Matthew is a Real Estate lawyer specialising in residential development and Social Housing. He has over 20 years’ experience advising house builders, property developers, promoters, land owners and registered providers.
Matthew is listed as a Recommended Lawyer in the Legal 500 (2020 edition).
- Acquisition for David Wilson Homes of development land at Olney Road, Lavendon for the construction of 95 dwellings in December 2018 for over £10m (a GDV of £44.8m), including reliance letters and service of notices for the removal of electricity wayleaves to divert cables underground, and an escrow sum for the costs of the diversion and diversion works.
- Advised Greensquare Community Housing in relation to a Lease and Leaseback with Aviva Investors, to finance the purchase of 191 properties from Guinness, the acquisition of which we also dealt with. The project was funded by Aviva Investors REaLM Social Housing Fund, and was the third such transaction that Greensquare have entered into. The properties acquired included 178 General needs homes, eight shared ownership and a children’s centre. Greensquare retains management, while the fund receives income from rent payments that rise in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI). Advice included changes to the leases to deal with the rights of a General Needs tenant to exercise their ‘Right to Acquire’. Matthew advised in relation to the obtaining of approval of the regulator to the transaction. The regulator’s main interest in the transaction was around the board having a full understanding of the risks the group was entering into. Permissions were built into the lease arrangements allowing GCH to transfer the assets into the rest of the group if necessary. Demonstrated an ability to deliver a cutting edge property finance solution, provided by only a handful of Legal Practices nationally.
- Negotiation of Direct Grant Agreements for a Housing Developer with the Housing Corporation, including a rent charge and separate legal charge by way of security.
- Advised various House builders and RPs in relation to their successful applications (and upon the terms of the documents and structure) for panel appointments to the Homes England DPP2 and DPP3 programme.
- Advised Balfour Beatty investments on their Help-to-Buy application, and acting as their Help to Buy Agent for all housing sales for Balfour Beatty England. Also acting for Westleigh Developments as their Help-to-Buy Agent for all sales nationally.
- Drafted standard shared ownership leases and associated commercial leases and occupation agreements for each of Greensquare and Bromford Housing Association (as separate instructions) to use across all their Extra Care and Assisted Living Schemes nationally, including advice on staircasing.
- Acquisition for Bromford Housing Association of land from 3 separate developers (Taylor Wimpey, Bovis, and Linden) on 3 differently structured agreements for the construction 180 social housing units being the whole of the affordable allocation at Homelands Farm, Bishops Cleeve, Cheltenham. 53 were built by Taylor Wimpey, 51 by Bovis, and 76 by Linden, with the subsequent sale of the 90 units of shared ownership allocations (being 26 constructed by Taylor Wimpey, 26 by Bovis, and 38 by Linden).
- Rights to Light Advice to NCHA following service of a Light Obstruction Notice upon them by the owners of the Victoria Centre, Nottingham, and also Nuisance (noise) and advice on planning and rights to object.
- Advice to NCHA on their ‘Let’s Select’ brand which deals with housing for sale and market renting, as well as Select Ventures, an SPV, which is a JV with a local house builder set up with the intention of building open market housing, which would be sold, and Lets Select’s share of the proceeds gift aided to NCHA in order to assist in funding their affordable programme. The advice led to the grant of head leases of air space, within which, or around which blocks of flats would be constructed, with an Agreement to surrender to deal with Section 5, Landlord & tenant Act 1987.
- Advice to the Royal Air Forces Association Housing Limited on the service charges payable in relation to blocks of flats, recoverability and processes for service of notices, and formation of and rights of a Recognised Tenant’s Association in terms of representations to the landlord. Advice was given on Regulatory Standards (Rent Standard, Tenancy Standard and Tenant Involvement and Empowerment Standard). Advice ensured maximum recovery of service charge, and advice on notice procedures going forward, as well as identifying the information that should be provided to tenants across the client’s housing stock.
- Acquisition contract for a development site at the foot of a rock face, for a registered provider of social housing for over £3 million for residential apartments conditional both on satisfactory planning and remediation of contamination, works to a rock face and other site specific works, and involving grant funding and specific warranties for rock stabilisation.
- Advising Registered Provider’s on funding of portfolios and refinancing work for Longhurst Group, Nottingham Community Housing Association and Leicester Housing Association, including for example, Charging existing stock of 111 flats/houses of Leicester Housing Association Limited to Prudential Trustee Company Limited acting as Security Trustee pursuant to ISDA arrangements with Lloyds Bank Plc for a loan of £8m.
- Matthew’s most recent instruction in 2019 is jointly by Nottingham & Union Rowing Club and Nottingham Rowing Club in relation to the redevelopment of the boat houses alongside the River Trent by Nottingham Forest Football Club, with residential flats, a hotel and shops forming part of the development. The redevelopment includes the demolition and reconstruction of the City Ground’s West Stand and will lead to the construction of a state of the art rowing facility.
‘Doing the right thing’ is at the heart of Freeths. Find out more about our excellent client service and the strong set of values that guide the way we work.
Talk to us
Freeths are a leading national law firm with 13 offices across the UK. If you have a query about our services or just want to find out more, why not give us a call?
Contact: 03301 001 014