Devonshires’ Annual Conference 2022: Responding to Operational Pressures

Join us for the day at Devonshires Annual Conference on Tuesday 11th October 2022 at The Tetley in Leeds!

We are hosting our annual in-person conference in Leeds on Tuesday 11th October, which will focus on the operational pressures Registered Providers are, and will be, facing.

From financial resilience to mitigating climate change, our insightful keynote speeches, breakout sessions and panel discussion, will cover the issues, changes and trends that are shaping how those involved in Social Housing can and are responding.

Areas covered at this one day conference will include building safety, employment, finance, governance, housing management, procurement, real estate and regulation.

This free to attend conference will provide expert guidance for Registered Providers and Local Authorities, especially people responsible for managing development, tenancies, finance, risk and legal matters.

Event Details

Dates: Tuesday 11th October 2022

Time: 09:30 – 16:45 (followed by networking drinks)

Venue: The Tetley, Hunslet Rd, Leeds LS10 1JQ


9.30 – 10.00

Registration Tea & Coffee

10.00 – 10.05

Welcome and Introductions – Gary Grigor, Partner, Devonshires

10.05 – 10.30

Key Note Speaker: Emma Turner, Director of Treasury and Corporate Finance at Riverside

Breakout session one

10.30 – 11.30

B1: Discussing the increased interest in Stock Rationalisation between for-profits and not-for-profits

Mutually beneficial arrangements between the for-profits and other investors in the sector and not-for-profits are becoming more and more commonplace. Stock rationalisation involving for-profits is beginning to account for a significant proportion of the number of units changing hands and that will undoubtedly increase over the next few years. Join our expert panel who will discuss their experience, opportunities, risks, lessons learnt and regulatory considerations for both for-profits and not-for-profits in transacting together in the disposal and acquisition of tenanted social housing stock.


Elad Yasdi, Partner, Devonshires

Matthew Waters, Partner, Devonshires

Jonathan Jarvis, Partner, Devonshires

Keith Jenkins, Consultant, Devonshires

B2: Building Safety Act: Implications for Housing Management

This session will look at the implications of the Building Safety Act on housing management. The session will cover the recovery of service charges in relation to fire safety related defects, the new certificate regime and the enhanced rights of a landlord in dealing with higher risk buildings.


Lee Russell, Partner, Devonshires

Mark Foxcroft, Partner, Devonshires

B3: Consumer Credit – what do RPs need to consider?

This session will explore consumer credit regulation within the social housing sector and ask to what extent RPs need FCA permissions to be able to run their business within the current environment. We will discuss the impact of fire safety measures and how RPs can offer financial assistance to leaseholders without breaching consumer credit law and also look back at the changes some RPs are making as a result of the FCA’s Senior Manager’s and Certification Regime in relation to key personnel, monitoring and appraising staff and ensuring systems and procedures are in place.


Alice Overton, Partner, Devonshires

Breakout session two

11.35 – 12.35

B4: Regulatory Changes 

In this breakout session we will explore:

  • The anticipated move to proactive consumer regulation and what it will mean in practice, touching on how the Tenant Satisfaction Measures will be measured and reported on;
  • Themes emerging from our work on consumer standards reviews and the latest consumer regulation review;
  • How the board (and officers) can ensure they are obtaining robust assurance on compliance;
  • Property Compliance – the latest changes; and
  • Director Liability under the Building Safety Act 2022.

This session designed to be interactive and to provide useful guidance on how providers can ensure they are taking appropriate steps to anticipate and comply with upcoming changes to consumer regulation and building safety.


Kathryn Kligerman, Partner, Devonshires

Matthew Waters, Partner, Devonshires

B5: Sustainability: Best practices in end-to-end PAS2035-compliant retrofitting

In particular, this session will examine:

  • What the challenges are;
  • How we can identify them;
  • How we can mitigate them;
  • Quantifying and monitoring the challenges;
  • The roles of Digital Twinning and BIM;
  • Whether there is a ROI when adopting evolving methodologies (or creating a methodology); and
  • Whether sustainability reporting ought to be mandatory under PAS2025.


James Grinstead, Solicitor, Devonshires

Tim Freeman, Director, Energy Specifics

Jon Moorhouse, Director of Research and Development, Constructive Thinking

B6: Recruitment crisis

With over 1,250,000 vacancies in the UK economy and only one unemployed person per vacancy, it is a candidates’ market at the moment.  Add to that the cost of living crisis and the demand that is creating for competitive pay packages, which itself needs to be balanced against the Government’s encouragement to employers not to give large pay increases given the inflationary context, and we are in something of a perfect storm when it comes to recruitment and retention.  This session will explore some of the alternative options to simply increasing salaries.


