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Social housing in South East


Housing management specialists Batchelors have particular expertise in dealing with high-profile and complex matters relating to anti-social behaviour, tenancy fraud, leasehold & shared ownership and tenancy review. The team are also specialists in property and development, specifically dealing with high-value acquisition work, regulation of agreements, and all matters relating to the development of affordable housing. Thaine Wilson and Andrew Harmer jointly lead the practice. Gavinder Ryait is the name to note for high profile anti-social behaviour cases.

Other key lawyers:

David Gethin


Very supportive and always willing to assist with the most complex cases, very supportive in dealing with customers and stakeholder who may not necessarily understand the parameters we work in.

Both Thaine Wilson and Gavinder Ryait are always there when we need them.

David Gethin is very professional and gives good advice.

Batchelors has been a leading social housing firm for many years, and deservedly so. Their client care is second to none, and they have some excellent team members, and a consistent and impressive track record.

Thaine Wilson is loved by clients – a wonderful lawyer and great team leader. Ever reliable and a delight to work with. Top ranking every time. Gavinder Ryait often goes under the radar but she is a hard-working and very effective lawyer who achieves great results. Also top ranking. The team, especially the two above, demonstrate consistent high quality in their work and know the subject so well.

Batchelors is a cut above the rest. The team of solicitors are the most human people to work with. Each member of the team I have interacted with have been professional and extremely supportive. No case or query is too simple or complex to go to them for advice. The team of solicitors know how to make you feel like you are their only client.

Gavinder Ryait’s professionalism, accessibility and subject knowledge is unsurpassed. Gavinder’s approach to me as a client is firmly customer focused in how she delivers her legal services. Her aim is to appease but always offering pragmatic solutions to my cases which often means great value for money. She is creative, imaginative and solution orientated. She is the only solicitor I have ever worked with who never misleads me in the interest of financial gain. She is respectful, open, and transparent and knows how to put her client at ease. She has excellent connections with top barristers in the field and tailors their services to suit our cases. This is a brilliant strategy which always gets the right results. Without a doubt I would not hesitate and have recommended Gavinder to others in the industry.’

Key clients

Hexagon Housing Association

London & Quadrant Housing Trust


St Mungo’s

Octavia Housing

Wandle Housing

The Hyde Group

Swan Housing Association

Paragon Asra Housing

Partners for Improvement in Islington

Work highlights

  • Advised and assisted a large London based registered housing provider in recovering possession of five properties where the tenants had colluded with a former disgraced housing officer to be fraudulently granted ‘lifetime’ assured tenancies in return for cash.
  • Advised and assisted a large London based registered housing provider in a complex property mixed development package deal which was worth £21m.
  • Addressed the conduct of a leaseholder engaged in serious anti-social behaviour towards other residents and contractors within the building including assault arising out of alcohol addiction.

Capsticks LLP

Capsticks LLP, which specialises in health and housing, has recently seen significant growth in leasehold litigation. The team has particular expertise in leasehold management as well as asset management and development; the wider firm has continued to invest in IT, recently acquiring AI software to review key terms of leases and title documents, streamlining its service for clients. Michael Owen leads the housing management side of the practice while Spencer Vella Sultana is the head of the housing and regeneration team.

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Skinner; Clive Adams


Capsticks are housing experts and have provided us with first class advice and support for a number of housing issues, in particular ASB. We have had a number of complex cases which Capsticks have helped us bring to successful resolutions through the court process.

We have worked closely with Michael Owen and his team in particular Chris Skinner. Having an in-house barrister is a real benefit for us and we have always found the team helpful and supportive of our business needs.

With Capsticks you are afforded the highest quality of service, tailored to your organisational need. The professionalism of this team is outstanding. I would recommend Capsticks to anyone looking for a professional, efficient, cost-effective service.

Mike Owen is a leader in this field. He is knowledgeable, professional and understands the needs of his customers. He ensures that his team provides a quality service which is tailored to his customers needs and requirements. We have only used Capsticks for our ASB cases since 2006, as there is nothing to compare with their service, values and professionalism.

