Hall Of Fame

Social housing in Scotland

Harper Macleod LLP

Harper Macleod LLP‘s extensive roster of registered social landlords (RSLs), public and private sector bodies is reflective of the team’s broad expertise in the social housing sector. Edinburgh-based co-head Derek Hogg often takes the lead on governance, regulatory, constitutional, finance and property funding matters, an area in which Collette Miller further excels. Fellow co-head James McMorrow (based in Glasgow) is the main contact for corporate, commercial and public procurement issues. Typical work for the firm’s infrastructure and projects head, Euan Pirie, includes housing developments with a construction angle.

Practice head(s):

Derek Hogg; James McMorrow

Other key lawyers:

Euan Pirie; David McIndoe; Collette Miller


‘The team has an excellent reputation for delivering a high level of service and for the in-depth knowledge and experience they have of the Scottish housing sector, over a range of areas including regulation, governance, finance and procurement.’

‘They are undoubtedly the market leader in Scotland for advising housing associations.’

‘Derek Hogg is a recognised industry expert in the regulation of housing associations. He demonstrates a high level of skill in terms of the advice he gives but also is very pragmatic in his assessments.’

Key clients

Wheatley Housing Group

Link Group

Kingdom Housing Association

Caledonia Housing Association

Cairn Housing Association

GB Social Housing PLC

Scottish Government

West of Scotland Housing Association

Spire View Housing Association

Fife Council

Cunninghame Housing Association

Work highlights

  • Advised Cunninghame Housing Association on the acquisition of a site in Kilmarnock and the negotiation of a contract for the erection of 101 modular homes.
  • Advised Cairn, Caledonia, West of Scotland HAs, Wheatley Group, and Blackwood Homes and Care on registered social landlord constitutional partnerships undertaken in Scotland during the period, involving the transfer of 3,000 homes.
  • Advised Caledonia HA on a £75m sustainable private placement undertaken by a Scottish registered social landlord, with embedded ESG and sustainability targets.

T C Young

T C Young’s social housing division attracts a comprehensive list of registered social landlords for its expertise in development, governance, finance, transactional and procurement matters, the latter is an area of particular strength for Lauren Little. With managing partner Andrew Cowan and Alastair McKendrick, the team further excels in the contentious sphere where recent instructions include anti-social behaviour, debt recovery and contractual disputes. Cowan heads up the practice from Glasgow alongside Alison Brynes, who takes the lead on regulatory and factoring issues. Other recommended individuals include housing and residential tenancy expert Jim Bauld, consultant Len Freedman, head of the firm’s Edinburgh team, Christine Stuart, and Eileen Barr.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Cowan; Alison Brynes

Other key lawyers:

Jim Bauld; Lauren Little; Alastair McKendrick; Christine Stuart; Len Freedman; Eileen Barr


‘The team are knowledgeable, helpful, friendly and approachable.’

‘Alastair McKendrick’s knowledge and expertise in the sector is beneficial. He is readily available and always happy to help.’

‘We have used TC Young for many years and always found then to have a strong team of solicitors with the varied expertise required by our business.’

Key clients

Argyll Community HA

Home Group

Clyde Valley Group

Riverside Scotland

Govanhill HA

Places for People/Places for People Scotland

Link Group

Southside HA

Scottish Federation of Housing Associations

New Gorbals HA

Work highlights

  • Prepared a briefing note for Scottish Federation of Housing Association members in relation to Freedom of Information consultations, meeting to discuss the consultations with members and assisting the client in formulating a response.
  • Advised Trust HA on a £22m bond finance loan agreement bLEND, a subsidiary of The Housing Finance Corporation.
  • Advised New Gorbals HA on their original construction contract following the acquisition of a site from the local authority, protecting their interests by obtaining collateral warranties from the design team and subcontractors, performance guarantees and site investigation reports.

BTO Solicitors LLP

With the employment-focused Caroline Carr, BTO Solicitors LLP is geared to advise clients, most of whom are housing associations such as RSLs, on sensitive management, staffing and governance issues. Commercial litigator Grant Hunter also handles disputes arising out of major development projects and tenement refurbishment programmes, among other contentious issues. Carr and Hunter co-head the practice with Karen Brodie, who takes the lead on commercial conveyancing matters. Other recommended individuals include senior associates Marion Davis and Douglas Strang.

Practice head(s):

Grant Hunter; Caroline Carr; Karen Brodie

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy Glen; Lynn Richmond; Fraser Hopkins; Marion Davis; Douglas Strang


‘Over a number of years they have provided excellent support and advice, displaying a depth of knowledge and practical experience which has been invaluable to us.’

