: Bellway, Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey.
  • Social/Affordable: Places for People, Karbon, Bernicia, Broadacres, Thirteen, Accent, Home Group, Plymouth Community Homes, Byker Community Trust, Rentplus.
  • Retirement: Retirement Bridge.


Trained Dickinson Dees; qualified 1994; partner 2002; partner Bond Dickinson on merger 2013; partner, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP on combination 2017.


Non-executive Director of Byker Community Trust, firm representative on the UKAA, trustee of the Newcastle Parks and AllotmentsTrust.

North: Real estate

Commercial property: Newcastle

Within: Commercial property: Newcastle

Praised for its ‘commercial and pragmatic advice’, the ‘highly responsive’ team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has a strong profile for private rented sector matters, build to rent projects and commercial work, and acts for an impressive client roster which includes national housebuilders and financial institutions alongside energy, education and transport sector clients. Barbara Painter advised Teesside University on the acquisition of a site in Darlington from the Homes and Communities Agency for the construction of a National Horizons Centre, while the ‘very good’ Michael Brown assisted the Beamish Museum with lease matters. He also advised Standard Life Aberdeen and Curtis Banks on several transactional, lease and landlord licence matters, and handled various acquisitions of commercial property portfolios in the West Midlands and the North East for Buccleuch Property. Acting for several major national developers and investment clients, Tom Willows advised Bellway’s Durham division on various site acquisitions throughout County Durham and Teesside totalling approximately 350 residential units. Other key figures include national real estate team head John Ralph, Nigel Emmerson, who heads the public and private housing and residential investment sector team, and regeneration and residential development project expert Ian Ward. Managing associate John Booth is also recommended. Duncan Fisher moved to DAC Beachcroft LLP in February 2018.

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Social housing

Within: Social housing

The team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is ‘exceptionally well prepared’ and noted for its ‘outstanding attention to detail’. Clients include traditional and LSVT housing associations, councils, arm’s-length management organisations (ALMOs), charities, for-profit providers and affordable housing providers, for which it handles the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious social housing matters. Team head Nigel Emmerson has been advising Karbon Homes, one of the largest housing associations in the North East, on its ongoing development programme, which included assisting with the acquisition of sites, development agreements and the acquisition of units from housebuilders in order to fulfil section 106 obligations. Other highlights included advising Byker Community Trust, a charity and registered social housing provider, on data sharing arrangements with the entities that provide various tenancy management services to the client, and acting for Rentplus UK on five acquisitions. Emmerson also advised Places for People (PfP) on a Walker Riverside regeneration project-related acquisition, which included assistance with development, option, nominations and section 106 agreements, while ‘very knowledgeable’ managing associate and property litigation specialist David Hambler (‘who gives off an air of understated confidence’) acted for the Bernicia Group on various tenancy management issues including possession claims and injunctions to tackle anti-social behaviour, as well as advising the client on shared ownership leases. Associate and property management transactions expert Ian Hellawell and Leeds-based associate Jennifer Robinson are also key members of the team.

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