Dickinson Dees Joins Housing Roster

Legal week - Thursday 25th March 2004

Housing Corporation set to invest over £3bn into social housing over next three years for first ever national panel

The pitching process was managed by independent consultants First Law. Director Anthony Armitage said that 28 firms applied when the tender was announced in September.

Newcastle leader Dickinson Dees is the highest profile winner on the Housing Corporation’s new national panel.

This is the first time that the corporation, which is responsible for investing public money in the UK’s 2,000 housing associations and properties run by registered social landlords, has set up a panel.

The corporation is set to invest more than £3bn over the next three years in social housing.

Until last year the body relied upon its own in-house department and the Treasury Solicitor’s Office — the UK Government’s primary in-house legal department.

The full panel is made up of Dickinson Dees, Birmingham-based Anthony Collins, Cobbetts, London firm Devonshires, social housing boutique Jenkins & Hand, Masons and Trowers & Hamlins.

Cobbetts and Masons have been taken on to do employment work and Jenkins & Hand will focus on social housing.

The rest of the panel firms will cover the full range of work needed by the corporation, including property, public law, judicial reviews, IT, charity and company and commercial work.

He added that the Housing Corporation had considered relying on the Treasury Solicitor or drawing on firms that are already on the Government’s L-Cat panel, which is managed by the Office for Government Commerce (OGC), but instead opted to set up its own roster.

The contracts will run for one year, starting from the beginning of this month, with the option of renewal for a further two years.

Dickinson Dees head of social housing Mitch Brown said that the firm had worked alongside the Housing Corporation for some time, but this was the first time it had worked directly for the client.

"We have been working for some of the big registered social landlords in partnership with the Housing Corporation for over 30 years now, so they know us well," he said.

Author: James Lumley