Rising Stars

Social housing in North West

Brabners LLP

Brabners LLP has established itself as a top choice for registered providers, with the practice providing housing management, property and governance services as well as ‘bespoke to needs‘ advice related to employment, planning, procurement, charity law and more. Josephine Morton has experience in representing landlords and RPs in a number of scenarios, including discrimination claims, data breaches and anti-social behaviour. She leads the team jointly with site acquisition and assembly projects specialist Helen Brown. Also integral are Ian Alderson, whose focus is on housing associations in Liverpool, Lisa Robotham, a developments and leasing expert, and Rupert Gill, who specialises in corporate governance work in the housing space. Associate Rebecca Eastwood is also recommended. Alistair Fletcher is now a consultant, while Angela Clearkin retired in 2022.

Practice head(s):

Helen Brown; Josephine Morton

Other key lawyers:

Alistair Fletcher; Ian Alderson; Lisa Robotham; Andrius Roos; Peter Barlow; Rupert Gill; Rebecca Eastwood


‘Excellent advice which is bespoke to our needs. The whole team are responsive, know our organisation well and clearly invest in their people.’

‘Excellent breadth of knowledge, commercial and charitable, amongst lawyers. Everything available from one firm.’

‘Rupert Gill – great commercial expertise and able to combine with understanding relationship with regulated and charitable group companies. Ian Alderson – expert advice on tenancy matters, great understanding of wider operating environment. Alastair Fletcher – expert knowledge of charitable law, very thorough and considers the bigger picture’

Key clients

Prima Housing Group Limited (formerly Pierhead Housing and Leasowe Community)

Progress Housing Limited

Leeds Federated

Torus62 Limited

One Vision Housing Limited

Jigsaw Homes

ForHousing Limited

Cobalt Housing Association

Your Housing Group

North West Housing Services Ltd (NWHS) + various housing co-operatives

Work highlights

  • Advised Torus62 on purchase of net zero carbon bungalows in Wallasey, Wirral. Carried out the due diligence on the site and negotiated the sale contract with the developer’s solicitor.
  • Advised Torus62 following a stock transfer, on Right to Buy and Right to Acquire legislation, and the question of remediation of title issues encountered on dealing with such matters, and assisted in formulating a policy for dealing with the same in the future.
  • Representing Cobalt Housing in an anti-social behaviour possession claim after a fire broke out in the property when the tenant had overloaded the electrical system to support a cannabis growing operation.

Forbes Solicitors

Forbes Solicitors‘ experienced and specialised housing practice aims to cover all bases for its registered provider clientele, with an array of partners each leading focused subteams. Catherine Kennedy leads on large-scale property joint ventures and regeneration work, while Lachlan McLean handles a broad sweep of litigious matters including complex anti-social behaviour cases, disrepair claims and instances of unlawful subletting. Shirley Faragher and Kirsty Varley have particular expertise in anti-social behaviour, while Daniel Milnes works on procurement and governance matters, and employment related issues are handled by Jonathan Holden. Stuart Penswick has now taken on a management role on the firm’s executive board, stepping back from active practice. Amy Stirton left to join Ward Hadaway LLP in January 2023.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Kennedy; Lachlan McLean; Shirley Faragher; Daniel Milnes; Jonathan Holden

Other key lawyers:

Stuart Penswick; Kirsty Varley; Lyndsay Baxter


‘Forbes are involved in a number of schemes where we purchase ‘off the shelf’ Section 106 developments, and where the timescales are short between exchanging contracts with the developer and build completion of the first affordable units. Forbes always work to our timescales for the drafting of the Shared Ownership lease and setting up the conveyancing.’

‘Lindsay Baxter always responds promptly to enquiries and offer solutions to problems without being prompted.’

‘Forbes is a well known legal practice within our social housing sector. Having worked with many other legal practices, I view their success is down to their solid team work and communication. Always reasonable and adaptable to our business needs.’

