Hall Of Fame

Social housing in Yorkshire And The Humber

Bevan Brittan LLP

Strong relationships with major housing associations allow Bevan Brittan LLP to excel in advising on joint venture development and regeneration schemes, site acquisitions, and corporate matters. Beyond its list of standout regional and national clients including Yorkshire Housing and Karbon Homes, the team is also instructed by a growing number of for-profit providers such as Auxesia Homes. The Leeds-based practice is led by property development and acquisitions expert Richard Stirk. Julie Cowan-Clark stands out for her ability to assist with joint ventures and S106 agreements, and John Cox, who frequently acts for clients in contentious matters, is also highly recommended.

Practice head(s):

Richard Stirk

Other key lawyers:

Julie Cowan-Clark; John Cox


‘Bevan Brittan are a friendly and efficient firm. My team have developed a great relationship with them in recent years.’

‘John Cox has always been a tremendous colleague. His expert knowledge, combined with practical and pragmatic thinking, places him at the top of the list whenever I need legal resources or assistance.’

‘Bevan Brittan are clear, concise and knowledgeable. They are genuinely helpful.’

‘I know I can pick up the phone to John Cox at any time, and he will do his best to assist. Where I have had high priority cases, he treats them as such. This is much appreciated!’

‘The team are very knowledgeable about the social housing sector and would go the extra mile to ensure legals are completed so as not to delay projects.’

‘I’ve been working with colleagues at Bevan Brittan for many years and found them to be very knowledgeable, supportive and efficient. Our lead contact Richard Stirk is a mine of information and supports the association very well and when Richard requires more alternative specialist support, he’s able to reach out and obtain the relevant from colleagues who specialise in the relevant field.’

‘Richard Stirk and the team are very knowledgeable and highly skilled professionals who support the association very effectively. Richard is always very supportive and willing to help to resolve difficult situations. Richard has a wealth of expertise and a really good manner, which gives confidence to our staff and allows us to make difficult decisions with added certainty.’

Key clients

54 North Homes Limited

Auxesia Homes Limited

Broadacres Housing Association Limited

Connect Housing Association Limited

Habinteg Housing Association Limited

Karbon Homes Limited

Together Housing Association Limited

Unity Housing Association Limited

Yorkshire Housing Limited

Your Housing Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Karbon Homes and its subsidiary on the acquisition of a parcel of land on a complex, locally strategic residential development site, including advising on complex planning and overage obligations, complex title issues, and on the relation of Strategic Partnership Grant obligations to the deal structure and planning position.
  • Advised Together Commercial Limited and Together Housing Association Limited in relation to a contractual joint venture with Countryside Properties UK Limited and Blackburn Council in relation to the regeneration of an area in Blackburn near Fishmoor Road.
  • Advised Together Housiung Association on security charging, including a pre-charging/security “tidy up”, assessing titles of over 2,000 units with potential issues to bring the units up to standard and prepare them for future charging exercises.

Devonshires Solicitors LLP

Devonshires Solicitors LLP’s ‘exceptional’ multidisciplinary team of social housing experts is particularly well-versed in corporate, transactional, and development matters. The team advises both housing associations and for-profit registered providers on high-value mergers, stock rationalisation matters, project financings, and major development and regeneration schemes. The firm’s Leeds practice is jointly led by Gary Grigor, who regularly advises housing associations on private placements and mergers, and Chris Drabble, who handles real estate financings and securitisations. Real estate lawyer Elad Yasdi and employment specialist Kirsty Thompson are further key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Gary Grigor; Chris Drabble

Other key lawyers:

Elad Yasdi; Kirsty Thompson; Natalie Swales; Geri Batchelor; Zoe McLean-Wells


‘I have worked with a number of people at Devonshires Solicitors LLP for a number of different pieces of work including governance work, property advice and refinancing. They have all been exceptional, they have always delivered to a high standard and within the budget requirements.’

‘Can I even pick standout partners and associates when there are so many great ones? It would be remiss of me not to mention Gary Grigor, Natalie Swales, and Chris Drabble, who supported us on our most recent refinancing exercise. I have no doubt that without the strong leadership of Gary and the tenacity of Natalie we would not have got the transaction across the line. Chris continues to support on our securitisation and always provides support and training to my team, which has changed through the process.’

‘The team goes above and beyond on all matters.’

‘Elad Yasdi is why I instruct Devonshires.’

