Devonshires rank highly in The UK 2023 Chambers and Partners Legal Guide

The UK 2023 Chambers and Partners Legal Guide has been published, and we have maintained our Band 1 positions for Social Housing and Social Housing: Finance.

In summary, our rankings note:

You can read the full UK 2023 Chambers & Partners write-up below.

We are delighted with these results and to see so many of our lawyers named. A huge part of the research involves client feedback and we want to say a massive thank you to all our clients who took part in the research and for their complimentary testimonials, which reinforce our team and service delivery approach.


Social Housing (Band 1)

WHAT THE TEAM IS KNOWN FOR (Provided by Chambers)

Devonshires has an esteemed practice with a leading presence and longstanding experience in social housing issues. The firm 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. It provides wide-ranging expertise in the field, spanning fraud, regulatory issues, procurement and development projects, and offers further experience in finance matters.

STRENGTHS (Provided by Chambers)
  • “Devonshires is very methodical and clear in its handling of matters, is consistently very strong technically and has a team of excellent communicators.” – Social Housing client UK
  • “The team offers excellent legal and structural advice delivered by approachable and knowledgeable lawyers.” – Social Housing client UK
  • “The team provides timely advice and has a robust, can-do attitude.” – Social Housing client UK
NOTABLE PRACTITIONERS (Provided by Chambers)

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 has a very strong awareness of our sector and a customer-focused approach.”

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.

“Nick Billingham provides excellent housing management and regulatory advice services.”

Donna McCarthy (Band 3) – NEW: Donna McCarthy offers notable experience as a housing litigation specialist, representing registered providers in possession proceedings, injunction claims and disrepair claims.

“Donna McCarthy is a highly experienced, astute and outstanding lawyer.”

Neil Toner (Band 3) – NEW: Neil Toner acts for housing associations, developers and local authorities on property acquisitions and disposals as well as advising on development projects.

“Neil Toner offers clear solutions to complex challenges in a collaborative and effective manner.”

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.

Jonathan Corris (Band 4) – NEW: Jonathan Corris advises on a broad range of development projects and joint venture agreements for both registered providers and private developers.


Social Housing: Finance (Band 1)

WHAT THE TEAM IS KNOWN FOR (Provided by Chambers)

Devonshires is one of the leading firms for borrowers, regularly handling capital markets issues and loan documentation. The team acts for registered providers and registered social landlords on securitisation issues and property charging exercises and is also equipped to advise them on lending arrangements and on the finance aspects of their mergers.

STRENGTHS (Provided by Chambers)
  • “Devonshires has the wealth of knowledge and expertise to handle complex situations confidently. The team always finds the easiest, most cost-effective solution possible.” – Social Housing: Finance client UK
  • “The team always delivers a prompt and thorough service and shows great commercial insight.” – Social Housing: Finance client UK
NOTABLE PRACTITIONERS (Provided by Chambers)

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.

“Julian Barker has consistently delivered excellent work with practical solutions and commercial insight.”

“He is always timely and focused in his response, gives very clear views and is a pleasure to work with.”

Sharon Kirkham (Band 1): Sharon Kirkham routinely advises registered providers and lenders on security and property charging transactions.

“Sharon Kirkham is an excellent lawyer. She is organised and efficient, and always keeps us well informed.”

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): 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.

Andrew Cowan (Band 3): Andrew Cowan acts for housing associations on mergers, acquisitions and associated financing issues, while also advising on governance matters.

Alice Overton (Up and Coming) – NEW: Alice Overton frequently advises registered providers on a range of social housing finance matters, offering particular strength in bond issues and private placements.

“Alice Overton displays commendable tenacity.”


Construction: Contentious

Mark London is ranked Band 5. He represents clients in an array of construction disputes arising out of major projects, including both litigation and adjudication hearings. He often acts for major residential developers, housing associations and local authorities on claims relating to time, costs and defects, and has significant expertise in relation to cladding issues.

STRENGTHS (Provided by Chambers)
  • “Mark has brilliant strategic intelligence and he knows when and where to fight.”
  • “He identifies the issues that matter and doesn’t get bogged down in the nitty-gritty. He’s also a smooth operator.”


West Midlands: Social Housing

Gemma Bell is ranked Band 3. She is a popular choice of representative for housing associations, offering strong governance experience and expert handling of corporate transactions.


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