Social housing in East Midlands

Browne Jacobson LLP

As a market-leading firm for all types of real estate work, Browne Jacobson LLP assists housing associations, private-sector developers, funders and public bodies with issues ranging from securitisation matters to planning advice. The 'very attentive' Gabor Taller is one of foremost names in the market, and advises on complex funding and development issues. Barry Sully, as well as being well-known for his expertise in regeneration projects, is a trusted adviser to Clarion Housing Group, the largest housing association in the UK, and handles site acquisition and planning issues.

Practice head(s):

Barry Sully; Gabor Taller

Other key lawyers:

Holly Chadwick

Testimonials

‘I was first introduced to Browne Jacobson LLP in 2020 and I was immediately impressed by the individual I was speaking to. I found him to be extremely positive and very refreshing. Gabor Taller was very attentive and listened to what I had to say. He is very easy to talk to. He clearly understood the brief and recognised the potential conflict. His strength was his positive advice and very quick understanding of our situation. He also provided an excellent written response/advice which helped our Board to arrive at a firm decision.’

‘Excellent personal service. Efficient, providing good advice and solutions to issues rather than problems. Keen to look after their clients. Excellent knowledge for the sector. Thinks outside of the obvious to look at alternative options to structure a complicated series of transactions that is very different to the normal.’

‘The two partners who I work with, Gabor Taller and Barry Sully, both provide an excellent service, are easy to contact and provide advice with solutions rather than problems. They are keen to represent their client and provide a hands on service explaining any points.

‘They are very responsive and when they respond it is with practical and pragmatic legal advice. It helps that they know what we need/expect from us but over the years they have taken the time to find out what we require and ensure that they keep up to date with any change so that they adapt to our needs rather than us having to adapt to their ways of working. They are also just a really lovely group of people.

‘Gabor Taller – Gabor oversees the majority of our work. He is quick to respond with practical well thought out advice and is focused on achieving the best possible client outcomes.’

Key clients

Midland Heart

Clarion

Platform

EMH Housing

Nottingham Community Housing Association

Longhurst Group

Minster Property Group

Local Space

Metropolitan Thames Valley

Homes England

Community Housing

Peak Rural Housing

Nottingham City Homes

Tuntum Housing Association

Hibiscus Housing

Pelham Homes

EMH Care and Support

Work highlights

  • Advising Clarion Housing Group in relation to a proposed new “garden village” in Somerset.
  • Advised Minster Property Group Limited on the  purchase and subsequent sale of a 14-acre site to one of the largest housing associations in the country.

Freeths LLP

Commended for its ability to 'put client interests first', Freeths LLP's practice stands out for the strength and diversity of its client base; the group acts for both registered providers and large developers on procurement work, shared ownership sales, partnership agreements and housing management issues. Following Matthew Grocock's departure to gunnercooke LLP  in November 2020, the group is now led by director Sarah Rowe. Experienced in s106 schemes and land purchases, Rowe also works with registered providers on refinancing housing assets. Other key practitioners include managing associate Rachel Clarke, who assists with procurement issues.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Rowe

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Clarke; Claire Bennett; Patrick Adie

Testimonials

‘Freeths have a good understanding of our requirements and what is fair and reasonable. They are able to allocate productive time to tasks and assist us in driving deals forward.’

‘Freeths are easy to contact and liaise with – they get matters resolved and contracts agreed.’

Across the board Freeths are attentive, quick to respond and take a pragmatic stance in relation to all matters. Their advice is provided in plain English, they are easy to deal with and put their clients at the heart of what they do.’

Key clients

Nottingham Community Housing Association Limited

Torus62 Limited

Kirklees Council

Citizen Housing Group

Jigsaw Homes Group

Longhurst Group Limited

Ilke Homes Limited

United Living Limited

Midland Heart Limited

BDW Trading Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Torus62 Limited on the Right to Buy process for 100 properties.
  • Advising Inside Land Group on the acquisition, promotion and sale of a large affordable-only residential development site at Aviation Lane, Burton-Upon-Trent.
  • Advising Marylebone Asset Management on the acquisition of a large site with outline planning at Norwich Road, Dereham.

Wilkin Chapman LLP

Wilkin Chapman LLP is one of the key practices in the Lincolnshire region, having worked with both regional and national housing providers on the sale, purchase and development of affordable housing units. Rachael Dicken heads up the real estate practice and focuses on advising house builders, registered providers and developers on strategic development, property management and securitisation issues. Other names to note include Peter Hanson, who assists with social housing matters as part of his development-focused practice.

Practice head(s):

Rachael Dicken

Other key lawyers:

Peter Hanson

Testimonials

‘Wilkin Chapman LLP incorporate an experienced social housing sector team, with extensive knowledge and understanding associated to our association and the environment in which we operate. Our experience is that they provide an outstanding service that is both cost effective, and efficient and we would highly recommend.’

‘Helpful, accessible staff.’

‘Wilkin Chapman LLP have utilised online signing technology to help with remote working. This has been invaluable to us over the past year and has saved a great deal of stress in comparison to other solicitors who we use who still require physical signatures. Wilkin have a large diverse team with different skill sets dedicated to housing which allows us to give them more work and be flexible about how it is done.

‘I have trust in Rachael’s team which allows them to be autonomous without much interference from myself or our business. I am kept informed of current progression without being overburdened. Wilkin Chapman LLP provide a great level of due diligence.’

Key clients

Lace Housing Association

Lincolnshire Housing Partnership

Salix Homes

Longhurst Group

Ongo Partnership

Crest Nicholson Operations Limited

Vistry Homes Limited / Linden Limited

Lincolnshire Rural Housing Association Limited

Cyden Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Linden Limited on the development and sale of affordable housing to a prominent national registered provider.
  • Acted for Linden Limited on the sale of affordable dwellings in East Yorkshire over two phases to a regional registered provider.
  • Advised Beal Developments Limited on the sale of 8 affordable housing units on a 300-unit residential development scheme in Gainsborough.

Wilson Browne

Wilson Browne's social housing practice regularly handles work for EMH Housing & Regeneration Limited, which it assists with site acquisitions, golden brick purchases, JCT contracts and development agreements. The firm also advises housing providers on tenant-based issues including arrears, demotion and possession, and anti-social behaviour mandates. Tom Warrender leads the team and focuses on all elements non-contentious work, from initial acquisition and planning matters through to the sale of constructed properties.

Practice head(s):

Tom Warrender

Other key lawyers:

Emma Oliver

Key clients

Abbeyfield Dorcas Society Limited / Amani Care Limited

EMH Housing & Regeneration Limited

Park Lodge Project

Work highlights

  • Acted for EMH Housing & Regeneration Limited on the acquisition of land for the development of 78 affordable housing units with a development value of £12.1m.
  • Acted for EMH Housing & Regeneration Limited on the affordable housing development and acquisition of 48 units in Markfield with a development value of £8.2m.
  • Acted for EMH Housing & Regeneration Limited on the acquisition of 32 affordable housing units at a site in Desford for £3.8m.