Key clients

Together Housing

Progress Housing


South Yorkshire Housing Association

Six Town Housing

Salix Homes

Community Gateway

Linconshire Housing Partnership

Mosscare St Vincent’s (MSV)






North Star

Castles & Coasts



Kent Commercial Services

Work highlights

  • Represented Salix Homes on a claim for possession following a tenant’s conviction for sexual offences against children.
  • Advising a housing association in a joint venture town centre development with a local authority, involving land transactions, multiple public funding streams and private funder involvement including advice on subsidy control and procurement.
  • Acting on behalf of a Registered Provider of Social Housing in respect of a multi-million-pound regeneration project of a mixed tenure site.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Regeneration and strategic land projects specialist Suzanne Benson heads up the Manchester arm of Trowers & Hamlins LLP‘s ‘extremely knowledgeable‘ affordable housing team, which assists investors in the housing market as well as housing associations. Richard St John Williams advises on governance matters and has particular charity law expertise. Melanie Comer is highly experienced in the area of housing finance transactions. Lynn James, who has a background in property litigation, is frequently called on to advise on leasehold management. Tom Wainwright, noted for his experience in housing group reorganisations, is also recommended. Janet Winrow retired in March 2023.

Practice head(s):

Suzanne Benson

Other key lawyers:

Richard St John Williams; Melanie Comer; Lynn James; Tom Wainwright; Sam Coward


‘Trowers are approachable and friendly and professional. I feel valued as a customer and do not have to chase or follow up with them on cases. They assign someone to liaise with you and also provide details of the Partner should you require them. The team are extremely knowledgeable and are widely respected within the Sector and this is their key strength.’

‘My key contacts are Suzanne Benson, Lynn James and Sam Coward. All are excellent professionals who provide support, training and advice to us.’

Key clients

Legal and General Affordable Homes

Salix Homes

Mosscare St. Vincent’s and Great Places Housing Group

Places for People Group

Off Site Homes Alliance

Jigsaw Homes Group

Anchor Hanover Group

Golden Lane Housing

Clarion Group

Community Gateway

Work highlights

  • Acted for Salix Homes on a landmark affordable housing development which is a Passivhaus-certified apartment scheme.
  • Advising jointly Great Places Housing Group and Mosscare St. Vincent’s Housing on their proposed merger anticipated to be completed on 1st July 2023.
  • Advising the Off Site Homes Alliance OSHA who want to deliver their 100,000 home new build programme using modern methods of construction.

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP offers a comprehensive social housing practice covering governance, restructuring, funding, litigation, procurement and more. Regulatory expert Jonathan Cox advises on service charges, leasehold management and supported housing. He leads the team jointly with Lucy Worrall, who is highly experienced in handling property matters for housing associations, and housing litigation specialist Suzanne Gregson. The development and regeneration focussed Thomas Starkey is also key. Senior associate Catherine Simpson, while part of the Manchester team, is recommended for her specific expertise on the social housing context in North Wales.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Cox; Lucy Worrall; Suzanne Gregson

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Starkey, Catherine Simpson


‘Professional, good communication and value for money.’

‘Responsive, good advice and consistency. Particularly Lucy Worrall.’

Key clients

The Riverside Group

The Guinness Partnership

Orbit Group

Salix Homes Limited

Trafford Housing Trust Limited

Irwell Valley Housing Association


Clarion Housing Group

Connexus Group

Together Housing Association Limited


Work highlights

  • Advised Trafford Housing Trust Limited on its conversion from a charitable company registered with and regulated by the Charity Commission into a charitable community benefit society as a precursor to it transferring its engagements to its parent, London & Quadrant Housing Trust (L&Q).
  • Acted for Orbit Group Limited in their £22m deal with PA Housing to transfer 180 properties.
  • Acted for Orbit in obtaining an interim and final injunction against a tenant who was causing serious nuisance, alarm, and distress.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Clarke Willmott LLP‘s North West social housing practice is known for its experience in housing management and construction related work, and demonstrates a strong record in conditions claims and possession claims resulting from antisocial behaviour. Practice head Lindsay Felstead regularly advises on cases where the Housing Ombudsman has become involved. Also integral are construction disputes specialist James Driver and Matthew Wilson, who has expertise in asset management and disrepair claims and is recommended for his ‘depth of knowledge‘ in this area. The latter joined the firm from Weightmans LLP and took up partnership in September 2022.

Practice head(s):

Lindsay Felstead

Other key lawyers:

James Driver; Matthew Wilson


‘Clarke Willmott LLP provide a service which is unique by combining a down-to-earth approach with an exceptional level of knowledge and a wealth of experience in social housing. The whole team can be trusted with cases of the utmost complexity. They are able to quickly get to the heart of the issues in a case and explain them to clients in a straightforward manner.’