‘Karen Brodie is often engaged in delivering time sensitive pieces of work. Going into any new project, we are always confident that in working with Karen, all our expectations of service will be met and usually exceeded.’

‘They are always on hand if there are questions and very clear in their help and direction.’

‘Marion Davis provided clear information on the updating of our Articles of Association, while also attending board meetings.  She then went on to do training on what it meant to be a trustee of the organisation. We also worked with Caroline Carr on the HR issues which was sorted out without any problems.’

Key clients

Kingdom Housing Association

Grampian Housing Association

Loreburn Housing Association

Link Group

SHARE: Scottish Housing Associations Resources for Education

Langstane Housing Association

ng homes – trading name of North Glasgow Housing Association

Queens Cross Housing Association

Key Housing Association and its subsidiary Community Lifestyles

Govan Housing Association

Whiteinch & Scotstoun Housing Association

Milnbank Housing Association

Partick Housing Association

Cunninghame Housing Association

Hillhead Housing Association 2000

Tollcross Housing Association

Argyll Community Housing Association

Oak Tree Housing Association

Clyde Valley Housing Association

Cathcart & District Housing Association

Fair Work Convention

Pineview Housing Association

Berwickshire Housing Association

Blairtummock Housing Association

Craigdale Housing Association

Lanarkshire Housing Association

Parkhead Housing Association

Provanhall Housing Association

Ruchazie Housing Association

Shettleston Housing Association

Spire View Housing Association

Southside Housing Association

Copperworks Housing Association

The Richmond Fellowship Scotland

Work highlights

  • Assisting Partick Housing Association with a judicial review as well as construction, employment, property and governance issues.
  • Providing Scottish Housing Associations Resources for Education with constitutional and governance advice.
  • Successfully defending Tollcross Housing Association in an appeal by a tenant to the Sheriff Principal.

Burness Paull LLP

With a specialism in sales, acquisitions and developments, Burness Paull LLP‘s social housing group is a regular port of call to developers alongside social and affordable housing providers, where it often works closely with the firm’s public law and regulatory colleagues. Typical instructions include governance, finance, construction, transactional and procurement matters. Commercial real estate expert Peter Chambers (Edinburgh) heads up the practice, which includes newly promoted partner Louise Chambers and senior associate David Antonelli, both of whom further handle the sale and development of land.

Practice head(s):

Peter Chambers

Other key lawyers:

Louise Chambers; Ruth McNaught; David Antonelli


‘The team has an excellent reputation for delivering a high level of service and for the in-depth knowledge and experience they have of the Scottish housing sector and environment, over a range of areas from property acquisition to project assembly and security work to funding and finance.’

‘Peter Chambers is a recognised industry expert in the property and land acquisition sector.’

‘Peter Chambers has extensive experience in complex land transactions and the construction sector making him ideally placed to advise on anything from more conventional property deals to innovative and specialist deals.’

‘David Antonelli has extensive expertise in property and site acquisitions, construction contracts, certificate of title provision and security charging. He is attentive, reliable, helpful and a pleasure to work with because of the calm and confident way in which he operates.’

‘Leading housebuilding firm in Scotland. They provide a comprehensive service with detailed market knowledge.’

‘Louise Chambers is extremely personable and never ruffled. She is dogged and works very hard to get transactions completed.’

Key clients

Sanctuary Housing Association

Scottish Futures Trust Investment Limited

Cruden Group

Springfield Properties plc

Hillcrest Housing Association Limited

Link Group Limited

Miller Homes Limited

Castlehill Housing Association Limited

First Endeavour LLP

Taylor Wimpey UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Link Group Limited on a financing transaction, which involved reviewing and certifying title to the properties to be allocated under the security documentation.
  • Advised Buccleuch Property and Cruden Homes (East) on the redevelopment of the major Edinburgh City Centre Fountainbridge site, which involved the acquisition, development and funding of the site.
  • Advised Hillcrest Homes (Scotlland) Limited on the purchase of a development site at Straik Road, Westhill with linked development agreement for the construction of 63 affordable units.


Shoosmiths‘ social housing expertise translates into regular instructions from registered social landlords, housebuilders, landowners and government-backed property funds and builds on the team’s specialism in the mid-market rent model. Practice head Janette Speed and Lauren Miller, who was promoted to partner in May 2022, often take the lead on non-contentious matters, including the sale, acquisition and development of various sites, while, in collaboration with the firm’s commercial litigators, the team also handles contentious mandates such as title issues and debt recovery.