Key clients

Cheshire Peaks & Plains Housing Trust Limited

Clanmil Housing Association Limited

Gentoo Group Limited

London and Quadrant Housing Trust (L&Q)

One Housing Group (part of The Riverside Group Limited)

Onward Homes Limited

Peabody Housing Trust

Southern Housing Group

The Riverside Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised The Riverside Group Limited on its merger with One Housing Group Limited which saw One Housing Group become a subsidiary of Riverside in December 2021, creating one of the largest housing associations in the country.
  • Acted for Peabody in connection with the regeneration of the West Thamesmead site for the provision of residential housing and commercial space from its current industrial site with a complex structure. The deal will see the construction of circa 1750 new homes, of which 40% will be affordable homes, as well as 57,000 sq.ft for employment, community, and retail with an estimated gross development value in excess of £450m.
  • Advised Cheshire Peaks & Plains Housing Trust Limited on its £102.5m refinancing which involved a new £72.5m private placement of notes with Aviva Investors, a new revolving credit facility with Barclays and the restructuring of existing PPHT debt.

Pinsent Masons LLP

The social housing practice at Pinsent Masons LLP has close relationships with local councils, including Leeds City Council, Scarborough Council, and a range of London boroughs. These clients frequently instruct the team to handle the contentious and non-contentious aspects of long-term regeneration projects and joint venture developments. The practice is led by Anne Bowden, a key contact for her expertise in delivering large housing schemes. The team further benefits from the expertise of planning and compulsory purchase lawyer Nick McDonald.

Practice head(s):

Anne Bowden

Other key lawyers:

Nick McDonald

Key clients

Clarion Housing Group

Homes England

Keepmoat Homes

London Borough of Hackney

London Borough of Wandsworth

Lovell Partnerships

Oldham Council

Places for People Group

Scarborough Council

Westminster City Council

Work highlights

  • Advised the London Borough of Wandsworth on its two largest council estate regeneration projects, delivering 3500 homes with an end value of over £1bn.
  • Advised the London Borough of Haringey on its High Road West housing regeneration scheme, which will deliver 2500 new homes (including 850 affordable homes) in a scheme valued at up to £1bn.
  • Advised the Leeds City Council on its major East Leeds Orbital Route, which will enable 5,000 new homes to be delivered, including significant affordable housing in the East Leeds Extension.

Walker Morris LLP

Walker Morris LLP’s Leeds-based social housing team acts for a range of housing associations, contractors, house builders and lenders. Housing development expert Chris Woodthorpe and property litigation lawyer Karl Anders jointly lead the cross-disciplinary practice, which is active in contentious and non-contentious work and chiefly handles development projects, tenancy work, and financings. Ben Sheppard is a further key contact for procurement matters, and real estate specialist Paul Laverty is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Chris Woodthorpe; Karl Anders

Other key lawyers:

Ben Sheppard; Paul Laverty; Deborah Brown


‘Karl Anders is an extremely cool-headed, intelligent, efficient, and experienced solicitor who is great to work with. Deborah Brown is very experienced, bright, hard-working, and also great to work with.’

Forbes Solicitors

Forbes Solicitors‘ specialist team has experience handling contentious work and is frequently instructed by housing association clients including Together Housing and Karbon Homes. The practice focuses on disrepair claims and counterclaims and is led jointly by litigation experts Justine Hunkins and Siobhan Hardy. Insurance specialist Sarah Davisworth is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Justine Hunkins; Siobhan Hardy

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Davisworth


Justine Hunkins is an experienced and commercial lawyer with sound sector knowledge.’

Key clients


Castles & Coasts

EMH Housing and Regeneration Group



Lincolnshire Housing Partnership

Mosscare St Vincents

North Star


South Kesteven District Council

The Guinness Partnership Limited

Together Housing Association Limited

Trafford Housing Trust Limited

Schofield Sweeney

Schofield Sweeney acts for registered providers of social housing as well as real estate funds and fields a team capable of advising on high-value acquisitions and disposals as well as development schemes. The group is led by the Bradford-based Manjit Virdee, who has experience handling the financing aspects of large social housing projects. Another name to note is Pardeep Khela, who specialises in transactional matters.

Practice head(s):

Manjit Virdee

Other key lawyers:

Pardeep Khela

Key clients

Chartford Housing Limited

Horton Housing Association

Quality Social Housing

Wakefield District Housing

Work highlights

  • Acted for Quality Social Housing on the sale of over 30 social housing units in the West Yorkshire and Southern Regions.
  • Acted on the acquisition of flats in the course of a construction project for Chartford Housing Limited in Shipley.