‘Lindsay Felstead (Partner) stands out as an exceptional litigator. She quickly grapples with the legal issues in a case and distills the strengths and weaknesses to enable her to form a clear strategy on how to achieve her client’s aims. From a client care perspective, she quickly instills confidence and takes away the worry from her clients – they know that they will be in good hands.

Matthew Wilson (Partner) is another outstanding member of the team. Matthew has a wealth of experience in disrepair litigation and displays a depth of knowledge which puts him way ahead of his competitors. From the very outset of a case, he understands the need to gather the necessary evidence to put his client in the strongest possible position at trial, or to negotiate a settlement on the most favourable terms to his client.’

Key clients

Your Housing



Regenda Homes


Homes Plus

Onward Homes


Paragon Asra

Hyde Group

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended and recovered costs on a housing conditions claim for Jigsaw Homes Group worth £25,000.
  • Instructed and advised on a claim that was in proceedings for Homes Plus Limited relating to substantial arrears.
  • Advised, drafted and issued an injunction application, committal proceedings and a claim for possession representing (in house advocacy) Regenda Limited to recover possession of a property in a mix tenure scheme as a result of continued anti-social behaviour.

Clyde & Co

Clyde & Co handles a range of matters in the social housing space, including governance, procurement, acquisitions and disrepair litigation. Stephen Lintott, a specialist in advising on housing projects, leads the team jointly with senior associate Matthew Lowry, who has strong advocacy experience and specialises in cases involving disrepair, including those incorporating a possession element due to excessive rent arrears. Also key are Tessa Leonard, who works on both commercial and residential development and regeneration projects, and Nouman Bhatty, who joined the firm from Salehs LLP in early 2022.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Lintott; Matthew Lowry

Other key lawyers:

Tessa Leonard; Nouman Bhatty


‘The individuals that are assigned the cases have a great deal of knowledge and capabilities, and their processes enable us to map the claim and move these claims forward with a higher degree of certainty’

‘The individual caseworkers have a good degree of knowledge and are able to put this knowledge to practice in a very pragmatic way that the “real world scenarios” require.’


Key clients

Salboy Limited

Redwaters (Ripponden) Ltd

Hexagon Housing

Halton Housing

Places for People Group

Peaks & Plains Housing Trust

Notting Hill Genesis

Clarion Housing Group

Sanctuary Housing Group

Phoenix Community Housing Group

Lancaster City Council

Greatwell Homes

Grwp Cynefin

Leeds Federated Housing Association

Ross Walk

Maynard Housing Association

Gloucester City Homes

Accord Housing

Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP is recommended for providing ‘a service which is focused on achieving the client’s objectives‘. The firm acts for numerous registered providers including Riverside, Midland Heart and the Guinness Partnership, regularly assisting with matters ranging from housing litigation to employment work and financing. ‘Astute and pragmatic‘ litigator Sian Evans leads the team, supported by local authorities expert Lee Rogers. Matthew Wilson moved to Clarke Willmott LLP.

Practice head(s):

Sian Evans

Other key lawyers:

Lee Rogers; Luke Millington


‘Whilst being a heavy hitting practice which attracts a number of high profile clients, they have a down to earth approach which puts the client at the heart of a case. No matter how big or small the case, they will provide a service which is focused on achieving the client’s objectives, whether that is best served through negotiation or litigation.’

‘Sian Evans (Partner) is as an exceptional litigator. She is astute and pragmatic and understands the need to ensure that litigation is conducted proportionately.’

‘Clear advice balancing risk and commercial appetite. Someone is always available to talk to.’

‘Lee Rogers and Luke Millington have both taken time to understand our organisation and how we work. They provide clear advice in a timely manner and are both approachable and responsive.’


Key clients

Midland Heart


Clarion Housing Group

Magenta Living

Sanctuary Housing



The Guinness Partnership


Harbour Light Assisted Living

Capsticks LLP

Capsticks LLP regularly acts for registered providers and local authorities, advising on housing and leasehold management, disrepair claims, anti-social behaviour and more. The firm also provides in house surveyor reports. The practice is led by Paul Lloyd, who has great experience in the housing field, and estate regeneration specialist Jennifer Hankinson. At associate level, Natalie Hurst is highly recommended, being described by clients as ‘organised, efficient, open, hard-working‘ and ‘analytical‘. National head of housing management Michael Owen supports the team.

