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Modern housing estate

Social housing solicitors

Specialist social housing solicitors with unparalleled experience

Our national team of specialist social housing solicitors is one of the largest in the UK, acting for over 100 Registered Providers, including several G15 Registered Providers, as well as major frameworks including HALA, CHIC, SEC and ASW. We offer quality, trusted advice on a comprehensive range of legal matters and our experience in this complex sector is second to none.

Why choose Clarke Willmott as legal advisers for social housing?

  • Breadth and depth of expertise – our high-calibre partner-led team of solicitors have worked in the sector for many years including some with extensive client-side experience working in-house at social housing providers. This gives us a unique understanding of the challenges you face, enables us ‘to think like a client’ and to provide meaningful added-value services.
  • Clear, value-for-money prices – fee transparency is important to us. We work with our clients on a fixed fee basis where possible, and provide realistic estimates for any additional requirements, based on our competitive hourly rates. This ensures that you will have a clear understanding of our service costs from the outset and can trust us to stick to our quote while keeping you well-informed throughout the process.
  • National and local presence – our Social Housing team is strategically located in our seven offices across the country. This enables us to develop strong long-term relationships and fully support both national and regional clients.
  • Pragmatic and commercially-minded advice – with so much hands-on experience working with Registered Providers, we know the importance of giving realistic, commercial advice. Rather than simply presenting the legal options, we’ll recommend the course of action we consider to be in your best interests.

Our expertise in advising social housing providers

We act for Registered Providers (RPs) and Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) across England and Wales, including housing associations, local authorities and Arms-Length Management Organisations (ALMOs).

Banking & securitisation

We act for borrowers and lenders on a variety of funding arrangements, including bilateral and syndicated facilities, private placements, aggregated bonds and public issue bonds. Our banking team deals with loan facility documentation, aggregated bond loans and note purchase agreements.

Our large property charging team project manages the securing of property portfolios (from single substituted properties to portfolios of 12,000+ homes) within tight timescales and regularly assists with pre-charging projects, charging to security trustees on an unallocated basis, providing top-up due diligence and reliance letters, and negotiation of s.106 mortgagee exclusion clauses.

Commercial law

Our works with businesses of all sizes to help navigate them through all types of contentious and non-contentious legal issues. The non-contentious team has particular specialism in information technology law, data protection law and intellectual property advice. Meanwhile, the contentious commercial team are able to support you with a wide variety of disputes, from professional negligence, contractual disputes and civil litigation.


Our experienced construction team provides advice on all aspects of construction projects – from support with the procurement strategy, through to the preparation and negotiation of the contract documents, including development agreements, building contracts, consultant appointments and collateral warranties.

We also offer full support during and after the project. Our primary focus is on dispute avoidance by offering pragmatic and timely advice. If a dispute is unavoidable then we have a large team of experienced specialists across our various offices to advise on all forms of dispute resolution, including all types of alternative dispute resolution.

Building Safety is an ongoing priority for the sector and we also expertly handle issues around this and fire safety.

Corporate, governance, tax & regulatory

Our partner-led advises the on a range of transactions, including mergers, transfers of engagements, amalgamations and acquisitions/business sales and has experience in structuring and implementing corporate joint ventures on multi-million-pound development projects.

Debt recovery

Our industry-leading team of debt recovery lawyers has been operating for more than 25 years and combines the abilities of a debt collection agency with the expertise of a top law firm. We work hard to recover outstanding debts fast and cost-effectively, usually settling cases without the need for formal legal action. Over the last ten years we’ve achieved outstanding results, recovering nearly £250 million for our clients.

Employment & HR

Our specialist team of employment lawyers advises on the whole spectrum of employment law issues, from pre-employment matters through to terminations and Tribunals, as well as the employment law aspects of commercial transactions, including TUPE.

Housing management

Our exceptional housing management team specialises in advising housing associations, local authorities and arms-length management organisations (ALMOs) on tenancy management issues including all types of enforcement proceedings, as well as PRS tenancies, exemptions, policies and procedures and income .