Practice head(s):

Janette Speed

Other key lawyers:

Sheelagh Cooley; Lauren Miller; Gillian Ralph; Geraint Hughes

Key clients

Robertson Living Limited

PFP Capital Fund

Bellway Homes Limited

Dunbar Golf Club

Housing Growth Partnership

Work highlights

  • Advised Robertson Living Limited on the development and sale of 13 affordable housing units to Places for People at a site at The Jewel, Fort Kinnaird, Edinburgh, structured on a golden brick basis.
  • Advised Robertson Living Limited on the development and sale of 28 affordable housing units to Places for People at a site at Hunter Road, Livingston, structured on a golden brick basis.
  • Advised Housing Growth Partnership on their investment in Scotia Homes (Brechin) Limited.

Brodies LLP

With real estate finance expert Chris Dun heading Brodies LLP‘s social housing practice, clients, including housing associations, developers, contractors, local councils and lenders, benefit from his expertise in housing finance. Elsewhere, the team is geared to handle development, governance and regulatory matters, public law specialist Jackie McGuire is the main contact in the latter space. Legal director and experienced litigator Fiona McLeod is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Chris Dun

Other key lawyers:

Jackie McGuire; Alasdair Fleming; Fiona McLeod; Jenna Monteith


‘Depth of knowledge and experience.’

‘Excellent team that is quick to respond to any issue.’

‘Jenna Monteith is highly able and really understands how the sector works.’

‘The team at Brodies have a wide range of skills and a reputation for reliable advice across the wide spectrum of social housing issues. They are innovative in their thinking and offer prompt, personable and exceptionally professional tailored advice in a timely fashion.’

‘Fiona McLeod has an excellent reputation in the social housing sector. She has delivered clear and concise advice around our compliance and tenancy management.’

‘Fiona McLeod is personable and professional at all times.’

‘Straight-forward communication with pragmatic advice provided, working collaboratively to ensure all parties are in agreement.’

‘Chris Dun is the most experienced and capable lawyer on social housing banking matters in Scotland.’

Key clients

The Wheatley Housing Group

Hillcrest Homes

River Clyde Homes

Kingdom Housing Association Limited

Link Group Limited

LAR Housing Trust

Shettleston Housing Association

Scottish Housing Regulator

Stirling Council

City of Edinburgh Council

Work highlights

  • Advising the Scottish Housing Regulator as well as a number of registered social landlords on the implications of the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) Act 2022, which allows ministers to freeze rent increases and impose a moratorium on evictions in certain circumstances.
  • Advised Cairngorms Business Partnership Limited on the development of an innovative guarantee model designed to support the delivery of new affordable housing targeting employees in the Cairngorm area.
  • Acted for The Royal Bank of Scotland plc in connection with the provision of increased loan facilities of £117m to River Clyde Homes, including long term loan and revolving credit facilities.

Thorntons Law LLP

Drawing on its multidisciplinary approach, Thorntons Law LLP is able to provide registered social landlords with advice on land and stock acquisitions, construction contracts, housing management, data protection, governance and employment-related matters, among others. Five Dundee-based partners head up the practice: David Milne, Chris Allan, Noele McClelland, Loretta Maxfield and Gillian Buchanan.

Practice head(s):

David Milne; Chris Allan; Noele McClelland; Loretta Maxfield; Gillian Buchanan

Other key lawyers:

Kyle Moir; Graham Wilson; Christina Baillie


‘They have a team with a wealth of knowledge and experience that deal with affordable housing on a day-to-day basis.’

‘Everything is explained is simple terminology. They take on and lead our acquisitions and have personnel that input construction law so can offer a fully rounded approach.’

‘Very approachable and able to explain the risks so you can make informed decisions. I am made aware of the potential impacts and therefore can make the correct decision on behalf of my organisation.

Key clients

Positive Steps

Angus Housing Association Limited

Cullross Limited

GMC Ventures Limited

Hillcrest Homes (Scotland) Limited

Caledonia Housing Association Ltd

Kingdom Housing Association Ltd

Abertay Housing Association Limited

Wheatley Housing Group Limited

Bield Housing & Care

Work highlights

  • Advising Cullross Group on the acquisition and subsequent sale of a brownfield development site for social housing.
  • Advised Hillcrest Group on the assumption of an existing charity which operated a regulated care home known as Ferry House Care Home.
  • Advised Positive Steps – a charity dedicated to promoting the health and wellbeing of vulnerable adults – on the purchase of a portfolio of 30 flats used for accomodation.