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Our specialist social housing team has extensive experience and expertise and is committed to making a contribution to housing regeneration; creating neighbourhoods where people want to live as part of long-lasting communities.

Over the last 40 years, we have established ourselves as one of the leading law firms for social housing. Clients tell us that our partnership approach, working as an integral part of your social housing team has helped them make confident decisions about the way ahead and make real differences in local communities across England and Wales. Our client base includes over 50 housing associations and local authorities and our strong network of key sector partners enable us to remain a step ahead, anticipating what your teams will need and designing collaborative solutions to face both challenges and opportunities.

With teams that can advise at every stage of your projects and help manage the communities you have built, our advice is truly holistic. We understand and advise on procurement, treasury and finance issues, governance arrangements, employment and people management, development, asset and housing management and home ownership. Having watched the sector evolve, we understand the issues housing associations face: the market forces affecting them; challenges involved in regulation; and future aspirations.

Key contact

Caroline O’Flaherty


As a Partner in the Commercial Property team, Caroline O’Flaherty, specialises in acquisitions, disposals, property development and finance. Working across a variety of sectors, from office, retail, and industrial to leisure, Caroline has particular expertise in property portfolio management and leasing work.

Emma is a key influencer in the social housing sector with a genuine understanding of what we are trying to achieve. She is someone I am keen to involve in projects due to her combination of creative input as well as knowledge of the legal landscape.

Jonathan Huish | Chair at Trivallis

When appointing a team of consultants to work on our new development projects Caroline is our first call

Rhianydd Jenkins | Coastal Housing

I have worked closely with Hugh James over the last few years and have always received a first class service, highly professional, with the provision of good, sound and practical advice relating to various matters and projects. Informal advice is always forthcoming, backed up with very educated formal responses to all queries, I look forward to working on other schemes in the future.

Ian Gillespie | Adra

They are all high-calibre individuals who are easily accessible to their clients. I feel very reassured when the team is on our side.

Chambers & Partners

The firm is very hardworking and willing to take on urgent cases at a short notice.

The Legal 500

Why use us?

We are part of your team. Clients tell us that they value our support at every step. We do this through ensuring quick response times, building relationships where you use us as a sounding board and hosting key conversations that are necessary for the sector to collaborate. As we act in both England and Wales we have unique insights and frequently share best practice.

By working across a range of different client teams, we are able to consider every instruction from the whole organisation’s perspective.  This helps ensure seamless advice particularly during times of organisational change, risk or growth. You will be equipped with concise advice in plain-English to inform discussions at board level.

Our team shares the sector’s passion for achieving social objectives and frequently volunteer or work in partnership with clients on community projects.

How we act for our clients

Our work in the social housing sector has been an integral part of our growth as a firm, remaining a key part of our business for the future.  With this in mind, we have a dedicated group of our partners, supported by our central business teams, that meet regularly as a forum to anticipate what you need. As a new client, the relevant partners of this forum and our client relationship manager would meet with you to discuss how we can help, the topics we predict will be relevant for you and your teams and how we can best work together.  We understand that many of the decisions you make have to be considered within your governance framework, with an eye on your financial commitments and commercial planning, and with regard to your key stakeholders. We can adapt our advice to suit your needs. While we will help drive progress forward and give you the opinion and clarity you need, we are often told by clients that our team feels like a natural extension of their own.

Sector experts

Our team of social housing lawyers shares the sector’s passion for achieving social objectives and frequently work in partnership with clients on projects outside the legal field which have a direct impact on the communities they have helped to build. Some of our lawyers also act as board members for local housing associations which gives them a unique insight into the governance landscape that influences the decisions our clients must make. This level of involvement impacts the advice they give, as they are keen to achieve the most successful outcome for all involved – commercially and socially.

Our social housing team spans a wide range of practice areas, but they do not work in silos. Our team is engaged in constant dialogue to ensure their advice is tailored to the needs of each particular client and their ongoing activities in all areas, similar to an in-house team.

The team consider every instruction from the client’s perspective to ensure seamless advice is provided during times of organisational change, risk or growth.

Previous events

HJ Housing Week 2023

Running from 6 – 10 November, HJ Housing Week involves webinars, in-person events, videos and blogs focusing on:

  • Governance & treasury
  • Housing Management
  • Development
  • Employment & HR
  • Keeping tenants safe

Housing association finance

The banking team is recognised for its exemplary service, knowledge and experience in this sector. We have been providing specialist advice to social housing providers on all aspects of their funding requirements for in excess of 20 years. We understand the unique needs of our social housing clients and tailor our advice and approach to suit the particular commercial requirements and regulatory framework within which our clients operate.

We regularly advise housing associations on:

  • a range of bank facilities for different purposes including acquisition, refinance and development loans
  • documentation including Loan Market Association form loans, bank form documents and amendment and restatements
  • regulatory, compliance and constitutional requirements in relation to funding


We understand that you need to invest in training. It’s an essential part of nurturing your team’s skills, increasing innovation, reducing risk, boosting performance, as well as giving you competitive advantage. We also find there is no better way of really understanding a client’s culture.

That’s why we offer bespoke training tailored to you and your organisation’s needs. Our expertise across a range of legal disciplines means we can offer targeted training on specific legal topics or give you a more general overview; it’s entirely suited to your needs.

We also host regular training events in the form of conferences and seminars, covering a variety of engaging topics facilitated by leaders in the field. Our training and updates can be focused on a particular issue a team struggles with, and small-scale roundtable where thorny issues can be chatted through with an open and informal approach or more general “how to” guides depending on the needs of our clients.

We also provide online webinar training in addition to our face-to-face delivery at clients’ premises or hosted at our training suite in central Cardiff. All our training is delivered by qualified lawyers who advise the housing sector on a regular basis, with an approachable style that allows “off script” topics to be explored properly when they are relevant to the group. A lawyer facilitator means that learning can confidently be applied to the specific circumstances of a client’s own case studies, taking into account the most recent legal developments and options for strategic solutions properly explored. Many of our clients have also found it useful for us to provide assistance in a project management capacity to help teams prioritise matters, identify which matters can be resolved internally and where our external help might be used most effectively.

Examples of training we have delivered to the housing sector:

  • Getting Partnership Working Right
  • Procurement and Understanding the Contract Lifecycle
  • Contractor Insolvency
  • JCT and Common Amendments
  • Innovative approaches to housing: modular and modern methods of construction
  • The Equality Act for Housing Managers
  • Data Protection and Social Media
  • Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 – What will be the Impact and When?
  • Disrepair
  • Infrastructure and Agreements planning
  • Enforcement of breaches of covenant
  • Shared Ownership
  • How to solve a problem like the Appraisal
  • Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures
  • Antisocial Social Media
  • Recruitment procedures
  • Bullying and Harrassment
  • The Role of the Investigating Officer
  • Dealing with bereavement as a Housing Management Professional

If you would like to discover more about our training options and how we can work together, please get in touch.

Next steps

We’re here to get things moving. Drop a message to one of our experts and we’ll get straight back to you.

Call us: 033 3016 2222

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