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Modern housing estate

Focus on social housing team at Clarke Willmott

Our dedicated teams work hard to look after clients, whatever their legal needs. Our broad expertise across the firm means that anyone of our lawyers has access to a network of experts who will ensure you are receiving the best legal care at the right time. 

In this series, we’re showcasing the individuals who make up our talented team. We’re speaking with our legal experts to learn more about their areas of expertise, what they enjoy most about their work, and how they work together to provide exceptional legal care to our clients. 

Our friendly and dedicated Social Housing team has proven and unrivalled experience in the sector which means we are able to offer quality, trusted advice across a range of comprehensive legal matters.

We spoke to sector heads Lindsay Felstead and Vicky Kells to find out more about the work they do, their relationship with clients and how you can get in touch about working with the team.

How does the social housing team support its clients?

Our team, of over 80 specialist social housing solicitors, is one of the largest in the UK. We act for over 100 Registered Providers and Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) across England and Wales, including several G15 (representing London’s leading housing associations) registered providers. We also sit on several major social housing legal frameworks including HALA, CHIC, SEC, NFP and ASW.

Fundamentally, we support social housing providers with buying and selling land and homes, development and re-development, including planning, environmental and construction and issues they face as landlords in their relationships with their residents, and organisational issues they may face like any other business.

Why should a client choose Clarke Willmott’s social housing team?

Clients, despite having a choice of who to go to, choose to come back to Clarke Willmott because of the relationships that have been built with us. The quality of our work is a given, but one of the ways we are different to other social housing teams, is because of our personable and friendly approach


As a team (and as a firm) we are committed to creating an environment where clients feel that they can “just pick up the phone and talk” knowing that they will always be provided with an excellent lawyer dedicated to providing the best support and guidance possible.

Our team prides itself on the exceptional standards that we set – which is why we are a trusted partner for a range of clients nationwide, both big and small.

We have a host of long-standing relationships with many housing associations, who consistently give us positive feedback about our work with them


Some of the clients that we act for are:

Orbit Group – Orbit provides and manages over 46,000 homes for over 100,000 customers, making it one of the UK’s foremost housing groups. We have collaborated closely with Orbit on its densification strategy, selling a number of portfolios of its shared ownership homes, to enable it to focus on its key operational areas.

Clarion – England’s largest housing association, with 125,000 homes across the country. It is a member of G15. Since August 2014, we’ve been working on all aspects of Clarion’s legal needs, including development, planning, property litigation and housing management.

L&Q – one of the largest housing associations in the country and a member of G15. It manages more than 95,000 homes, primarily across London and the South East. We work with L&Q in many areas including planning, commercial property, asset management, construction, energy and procurement.

Hyde – also one of the largest housing associations in the country, and another G15 member. They provide 44,000 homes for people across London and the south-east of England. The team has been supporting Hyde since 2018.

Tai Calon – one of Wales’ largest housing associations, with almost 6,000 dwellings. Our team started working with them this year, specifically providing finance and securitisation legal services.

Has the team experienced any growth?

In the past year we have reinforced our large housing management team by bringing in disrepair specialist Matt Wilson, and a team of lawyers to assist with the claims that our clients bring to us. We have also welcomed partner Victoria Morley-Jones to our Taunton office, in our well-established Home Sales team. The aim of this is to be able to support more clients in locations where we hadn’t had much coverage previously.

How does the team keep clients up to date with changes in regulations/law?

The team keep our clients up to date by regularly communicating with them, understanding their situation and by providing solutions to the issues that they are currently facing. As the sector is generally “close-knit”, it means we can share best practice between associations, ensuring everyone is kept up to date and compliant with regulations.

In June of this year, Lindsay, alongside partners Kary Withers and Oliver Smedley, co-hosted a follow-up event to the CIH Housing Conference in Manchester. Here, they were able to share ideas and discuss upcoming challenges to the sector.

Lindsay also talked about the need to keep clients updated as the sector is always changing – “Social housing unlike many areas of law, changes a lot, particularly in the last few years where there have been some significant changes in the sector”. To combat this, the team will be releasing a Red, Amber, Green (RAG) report, by email for our clients, aiming at keeping them updated and preparing them for new regulations and legislation.

To find out more about the RAG report, please contact a member of the team, or alternatively, if you would like to sign up to our Social Housing newsletter please do so here.

Does the team do any community outreach or support with charities?

Our social housing team regularly support charities in the industry and assist our clients with their fundraising initiatives throughout the year. We also attend events and get involved in fundraising initiatives to engage with the social housing community.

We have recently joined Inside Housing’s Build Social campaign; asking all political parties to include a significant social housing building programme into their manifestos and look forward to being a part of this initiative

  – Vicky

How can Social Housing providers get in touch with Clarke Willmott?

If you would like to find out more about how our social housing team can support you as a provider, please contact one of our lawyers directly, call us on 0800 652 8205 or request a consultation.

Clarke Willmott has offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Southampton and Taunton.


Your key contacts

Lindsay Felstead


Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Southampton and Taunton
Lindsay is Head of our Housing Management team and jointly leads our Social Housing sector team. Lindsay was called to the Bar in 2000 and subsequently admitted as a Solicitor in 2005.
View profile for Lindsay Felstead >

Vicky Kells

Partner/Head of Cardiff Office

Vicky is head of our Cardiff office and jointly leads our Social Housing sector team and specialises in charging affordable housing portfolios.
View profile for Vicky Kells >

Meet our Social Housing team

With seven offices throughout England and Wales, Clarke Willmott is a national law firm with a local presence. Click to learn more about our wider team of legal professionals and how they can support you.

Meet the team

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