The 2022 Chambers and Partners Legal Guide has been published, and we are delighted to have maintained our Band 1 positions in Social Housing and Social Housing: Finance, and have a new lawyer ranking and an improved lawyer ranking.
A full list of our rankings in this current edition can be viewed below:
Social Housing (Band 1)
What the team is known for: Esteemed practice with a leading presence and longstanding experience in social housing issues. Acts for more than 200 registered providers, as well as local authorities, developers and funders, on an array of matters including housing management and governance. Provides wide-ranging expertise in the field, spanning fraud, regulatory issues, procurement and development projects. Offers further experience in finance matters..
Strengths: Clients say: “It is a fantastic firm and a fantastic set of lawyers. The service they provide is excellent.”
Other sources note: “Devonshires’ housing management team is the best in the sector.”
Social Housing: Finance (Band 1)
What the team is known for: One of the leading firms for borrowers, regularly handling capital markets issues and loan documentation. Acts for registered providers and registered social landlords on securitisation issues and property charging exercises. Also equipped to advise them on lending arrangements and on the finance aspects of their mergers.
Strengths: Clients say: “The team is experienced and of high quality. The advice and guidance is practical and flexible, and the lawyers work with us to find appropriate solutions to any issues which arise.”
Andrew Cowan (Band 1)
Andrew Cowan is highly adept in advising major registered providers on noteworthy social housing transactions, including mergers and acquisitions. He is also skilled in advising on governance matters.
“Andrew Cowan is absolutely brilliant; he is very clear and straightforward in his advice.”
“He’s extremely diplomatic and collaborative, and he knows our sector inside out from a legal regulatory perspective.”
Nick Billingham (Band 2)
Nick Billingham is a renowned litigator, often instructed to represent clients in housing management litigation. He is also adept at advising registered providers on regulatory matters, particularly cases involving breach of consumer standards regulations.
“He is always able to get the message across to the client in a non-complex way.”
Donna McCarthy (Band 4 – New Ranking)
Donna McCarthy offers notable experience as a housing litigation specialist, representing registered providers in possession proceedings, injunction claims and disrepair claims.
“She makes herself available for her clients and always goes the extra mile for them. She is very good at explaining complex legal issues in a way that the client understands and in a way that is relevant to the practical realities of their business.”
Jonathan Jarvis (Band 4)
Jonathan Jarvis is recognised for his practice advising clients on a wide range of services in the housing sector including joint ventures, mergers and regeneration projects.
“His advice is pragmatic and he helps distil complex matters into understandable road maps to guide his client through what can be a challenging regulatory environment.”
Neil Toner (Band 4)
Neil Toner acts for housing associations, developers and local authorities on property acquisitions and disposals as well as advising on development projects.
“He is a clear, concise communicator.”
Jonathan Corris (Up and Coming)
Jonathan Corris advises on a broad range of development projects and joint venture agreements for both registered providers and private developers.
Social Housing: Finance
Julian Barker (Band 1)
Julian Barker has extensive experience advising registered providers on funding opportunities, including bond issues, private placements and syndicated and bilateral loans. He has further strength advising on restructures of corporate financing.
“He is incredibly responsive and is always keen to help.”
Sharon Kirkham (Band 1)
Sharon Kirkham routinely advises registered providers and lenders on security and property charging transactions.
“She provides very practical advice and always finds time to speak with you.”
Chris Drabble (Band 2)
Chris Drabble is particularly skilled at advising borrowers and lenders on social housing sector security transactions, including bilateral loan financings, bond issues and group restructurings.
Gary Grigor (Band 2 – Increased Ranking)
Gary Grigor focuses his practice on advising banks on private placement bonds, debt facilities and derivatives contracts. He is also skilled in advising borrowers on their financing arrangements.
“Gary Grigor has a calm, reassuring presence and is unflappable under pressure.”
Andrew Cowan (Band 3)
Andrew Cowan acts for housing associations on mergers, acquisitions and associated financing issues, while also advising on governance matters.
“He offers constructive and practical advice, and is solutions-driven.”