Housing corporate services

The team has always given excellent and timely advice and they're always available to answer questions.

Chambers UK
Housing lawyers

Latest news & insights:

Our housing corporate team combines an in-depth knowledge of the housing sector with the business expertise of a market-leading law firm to bring a unique service offering to our clients. In an increasingly commercial world, housing associations need access to top class corporate legal services in addition to expertise in housing law. At Penningtons Manches Cooper, our housing lawyers provide exactly that.

We advise on all corporate activities undertaken by housing associations. Our team has specific expertise in mergers (and de-mergers), group re-organisations and re-structures, corporate joint ventures, acquisitions or disposals of commercial subsidiaries, commercial projects and specialist commercial advice. We also provide guidance on the associated regulatory, charity law and governance issues.

On numerous occasions, we have helped bring associations and groups together in a variety of different types of merger. We have assisted them in establishing new partnerships and advised on the handling of intragroup matters including governance, funding and intragroup contractual arrangements. We are also one of the very few law firms with specific experience of cross-border mergers and of demerging subsidiaries from a group.

As the development of new homes becomes an ever more expensive and risky business, we help our association clients to set up and operate corporate joint ventures with private developers, local authorities and others to share the risk and costs. We are experts in structuring joint ventures to maximise the chances of success and to minimise areas of uncertainty for our clients. Additionally, we assist on grant agreements (whether from Homes England/Greater London Authority or other grant making bodies) and provide guidance to our housing clients on their obligations under these arrangements.

As a multi-disciplinary practice, we have access to a range of corporate and commercial legal experts that many other specialist housing law firms cannot match. Whether it is procurement, state aid, tax saving structures and advice, IT projects and data protection/Freedom of Information Act requests or simply private sector corporate/commercial advice for your non-housing association subsidiaries, our housing lawyers can help you successfully navigate through the legal minefields.

Our expert dispute resolution lawyers are always on hand to help resolve any commercial disputes that our housing clients may have. They are skilled in all forms of dispute resolution including mediation and arbitration as well as litigation through the courts and focus on protecting our clients’ reputational and commercial interests. We are also specialists in charity law, co-operative and community benefit society law, company law and housing regulation. This level of technical expertise ensures that our advice takes account of all legal factors relevant to your organisation.

We offer expert advice on:

  • mergers and demergers
  • group re-organisations and re-structures
  • corporate joint ventures
  • acquisitions and disposals of commercial subsidiaries
  • commercial projects
  • grant agreements
  • specialist commercial matters including procurement, state aid, VAT saving schemes, IT and data protection
  • governance issues including those involving charity law and vires

Recent work highlights

Housing association merger

Advising on a merger of two charitable housing associations by means of a transfer of engagements, including managing the due diligence process, drafting and negotiating the relevant documents and board and shareholding member resolutions, and liaising with the Financial Conduct Authority.

Joint venture in affordable housing

Setting up a joint venture between a housing association and a local authority. Our clients wanted to work together to promote housing-led developments and generate additional income through residential landlord activities, thereby maximising capacity for each to deliver their strategic aims.

Commercial arrangements

Advising a housing association on its commercial arrangement with a local authority under which the association took on the management of the local authority’s private rented housing portfolio and simultaneously sub-contracted it on a short-term basis to another association.

Arrow GIFSee more detailed case studies

Related expertise

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 419867.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP