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Birketts LLP is best known for acting for registered providers (RPs) of social housing in development projects, sales, financings, planning, housing management, employment and constitutional and regulatory matters. The firm helps private housebuilders to set up new RPs and in 2016 it completed two successful registration processes. It also advises RPs on setting up asset and liabilities registers. Many members of its team belong to industry organisations such as the Chartered Institute of Housing and Social Housing Law Association. Peter Goddard leads the social housing and residential development team from Norwich. Senior associate Emily Groom handles development and regulatory matters for social landlords. The firm also calls on the expertise of property litigation partner John Scannell and planning partner Tom Newcombe. The firm’s highlights included advising Havebury Housing Partnership on the £5m acquisition of 50 affordable housing units from a national housebuilder for a scheme in rural Cambridgeshire. The team also acted for Chater Community Housing Limited on its registration with the Homes and Communities Agency as a new for-profit RP. Orbit Group, Flagship Housing Group and Victory Housing Trust are just a few of the firm’s many RP clients.

Kevin Oelrichs at Spire Solicitors LLP is widely regarded as one of the leading experts on social housing in East Anglia. He heads the social housing practice at the firm, which has one of the strongest reputations of any practice in this area of law in East Anglia. Oelrichs focuses on property matters for social landlords, which encompasses site acquisition, development, planning, infrastructure agreements, property portfolio transfers and securities matters. He is assisted by Annette Collen, who advises on significant property deals for housing associations, and litigator Sian Carrel, who specialises in landlord and tenant matters for social housing landlords across East Anglia, and also handles a busy caseload of possession proceedings, anti-social behaviour injunctions and committal proceedings. Associate Susan Ward has more than 35 years’ experience in the local property market and acts on a variety of residential sales and purchases, remortgages, land acquisitions, new-build conveyancing, help to buy schemes and mortgage security work. The firm has a long list of social landlord clients that includes Saffron Housing Group and Orwell Housing Association.

Buckles Solicitors LLP continues to be a preferred legal adviser for numerous social housing landlords across East Anglia. Its core areas of expertise include housing management, anti-social behaviour and construction matters, and it is building a reputation for acquisitions and developments in the sector. The team, led by Gail Sykes, acts for more than 65 social housing providers across the South East, London, East Anglia and the East Midlands. The team recently acted for Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing Association in possession proceedings against a tenant who had provided false documents to obtain her tenancy. In another highlight the firm advised a large RP on a complex and sensitive matter relating to a complaint of alleged disability discrimination under the Equality Act by the RP and one of its employees in relation to the purchase of shared ownership property. King Street Housing, Suffolk Housing Society and Cross Keys Homes Limited are also clients.

Property partners Andrew Fleming and Gerry Field are the key figures at Blocks in Ipswich, which counts three registered social landlords among its clients. Fleming and Field act in large funding projects and regularly handle ‘golden brick’ transactions for social landlords. Licensed conveyance Kim Caley regularly handles property transactions in the social housing sector.


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Legal Developments in East Anglia 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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