Sovereign Housing Association, the largest social housing provider for the south and southwest of England, has grown its legal panel by 40 per cent, adding four firms to its roster of advisors.
Blake Morgan, Clarke Willmott, Housing Law Services and Wright Hassall will join 10 firms that include Ashfords, Osborne Clarke and Winckworth Sherwood on the housing group’s solicitor panel, set to be reviewed again in 2019.
Anthony Collins, Bevan Brittan, Capsticks, Devonshires, Penningtons Manches and Trowers & Hamlins will also advise the organisation on issues such as governance and regulation, housing management, development, property, finance and securitisation, procurement and commercial.
Crossland Employment Solicitors will continue to advise Sovereign on its HR policy and procedures.
Trowers & Hamlins advised Sovereign on a £250m bond issue in May 2012, the company’s second bond issue which proved popular with investors, with a sector-leading rate of 4.77 per cent.
Capsticks has acted on a number of significant stock transfers in the last two years. In 2012, the firm advised on one of the largest stock swaps in the housing sector – 1,400 homes – with Knightstone Housing Association. Since 2004, Sovereign has acquired or transferred more than 2,700 homes, with current proposals under considering affecting a further 1,200 properties.
Winckworth Sherwood advised Sovereign on the purchase of land from Taylor Wimpey for the construction of 98 affordable housing units in Hampshire (7 March 2013).
Sovereign’s legal services business partner Jacqueline Sandison led the panel review process.
Sovereign celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2014, and made 1,100 new houses available to tenants in the south and southwest of England. The housing association now owns 38,000 homes across 60 local authorities. The company’s turnover increased by £26.1m in 2014 to £224m.
Lot 1: Governance and regulation
Blake Morgan, Devonshires, Trowers & Hamlins
Lot 2: Housing management
Anthony Collins, Ashfords, Bevan Brittan, Capsticks, Clarke Willmott, Devonshires, Housing Law Services, Trowers & Hamlins
Lot 3: Development
Ashfords, Bevan Brittan, Capsticks, Clarke Willmott, Osborne Clarke, Penningtons Manches, Winckworth Sherwood
Lot 4: Property
Ashfords, Bevan Brittan, Capsticks, Clarke Willmott, Penningtons Manches, Trowers & Hamlins, Wright Hassall
Lot 5: Finance/Securitisation
Devonshires, Trowers & Hamlins, Winckworth Sherwood, Wright Hassall
Lot 6: HR
Lot 7: Procurement and Commercial
Blake Morgan, Penningtons Manches