In-depth understanding of the social housing sector and the requirements of us as clients. Their commercial astuteness and sector understanding works well well helping to make decisions around assets and tenure types. It also provides us with assurance that any advice received is in the best interest of our business.

The team that deal with our open market sales provide a personable service throughout the transaction, celebrate success with us as well as provide alternative options and solutions to more complex issues that may come to light.

Key clients


Vivid Homes

Salvation Army

South Holland District Council

Raven Housing Trust

GreenSquare Homes

Oriel Housing


Work highlights

  • Successfully represented LiveWest in Court of Appeal on challenge to fixed term tenancy starter provisions.
  • Developed a national partnership project to tackle the complex issue of hoarding.
  • Acquired part of a large strategic site for the provision of new affordable housing and infrastructure.

Perrin Myddleton

The social housing department at Harpenden-based firm Perrin Myddleton provides expertise in development site acquisitions, shared ownership sales and dispute resolution. The firm is a 'go-to' for many housing associations who have been assisted in setting up subsidiaries, special purpose vehicles and shared ownership disposals. Joint practice head Fred Perrin has over 40 years' experience in social housing development acquisitions alongside Sanjeev Shah, who is experienced in all aspects of land purchase, site assembly and acquisition and development funding. Simon Braun is the name to note for anti-social behaviour work.

Other key lawyers:

Paul Dutch


They provide a personal service with a team of very professional and experienced staff. They are knowledgeable in all areas of housing delivery and provide a high level of service throughout. Communication throughout any project is excellent and they understand the needs of the business and what we need to achieve. All staff are friendly, approachable and able to talk through complex legal issues in a way which is easy to understand and removes the jargon.

This practice is unique because of the personal attention all of the solicitors give. All solicitors at this practice pick up their phones to not only discuss any problems, but they also answer their phones and call you back. They are efficient in all of their responses – his practice is the only legal practice I have worked with where I have never felt frustrated and feel that they provide an excellent customer experience. The customer matters to Perrins.

They are all client focused – the customer service is second to none and they do not write unnecessary letters or emails to push the cost up.

Key clients

Accent Housing

B3 Living

Grand Union Housing Group

Longhurst Group

Luton Community Housing Trust Limited trading as Squared

Origin Housing

Settle Group

Storey Properties

Thrive Homes

Watford Community Housing Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised GUHG on a circa £21m development of a  93-unit extra care housing scheme for the over 55s.
  • Advised B3 Living on the redevelopment of 74 semi derelict garage sites to be developed for 100% additional affordable social housing, within a very tight deadline in order to access grant funding.
  • Advising a registered provider in respect of public sector equality duty (as set out in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010) where the Equality and Human Rights commission is intervening in the case.

Blake Morgan LLP

Blake Morgan LLP has developed a reputation for its work on the acquisition, development and disposals of properties and sites for housing associations, also advising on construction and planning matters. Department head Sean Palka acts primarily for residential developers, handloing initial acquisitions all the way through to final plot sales. Dan Curtis leads the residential development group and specialises in real estate with particular expertise in the development for care home providers as well as acting for house builders and land owners.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Curtis; Sean Palka

Other key lawyers:

Chris Carr


The team are always accessible and willing to assist and help wherever needed. They’re happy to take calls whenever necessary and always respond to emails in a timely manner. It may seem a simple thing to do but not all practices are either capable or prepared to do it. Sometimes, it’s the little things that make a big difference.

Chris Carr offers a wealth of experience and brings a “can do” attitude to things. Having regular points of contact helps both us and our clients.

Key clients

Radian Group

Aster Group

Network Housing Association

Winchester Housing Trust

Agudas Israel Housing Association

Richmond Housing Partnership

Clarke Willmott LLP

Clarke Willmott LLP's Southampton-based social housing practice has a particularly strong housing management focus, offering a full range of services in this area. Lindsay Felstead leads the national group and undertakes her own advocacy including on anti-social behaviour injunctions, possessions claims, committal proceedings and litigation involving vexatious complainants. Kate Silverman is the name to note for social housing development, with experience in joint venture regeneration and complex development.

