Sally Farrall > Gowling WLG > Birmingham, England > Lawyer Profile

Gowling WLG
B4 6WR
Sally Farrall photo

Work Department

Real Estate; Development & Regeneration; Healthcare & Retirement Living; Investment; Private Rented Sector; Residential Development; Social Housing; Student Accommodation




Sally Farrall is a birmingham-based director who specialises in helping clients to secure complex development and investment opportunities in the affordable housing sector, efficiently and commercially.

Affordable housing providers are operating in an increasingly competitive market and need to be sure that opportunities are tied down as quickly as possible, not only to meet funding deadlines, but also to stay ahead of the competition. Sally is acutely aware of the need to strike a balance between protecting her clients’ interests and remaining focussed on getting the commercial deal done with the minimum of fuss.

As deals are frequently complicated by site constraints and development finance limitations, Sally understands the need to find solutions, and often innovative ones. She is in a unique position to do this – having more than 20 years’ experience of a wide variety of major property projects, acting for private sector landowners, commercial developers and investors, house builders, housing associations and public sector bodies, Sally not only has a thorough understanding of the specific aims of and the unique challenges facing her own clients, but also considerable understanding of what is driving the other side in the negotiation.

With institutional investment into social housing and private housing to rent on the rise, Sally has built up extensive knowledge and experience of the particular issues that face an investor in these markets, including supported-living and related sectors, so that she is able to steer her investment clients through the legal complexities inherent in this type of product as effortlessly as possible.


  • Helping a housing provider on the acquisition of 65 affordable housing units in a mixed use building being constructed in central London. This project is typical in its application of the golden brick principle to VAT-saving, but was complicated by funding and security arrangements and the timescale in which it had to be delivered. A conditional development agreement was exchanged within days to meet a deadline imposed by the HCA.

    Satisfaction of the conditions is imminent and completion of the lease of its units to the provider will be completed at golden brick, after which the developer will complete the development. Sally advised the provider on security for development funding provided by them and on various structures to secure their position should the developer default before practical completion, given that the provider will have a lease of parts only of the building. She also advised on a price adjustment mechanism should the planning consent permit size or tenure of units different from those anticipated at exchange.

  • Helping major fund managers to acquire supported-living investment portfolios. Sally worked with the clients on initial structuring of this novel investment product – including devising lease terms which avoid difficulties over enfranchisement, and the terms of voids agreements, voids insurance and nominations agreements which back-up the covenant strength of the tenant.
  • Helping a major housing provider to acquire 55 units within a large development in North London. 38 of the units are comprised in a single block with commercial space on the ground floor. The client will acquire the freehold of the whole block and Sally has advised on the terms of the commercial lease, paying particular attention to the user covenants to protect the amenity of the residential units above, and the service charge provisions to ensure that the commerci…



Lawyer Rankings

West Midlands > Real estate > Social housing

(Rising stars)

Sally FarrallGowling WLG

Gowling WLG‘s sizeable social housing practice enjoys a stellar reputation on account of its transactional expertise, working with a diverse roster of registered providers, local authorities, investors, and developers on high-value projects within the sector. Practice head Jacqueline Knox is a ‘stand-out‘ advisor whose broad practice encompasses development, investment, and housing management. London-based Richard Beckingsale heads up the firm’s regeneration practice, working with a plethora of public bodies on procurement negotiations and institutional investment transactions. Legal director Sally Farrall , who runs the affordable housing investments desk, is frequently engaged by major REITs for assistance in big-ticket transactions. Principal associate Gemma Courtenay is recommended for her far-reaching capabilities in development work. All named lawyers are based in Birmingham unless stated otherwise.