Housing alliance plans for cuts as it appoints roster

The recently established Housing Associations’ Legal Alliance (HALA) has appointed its first panel of legal advisers, the latest in a series of organisations seeking to pool legal resources ahead of impending public sector cuts.

Fifteen firms have secured a place on the panel including Bircham Dyson Bell, DMH Stallard, Hill Dickinson and TLT Solicitors. HALA is currently made up of five housing associations -Peabody, Metropolitan Housing Partnership, Phoenix Community Housing, Servite Houses and Viridian Housing – but more are expected to join in coming months.

HALA was formed in April 2010 with the aim of driving down legal fees and sharing training costs and best practice. Before the alliance was formed the associations had a combined annual legal spend of around £5m, and expect that to be cut by up to 20 per cent within the next year.

Commenting on the panel firms, Viridian’s head of legal services Katrina Robinson said: “They’ve all shown a passion for the sector together with commitment to working with us to reduce our legal spend by offering competitive fees and value-added benefits.

“The great thing about HALA, which might be lacking in other similar panel arrangements, is that we have in place the management and monitoring systems to ensure that all members realise the full benefits that are on offer for the entire duration of the framework.”

The other members of the panel, which will be reviewed every four years, are Anthony Collins Solicitors, Ashfords, Browne Jacobson, Devonshires, Forbes Solicitors, Housing & Property Law Partnership, Lewis Silkin, Maclay Murray & Spens, Marsons, and Rollins. They will advise on areas including asset management, employment and pensions, and corporate governance.