Within this team also sits our specialist disrepair team who can support your organisation with a full spectrum of issues, helping you to stay on top of keeping your properties in good working order.

Home sales and infrastructure

Our Homes Sales team provides a seamless service for site set up, plot sales and infrastructure matters. The team have extensive experience in residential and mixed-use site set up structures and open market, shared ownership, older persons schemes, rent to buy and first homes disposals. They are also able to assist with the infrastructure agreements on new developments for examples s.104, s.38, transfer of sub-stations and deeds of easement.

The team deal with all matters related to the lifecycle of shared ownership properties. They have specialist units that act solely for social housing clients in buying and selling residential street properties, staircasing, share resales, Right to Buy and Acquire, deeds of variation, leasehold enfranchisements and lease extensions (both formal and informal) matters. The team also have a unit that specialises in auction sales of residential properties.

Planning & environment

Our distinguished partner-led team advises on planning and environmental matters, including section 106 and 278 agreements, planning applications and appeals, compulsory purchase, TVGs, contaminated land, SUDs/SABs and heritage, ecological (including Biodiversity Net Gain and nutrient neutrality) and flooding issues. The team works closely with other in-house teams including Banking and Securitisation on charging of assets, our property teams on due diligence, and Property Litigation on legal challenges including Judicial Review.

Property, development & regeneration

We advise on all aspects of site assembly, land acquisitions and disposals. We have particular expertise in advising housing associations on development agreements, joint ventures, collaboration, grant and funding agreements as well as housing regeneration schemes. We also offer advice on the risk and benefits of new commercial and funding opportunities

Property litigation

Including development disputes, residential and commercial leasehold issues and general asset management

Our property litigation team has been highly ranked no. 1 in Chambers and Legal 500 for over 10 years. The team advise on all aspects of development disputes including site clearance, easement/right of way issues and adverse possession; leasehold issues including section 20, FTT applications including dispensation applications; and commercial property matters including the renewal and termination of business leases.


Our specialist team advises on all aspects of procurement procedures and regulation. We can assist in preparing and executing large-scale procurement projects and drafting procurement policies. We are also highly experienced in advising on, and responding to, procurement disputes within tight timescales.

Stock rationalisation

We have worked with national and G15 providers in streamlining their portfolios, enabling them to focus on their core areas by selling shared-ownership properties, tenanted homes and care-homes.  Our use of technology (including AI support) means that we can undertake large-scale high-level due diligence quickly to give you certainty that you can transact. Our multi-disciplinary team draws expertise from across our sector specialists, including advice on governance, staff transfers, commercial and IT contracts and tenancy matters. We also act for organisations looking to bid for/acquire portfolios, working collaboratively with multiple in-house teams to ensure a successful outcome.


Our specialist telecoms team act exclusively for landowners in dealing with the removal of telecoms equipment, the grant of interim and permanent rights for new masts, the renewal of mast agreements and the grant of new wayleaves and new commercial agreements with fibre providers.

How we’ve helped some of the UK’s major social housing providers

Sovereign is a G15 member and one of the largest housing associations in the country, providing over 56,000 homes for around 130,000 people across the south and south-west of England. Since January 2015, we’ve been acting for them in development, commercial property, asset management and sales.

Clarion is 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 is another 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.

Our presence in the social housing sector

Clarke Willmott has a well-established reputation in the property and housing sectors. Our extensive presence and far-reaching network of connections enables us to introduce our clients to potential sites and developers.

We work hard to stay at the forefront of thought leadership and actively seek ways to share our knowledge and insights, including top-quality training and conferences often with high-profile speakers from inside and outside the firm.

We are also members of leading industry bodies, including:

Contact our specialist social housing team today

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 get in touch online.

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

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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 wider 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

Industry recognition for our social housing team

They have a lot of knowledge and experience in dealing with housing-related law issues and nothing is ever too much for them.

Chambers UK 2022

The social housing team has strong leadership and are experts in their field. They keep clients up to date with latest developments and how they are applicable to them.

The Leal 500 2022

Our social housing expertise in focus

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