Andrew Cowan > Devonshires Solicitors LLP > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Devonshires Solicitors LLP

Work Department

Banking and Governance


Andrew is a partner and is our head of social housing. He also leads the banking and governance team.

His team acts for over 200 social housing providers and local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and as panel solicitors for the Homes and Communities Agency.

Andrew and his team act for funders and over 180 housing associations based over England, Wales and Scotland on their general fundraising and project specific finance (such as PFI and joint ventures).

Andrew has a particular specialism in governance and regulation for social housing, M&A within the social housing sector and joint ventures.

Andrew is a regular contributor in relation to policy issues affecting the social housing sector.  He is a regular speaker on housing finance, group structures and housing strategies. 

Andrew is a trustee of the Theatre Royal Stratford, Swan Mountain Trust and non-executive director of Seymour Street Homes, a subsidiary of British Land PLC.


Articled Hobson Audley; qualified 1989; Trowers & Hamlins 1990-91; Devonshires 1991; partner 1993.




University of East Anglia (1986 LLB Hons).


Football, swimming, cycling, Latin America.

Lawyer Rankings

London > Real estate > Social housing: local authorities and registered providers

(Hall of Fame)

Andrew CowanDevonshires Solicitors LLP

Devonshires Solicitors LLP fields ‘a wide range of experienced partners who can assist with matters that arise across the affordable housing and RP sectors‘. The team acts for a plethora of housing associations and registered providers on social housing issues and can and boasts ‘great strength in terms of areas of expertise and levels of experience‘. Andrew Cowan specialises in banking and governance work in the social housing sector. ‘FantasticDonna McCarthy heads the housing management and property litigation team and is particularly experienced in acting in public law, human rights, and Equality Act challenges, while Sharon Kirkham heads the property charging work. The cross-departmental team also features banking specialist Julian Barker, dispute resolution lawyer James Dunn, construction specialist Mark London as well as Triya Maicha, Neil Toner and Jonathan Corris, who head the real estate and projects team. The unit was further strengthened with the arrivals of Matthew Waters and Katie Fung. Former housing management and property head Nick Billingham retired in April 2022 but continues to support the team on a consultancy basis.

London > Real estate > Social housing: finance

(Hall of Fame)

Andrew CowanDevonshires Solicitors LLP

Devonshires Solicitors LLP is particularly known for acting on the borrower side of social housing finance matters and is hailed for the ‘detailed knowledge and understanding‘ of the sector. The practice frequently advises the largest registered providers in the UK on the raising of debt finance, the issuance of own name bonds, private placements and borrowing from specialised social housing funds or local authorities as well as the charging of property as securities for loan facilities. ‘Knowledgeable, personable and practicalJulian Barker heads the banking and capital markets team, and specialises in all types of finance options for registered providers. Sharon Kirkham is the head of the securitisation team and has a specialism in providing advice on the property aspects of giving security. Gary Grigor, Chris Drabble, Alice OvertonAndrew Cowan  and Natalie Swales are further key practitioners with specialisms in the financing arrangements of mergers, property charging issues, bond issues and constitutional social housing matters respectively.