Solicitors providing a full range of specialist legal services to registered providers covering land, development, leases, conveyancing and landlord and tenant matters.
Holmes & Hills Solicitors provides social and affordable housing providers with a single source of expert advice covering the areas of law affecting registered providers’ strategic investment plans and day-to-day operations.
Legal specialists from across Holmes & Hills’ Planning and Development, Commercial Property, New-Build and Shared Ownership, and Litigation Departments, work in partnership to provide a complete legal solution to social and affordable housing providers in respect of their property, land and development matters.
Holmes & Hills Solicitors’ specialist departments work alongside each other in assisting registered providers in acquiring properties from national and regional developers, as well as in facilitating the prompt disposal of units to end consumers via leasehold and freehold sales.
The Commercial Property Department provides prompt and thorough title reviews and undertakes in-depth due diligence to ensure social and affordable housing providers acquire homes free from the risk of unknown or onerous encumbrances that might otherwise impact current or future use or value of land or property.
The commercial property solicitors at Holmes & Hills have a wealth of experience in acting for developers in the acquisition of land for development and in the identification and resolution of complex title issues so as to facilitate development. This positions the Team well for providing services relating to the thorough review of and reporting on development site title matters.
Holmes & Hills has a specialist and highly regarded team of Planning Law solicitors that assists the Commercial Property Department in undertaking due diligence on proposed property acquisitions. The Planning and Development Team provide specialist review and reporting services, ensuring all planning matters associated with the properties being acquired and the wider relevant developments are considered and reported on as part of the acquisition process.
Holmes & Hills’ Planning and Development and Commercial Property Departments are both independently recognised by The Legal 500 as leading providers of legal advice and representation regarding their respective fields. Rebecca Mason, Head of the firm’s Commercial Property Department is notably individually recognised for her expertise in development matters and is supported by a large team of 10 lawyers.
Holmes & Hills’ Planning and Development Department includes among its ranks no less than eight specialist Planning Law solicitors. The team has for many years been ranked as a leading provider of expert Planning Law advice, with five members of the team individually recognised for their expertise and experience.
Where social and affordable housing providers acquire their own land for development, Holmes & Hills provides specialist advice on all related matters. This includes providing strategic advice on Planning Law matters and the structure of land planned for acquisition.
Holmes & Hills’ Commercial Property Team undertake thorough due diligence of title, identifying and resolving complex title issues which would otherwise prevent development (including advising on rights of way, options, overage and easements). Where development is being financed, Holmes & Hills is experienced in advising on development finance matters involving finance provided by both private and public sector organisations and in assisting registered providers in meeting lending criteria.
Reflecting Holmes & Hills’ breadth of expertise, the firm has a team of construction solicitors providing advice to registered providers on their construction contract relationships with consultants and main contractors pre, during and post contract. Advice provided by the team centres on protecting registered providers’ legal interests. The Construction Team minimise exposure to risk through drafting of bespoke contracts; advising on amendments to construction contracts and making or defending claims arising during the course of the project; advising on interim and final account payments; practical completion and matters concerning defective works and defect liability periods.
Holmes & Hills comprises over 140 legal industry professionals; the firm has one of the largest teams of commercial property solicitors and one of the largest teams of Planning Law solicitors in the region.
Holmes & Hills Commercial Property Department is supported by a large and ever-growing team of new-build and shared ownership conveyancing lawyers. The combined expertise, established procedures and capacity provided by these teams allows them to collectively deal with high volumes of unit acquisitions and disposals, across multiple sites, simultaneously.
The New-Build and Shared Ownership Team is structured to provide a highly efficient unit disposal function to social and affordable housing suppliers, with tried and tested procedures, technology, bespoke case management software, as well as established monitoring and reporting measures; facilitating the disposal of units as promptly as possible following acquisition by a registered provider.
Holmes & Hills’ Commercial Property and New-Build and Shared Ownership Teams work with registered providers to facilitate the structuring and implementation of leasehold arrangements including headleases, subleases and shared ownership leases to end consumers. Lease arrangements are structured to reflect the relevant provider’s corporate and legal ownership structure, often comprising lease arrangements between related companies.
Services include the drafting of bespoke leases to provide for headleases and subleases or use, or adaptation, of pre-existing registered provider standard leases, as well as utilisation of industry recognised standard leases such as Homes England shared ownership lease documentation.
Following disposal to and occupation by end consumers, Holmes & Hills’ New-Build and Shared Ownership Team is regularly acting on staircasing matters, representing social and affordable housing providers where tenants are increasing their ownership and final staircasing (where this is provided for under the terms of the respective lease).
Holmes & Hills provides social landlords with fixed-fee services relating to repossessions and claims concerning unpaid rent where breaches occur, including services covering issuing of Section 21 and Section 8 Notices, as well as enforcement.
Holmes & Hills regularly acts for registered social housing providers in the disposal of property pursuant to Right to Buy legislation, providing a proactive, efficient and cost effective service including monitoring and reporting of on-going transactions.
Social and affordable housing providers working with Holmes & Hills may, subject to their exact requirements, find themselves dealing with specialists across the firm’s departments, likely to be the Commercial Property, Planning and Development and New-Build and Shared Ownership Teams.
All members of Holmes & Hills’ Commercial Property, Planning and Development and New-Build and Shared Ownership Teams are based at the firms large, new regional head office – The A12 Commercial Hub – at Junction 25 of the A12, Marks Tey. This physical proximity of team members allows experts from different departments to work closely and collaboratively on matters that cross departmental specialisms, providing for efficiencies in progressing matters as well as for prompt resolution of any unforeseen issues that may arise.
Holmes & Hills has invested heavily in IT over a number of years and continues to do so, ensuring that all of the firm’s departments are able to service clients as efficiently as possible. Using SOS software which has been, and continues to be, tailored by in-house developers, lawyers utilise bespoke case management, monitoring and documentation production systems that facilitate efficient working and provide for lawyers taking a proactive approach that works towards a timely completion.