Kirsty Thompson, Partner, Devonshires

Jane Bowen, Solicitor, Devonshires

12.40 – 13.30

Networking Buffet Lunch

Breakout session three

13.35 – 14.35

B7: What’s next on the merger horizon?

The current merger landscape looks quite different to that of ten, or even five years ago. Regulatory changes, the zero-carbon agenda, building safety requirements, legislative review, public scrutiny, changes to operating models and competing demands all mean that social housing providers will need to be clear and critical on how they can continue to meet their strategic objectives.

Cost pressures and the pandemic have also presented various challenges and pushed organisations to operate in unanticipated ways. A key theme coming out of the pandemic is the importance of working together and, for many organisations, consideration of the possible benefits of collaboration, including merger, is more relevant than ever before.


Gemma Bell, Partner, Devonshires

B8: The New Procurement Bill

Following its recent consultation on the reform to the UK’s public procurement regime, the Government has now published its eagerly awaited new Procurement Bill. The new Procurement Bill represents a significant change to public procurement regulation in the UK, which will affect both procuring authorities and private sector bidders alike. In this breakout session Partner and procurement law specialist Kris Kelliher will talk you through the key aspects of the new Bill and what the changes it will bring about will mean for both the public and private sectors.


Kris Kelliher, Partner, Devonshires

B9: Older People’s Care in Social Housing: A Manifesto for Change

In this session we will discuss the themes and trends which were identified as a result of the research carried out by Altair earlier this year which culminated in the published report ‘Older People’s Care in Social Housing: A Manifesto for Change’. We will explore the lessons learned and success factors for housing with care in the social housing sector.


Claire Charlton, Head of Extra Care (North), Housing 21

Kathryn Kligerman, Partner, Devonshires

Caroline Mostowfi, Partner, Devonshires

Breakout session four

14.40 – 15.40

B10: Building Safety

In this session we will consider those parts of the Building Safety Act that are now in force including the remediation and building liability order regimes. We will also look at recent fire safety regulation and in particular the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 that come into force in September 2022. We will address what clients should be doing now in order to prepare for it. We will also look at the Fire Safety Act and PAS9980 and address that later’s effect on building remediation claims and the building safety environment more generally.


Mark London, Partner, Devonshires

Geri Batchelor, Solicitor, Devonshires

B11: Rent Regulation Update: What you need to know

With the White Paper: a Fairer Private Rented Sector published in June and consultation on social housing rents published in August in response to the cost of living crisis, there is a lot of change to rent regulation on the horizon. This session will run through the proposed changes, what they omit and considerations for Registered Providers when anticipating their implementation, with the session concluding with a Q&A.


Samantha Grix, Partner, Devonshires

Jonathan Corris, Partner, Devonshires

Jonathan Jarvis, Partner, Devonshires

B12: Risk of operating in a remote environment

The pandemic brought with it a shift to remote working/operating, often in a way organisations had not planned for.  The speed at which the shift took place meant workarounds had to be quickly put in place in order for organisations to be able to operate as close to normal as possible.  This brought with it increased fraud risks and this session will consider those risks and how to mitigate them.


Nikki Bowker, Partner, Devonshires

15.50 – 16.15

Key Note Speaker: Ceris Esplen, Director of Strategy and Partnerships at Irwell Valley Homes

Why our social purpose should drive us more than ever

We are in a perfect storm with mounting cost pressures, a looming rent cap, and serious concerns over our customers’ ability to meet the rising cost of living. This session will explore what we must focus on now to support customers to live well, and the role our carbon zero plans can have in that.

16.15 – 16.45

Panel discussion and Q&A with: Ceris Esplen, Director of Strategy and Partnerships at Irwell Valley Homes, Emma Turner, Director of Treasury and Corporate Finance at Riverside, Jon Moorhouse, Director of Research and Development, Constructive Thinking, Jonathan Corris, Partner, Devonshires, chaired by Gemma Bell, Partner, Devonshires.

16.45 – 18.30

Networking drinks and nibbles and guided tours of The Tetley Exhibition

Feedback from previous events

Catch-up with our most recent Devonshires Webinars. Our page is regularly refreshed, providing you with the most relevant and up to date information.