A notable feature of the legal market for bonds and private placements for Registered Providers is the degree to which our Banking, Capital Markets and Property Charging teams continue to dominate, advising on and charging properties to secure 52% of all deals in the sector between January 2012 and February 2014. This is £2.25 billion of funding into the social housing market, a market which, as demand grows and traditional funding streams are squeezed, looks set to become ever more innovative and fascinating.
We are ranked in Tier 1 for Social Housing Finance in both the Chambers and Legal 500 directories of recommended legal advisers. Clearly, our leading role in the sector speaks for itself in terms of the service we provide, and offers clients the reassurance that they are dealing with the best in the business.
Strength in Depth
We have expertise in general banking, social housing finance and project finance for commercial and private clients in the UK and internationally, and have raised over £30 billion in private finance over the last 20 years for the social housing sector alone. Our teams have the capability to advise on complex transactions to tight timescales whilst providing support in a hands-on and responsive manner. We have one of the largest banking teams and the largest property charging teams working on social housing finance matters in the UK. Our reputation in this area of work means that we are at the forefront of developing and structuring all manner of finance related transactions.
A Varied Team
We provide a full service offering for finance related issues to our clients, from intra-group funding to large capital markets issues, and act in relation to commercial property finance and acquisition finance. This includes deals which range from the run of the mill to the highly complex, such as public to private transactions, Management Buy-Outs (MBOs) and Management Buy-Ins (MBIs). We represent both UK based and multinational organisations, ranging in size from turnovers of £100,000 to £1.3 billion.
Whilst we offer excellence in any given field the true value of our offer lies in the way in which we can combine these fields of expertise to produce a seamless service and bespoke package for each individual client. We are big enough to provide all the answers, whilst offering a service which is personal enough to ask the right questions in the first place, and flexible enough to access exactly the advice you require.
Our corporate and property sector expertise is complimented by our banking experience, and vice versa, allowing us to specialise in joint ventures, property charging, group structures and mergers and acquisitions.
Capital Markets and Private Placements
We are at the forefront when it comes to seeking innovative sources of private finance for Registered Providers and as such, have acted on capital markets issues for more Registered Providers than any other firm, including both retail and wholesale bonds and private placements. We combine our renowned expertise in social housing finance and property law with on-going strong working relationships with banks and financial advisers to the sector. The team has advised on over 35 own named bond issues, both wholesale and retail, secured and unsecured.
Some of the largest bond issues on which we have advised include advising 9 of the G15 Registered Providers on their own name bond issues.
We also regularly advise Registered Providers on their private placements. Examples include Merlin Housing Society, Estuary Housing Association, Suffolk Housing Society, Orbit Housing, Bromford and Newlon.
Over the last 20 years we have advised a number of Registered Providers on their other debt raising transactions, including reviewing and negotiating:
- Loan and security documentation;
- ISDAs and CSAs;
- Intra-group loan agreements;
- Security trust deeds.
We also regularly advise Registered Providers on borrowing from bond aggregator vehicles such as THFC and AHF and borrowing from investors in the sector, such as M&G.
Joint Venture Funding
Registered Providers are increasingly entering into joint ventures with developers in order to develop mixed use schemes.
Our general social housing finance experience has been invaluable when advising Registered Providers on structuring and funding arrangements for joint ventures. We aim to ensure that the documentation for these transactions gives our clients maximum flexibility in carrying out their business and gives them the ability to develop new activities and structures in the future.
Recent notable transactions include:
- Acting for Riverside Housing Group on its £250 million own name bond issue and refinancing of a number of their loans into bi-lateral loan facilities. Our work included advising on all banking and capital markets documentation and property charging.
- Acting for Christian Action (Enfield) Housing Association on a £50 million private placement from M&G. The work involved advising on the private placement documentation and the property charging.
- Acting for Swan Housing Association on its £250 million own name bond issue and refinancing of a syndicated loan into bilateral loans. We advised on all of the capital markets and banking documentation and all aspects of the property charging.