Practice head(s):

Michael Owen; Paul Lloyd; Jennifer Hankinson

Other key lawyers:

Natalie Hurst; Laura Waby; Karen Smith; Tom Bradbury


‘The team are open, fair and honest. Quick to advise and offer solutions, reliable and hardworking. They are all efficient and offer value for money and cost savings where possible. I have used other solicitors in the past and it certainly emphasises the high quality services provided by the Capsticks Team I work with. I would highly recommend!!’

‘I would like to highlight how excellent Natalie Hurst is at her job. She is organised, efficient, open, hardworking, analytical and definitely goes over and above her role as associate.’

‘I have found that the team are professional in all matters, keep to arrangements and offer practical advice. I have never had any concerns over the advice provided.’

‘Natalie Hurst, is friendly and seems genuinely care about supporting us. They return emails / calls promptly and understand our needs.’

‘Generally, very adept at housing law. From a barrister’s point of view, instructions are always clear, solicitors and paralegals are always very accessible. A very reliable team.’

‘Natalie Hurst, Laura Waby, Karen Smith – very skilled and knowledgable about housing law. Very easy to contact.’

Tom Bradbury – extremely knowledgable and skilled at handling anti-social behaviour of all types.’

Key clients

ForHousing Limited

Jigsaw Homes Tameside

One Manchester

Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing

Muir Group Housing Association

Habinteg Housing Association

South Lakes Housing

Bolton at Home Limited

One Vision Housing

South Liverpool Homes

Work highlights

  • Acting for Forhousing; advising and representing clients on the interaction of Housing Law and Practice with the Equality Act, Mental Health Act and Civil Procedure.
  • Working with One Vision Housing in dealing with disrepair litigation claims.

MSB Solicitors Ltd

MSB Solicitors, recommended for its handling of ‘highly complex cases often involving complex mental health issues‘, is active on both contentious matters and regeneration and development work. The firm has a holistic offering for the housing sector with specific sub teams. Jointly, the practice is headed by disrepair specialist and experienced litigator Louise Murphy, the anti-social behaviour and leasehold focussed Andrew Moore, market rents expert Phillip Coburn and Andrew Fairman, who handles compliance and building safety work.

Practice head(s):

Louise Murphy; Andy Moore; Phillip Coburn; Andrew Fairman

Other key lawyers:

Amy Tagoe


‘MSB have a great team of solicitors and support staff who know each others strengths and are able to advise quickly as to who is best placed to provide advice on short notice. The breadth of knowledge within the team is formidable and despite growing in size over the years, they have retained a client centred approach with clients which makes them feel comfortable and important.’

‘Louise Murphy demonstrates exceptional leadership and training skills, as well as significant practice knowledge. She knows her team members well and recently recommended one of her colleagues to me for an urgent written advice, which was turned around within just a few hours of instruction, despite the complexity.’

Louise Murphy – going the extra mile to ensure that all options, even the obscure ones, have been considered when providing her advice.’

Phil Coburn demonstrates exceptional knowledge in respect of market rents and home loss payments. His turn around time for written advice is excellent and the quality and detail of such advice is high.’

‘MSB really understand all things social housing. Particularly with highly complex cases often involving complex mental health issues we have found them to be the go to solicitors for sounds advice.’

‘Louise Murphy Andy Moore Both of these individuals have stand out qualities, they are always approachable, patient, extremely knowledgeable . There are no circumstances that have left us feeling as though we haven’t got the right advice. They are not just about their legal services though, they have sponsored various community events that have taken place , so offer invaluable social impact benefits to our communities.’

‘MSB’s strengths are the extra mile they give to us. The advice and professionalism on all our cases is invaluable to our organization. The team at MSB are very professional with all our cases, billing is very accurate and on delivered in a timely manner.’

‘Louise and her team conduct themselves in a manner that’s both professional and at the same time treat the client as friends. This makes dealing with MSB easy and we know that the advice that is given is the best for us’.