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Orchard


The team at Clarke Willmott are very responsive to any queries or requests we have, are extremely personable and able to put complex legal processes into simple terms. I feel that the advice we get from them empowers our housing officers to learn and to take on more simple legal processes for themselves going forward.

The people we work with at Clarke Willmott are very personable, generous with their time and advice and I feel always give the best practical advice. Some practices I have worked with in the past have almost been “too legal.” I’ve always found that Clarke Willmott will give not only advice to “the letter of the law” but also supplementary advice that helps us to weigh up the pros and cons in our particular circumstances as to the best practical step forward, fully apprised of any associated risks.’

‘I have always found Sarah Orchard to be very knowledgeable, responsive and friendly. She has a great approach when working with us and we appreciate this very much.

Key clients

Clarion Housing Group

Sovereign Housing Association

Lewisham Homes

Saxon Weald Homes

Yarlington Housing Group

Radian Group

Merlin Housing Association

Saxon Weald

Westward Housing Group

Ocean Housing Group

United Communities

LiveWest Homes

Moat Homes


Aster Group

Newlon Housing Trust

Origin Housing

Phoenix Community Housing Association

Greatwell Homes

English Rural

GreenSquare Group

Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association

Moat Homes

Octavia Housing

Southdown Housing Association

London and Quadrant Housing Trust

Work highlights

  • Obtained a without notice injunction in respect of anti-social behaviour which included terms removing the perpetrator from a property.
  • Defended a claim for relief from forfeiture of residential premises to the value of circa £300,000.
  • Advised our client on the acquisition of a site for the construction of 145 affordable houses.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Duncan Lewis Solicitors covers a wide range of social housing matters, including neighbourhood disputes against local authorities, landlord and tenant matters and judicial reviews. The department also has a presence in county court possession duty schemes, enabling the team to defend tenants in possession and unlawful eviction cases, while it has also been developing niche expertise in handling Equality Act defence work. Manjinder Kaur Atwal leads the practice, with considerable experience handling a variety of claims cases from small claims to multi-track; she also undertakes her own advocacy in court and at tribunals.

Practice head(s):

Manjinder Kaur Atwal

Other key lawyers:

Adrian Smith


The team is committed to represent very vulnerable clients who have complex and challenging needs. The team is deeply committed and fearless in the defence and representation of its clients. It is a pleasure to work with them.

Duncan Lewis provide a thorough, thoughtful and detailed service for their clients, many of whom are vulnerable. They work hard to get the best results for their clients and have a great record in keeping tenants in their properties, even in difficult circumstances and even under the restraints of legal aid.

Manjinder Kaur Atwal is dedicated and does everything in her power for her clients.

Large and experienced team.

Duncan Lewis is a well-established and well-known firm, providing great service to vulnerable people dealing with housing disputes.

Adrian Smith is always willing to tackle novel and difficult technical points, while keeping a sharp focus on the client’s objectives.

Work highlights

  • Advised an assured tenant on defending a possession claim sought by a development company who acquired a plot of land where the client resided.
  • Representing a client at Court of Appeal concerning the important point of principle about the interrelationship between the PSED and the court’s discretion to make a possession order.
  • Challenging the security of tenure on behalf of a client.

Judge & Priestley LLP

Judge & Priestley LLP has extensive experience in the social housing sector within London and the South East. The team acts for a range of registered social landlords and charities, advising on shared ownership leases right through to deeds of easements and auction sale. The department also deals with right to acquire, right to buy, social homebuy and all ancillary matters which come hand in hand with these instructions. Nitika Singh leads the housing management practice and carries out the whole breadth of work, with a particular focus on complex housing and property litigation. Mark Oakley is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Nitika Singh

Other key lawyers:

Mark Oakley; Suki Dhoopher


Judge & Priestley are a standout firm delivering an excellent and cost-effective service for local authorities in London. They are efficient and diligent and go the extra-mile to fight for the best outcome for their clients. In particular, the housing team has good relationships with the local authority in-house clients and delivers well on the instructions. The housing team is ambitious and is fast-developing their expertise in defending local authorities in Environmental Protection Act 1990 cases.

Suki Dhoopher is an excellent lawyer and negotiator in all aspects of housing law. She is pragmatic, has good judgement and superb relationships with her clients. She is engaged, prompt and always has her clients’ best interest at the forefront of her mind.

Key clients

London Borough Southwark

Barnet Homes

London Borough of Havering

London Borough of Southwark

London Borough of Lambeth

London Borough of Camden

Wandle Homes

Birmingham City Council

Open Door Homes

Devon Mansions

Browning E.M.A.


Tower Hamlets Homes

Phoenix Community Housing

Work highlights

  • Representing a client in a claim for possession – the matter proceeded to trial.
  • Representing a client on a matter relating to extensive disrepair claim.
  • Defending an EPA claim.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP supports more than 70 housing providers in the social housing sector. The team is well known for its large home ownership practice, while the social housing securitisation team provides a comprehensive service in respect of securing loans, bond issues and private placements. Linda Storey leads the social housing team and has over 20 years' experience advising housing providers on acquisitions, disposals, associated planning agreements, home ownership transactions and lease extensions. Senior associate Charlotte D’Avola, who leads the social housing securitisation and portfolio team, specialises in large scale securitisation transactions and a variety of portfolio asset management and commercial property matters.

Practice head(s):

Linda Storey

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte D’Avola


Pennington Manches Cooper is one of our go-to firms on the legal framework we use. The service provided from the outset is always within the timeframes we set and the advice we receive is clear; they manage our transactions really well.

Linda Storey gives sound advice and is proactive in finding solutions. She leads a great team.

Great knowledge base and always able to provide a full, detailed and – most importantly – relevant response to anything that may arise.

Charlotte D’Avola stands out as being willing to help on many different fronts – she has an encyclopaedic knowledge that has come in use several times.

Key clients

Accent Group

Advance Housing & Support

Arhag Housing Association

Bournemouth Council


Bromford Housing Group


Citystyle Living

Coastline Housing

Flagship Housing Group

Heylo Housing

Hightown Housing

Inquilab Housing Association

Local Space

London and Quadrant Housing Group

Metropolitan Thames Valley

Newlon Housing Trust


One Housing Group

Paragon Asra Housing


Phoenix Community Housing


Richmond Housing Partnership

Sage Housing


Saxon Weald

Southern Housing Group

Sovereign Housing Association

VIVID Housing

Wandle Housing Association

White Horse Housing Association

Work highlights

  • Acting for Peabody on site set-ups on its new build developments and thereafter advising on its rollout of shared ownership and open market sales.
  • Advised Inquilab on the acquisition of a tenanted block of flats in Slough, Berkshire from a G15 housing association.
  • Acting for Flagship on a potential merger with another housing association having housing stock of over 3000 dwellings.


EMW Law LLP's social housing team specialises in property development and acquisitions, planning, conveyancing and plot sales for housing associations. As well as the core property development offering, the team also includes a dedicated plot sales team who have the capacity and structure to deal with volume plot sales. They currently act for a number of residential developers and housing associations in connection with the disposal of market sale properties, shared ownership sales, interim and final staircasing, right to buy and right to acquire, help to buy and asset sales. Caroline Hayward leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Hayward

Key clients

Grand Union Housing Group

Grand Union Homes

Howard Cottage Housing Association

Cottsway Housing Association

Cottsway 2

Milton Keynes YMCA


Optimis Estates

Vistry Homes

Brampton Valley Homes

Work highlights

  • Advised on the redevelopment of an existing YMCA supported living accommodation in Central Milton Keynes to develop a new YMCA with 195 new bedroom units, range of social enterprises and 260 market sale units.
  • Advised on an option agreement for the purchase of a site for 24 market and affordable dwellings.
  • Acting in the acquisition of 31 turnkey units in a major deal (both financially and in terms of PR) for the client, taking 18 months as the developer was Scottish undertaking their first English development.