Skip to content

Building homes and supporting sustainable communities are critical to our future. The UK’s towns and cities of tomorrow must be constructed with forethought and insight to tackle evolving challenges.

Time is money. We understand that housebuilders working in this fast-paced sector need the confidence, support and expertise of a knowledgeable law firm. We can help, drawing on over 30 years of experience acting on behalf of leading national and regional developers, active in the North.

Our multi-disciplinary team of legal experts work with housebuilders, social housing providers, landowners and local authorities on a range of residential development schemes and high profile projects.

We offer a full legal service, combining our legal and commercial expertise, built around your needs. You can benefit from our breadth of support, with one of the largest planning teams outside of London; dedicated Overlay Plan Service; experienced residential development experts and over 30 experts in estates set-ups, plot sales and part-exchange transactions.

Focusing on your business needs, we have significant experience advising on larger scale strategic developments and regeneration sites, as well as the more quirky smaller-scale developments and everything in between.

Because we work right across the housebuilding sector you can benefit from our 360-degree exposure and experience, built around your needs, utilising market know how and our undisputed sector expertise to achieve your goals, seize opportunities and manage risk.

Who we are

Work we have done
  • Our specialist Plot Sales Team act for a number of the UK’s leading housebuilders and successfully completed the sale of over 5,000 homes in 2018/202019 at new development sites across the North, from the Scottish borders down to the Midlands stretching across to North Wales and in London and the South East. This translates to us being involved in the sale of one in every 40 new homes built during this period in England
  • We acted for Robertson Homes in its purchase of part of an existing large scale residential development site from Barratt. The acquisition arrangements were particularly complicated due to the involvement of a number of third parties and the requirement for extensive works obligations to facilitate the provision of access, drainage, services and associated landscaping in connection with the development site
  • We act for Barratt and David Wilson Homes (BDW) on the majority of their acquisition, development and strategic land deals in the north of England. A particular highlight this year has been the continuation of the bespoke arrangements with Heylo Housing, involving a strategic agreement to dispose of a large portfolio of units across various sites within an agreed timescale and involving outright and shared ownership disposals
  • Additionally for BDW, we acted on the acquisition and development of land for housing developments at Coxhoe, Pegswood and others which involved negotiations with various parties and a complex suite of documents, including contract, transfer, rent charges, works deeds for the provision of services, planning agreements and variations, legal charge and releases of overage and covenants
  • We act for Keepmoat Homes on the majority of their site acquisitions in the North East, most notably their partnering arrangements with Homes England including sites at Eldon Whins and Sedgeletch. Other notable work includes the strategic arrangements with Stockton Borough Council and Thirteen Group on the redevelopment of the Victoria site in Stockton Town Centre
  • We act for a large Registered Provider in connection with all elements of development services legal work, as well as a full range of wider legal services. Our client is one of the most active RPs in the North, with a current annual development programme of over 1,000 units. We handle the majority of the legal work associated with this programme, covering the North East and Yorkshire
  • We acted for a national housebuilder on its acquisition from a Council of various sites for regeneration. Our work included project managing the legal process to ensure a timely delivery; preparing and negotiating all legal agreements such as conditional contract, build contract, transfers, licences, deeds of variation, s106 agreement, deeds of release and title insurance
  • We acted for a housebuilder in its £4 million purchase of a residential development site within a timescale of 7 working days from agreement of heads of terms to exchange of contracts. We were able to quickly identify the critical issues and work to resolve these whilst drafting and settling documentation, all within this hugely ambitious target timescale
  • We advise a Joint Venture company between a national housebuilder and local authority since its inception. One of the most recent schemes involved the acquisition and development of a large residential site comprising approximately 170 dwellings, including affordable housing. The acquisition of the site was preceded by the satisfaction of 10 pre-conditions relating to planning, highways, public footpaths, title matters, release of covenants, variation of easements, acquisition of additional land and other matters
  • We also advised the same company on and drafted complex documentation to deal with the construction and future maintenance of a SUDS pond located on adjoining land serving the development, including the creation of a rentcharge arrangement in order to secure, for the rentcharge owner, the relevant service charge payable by the plot purchasers. This was the first such agreement the Local Authority had entered into and is now the precedent for other schemes
  • We act on behalf of a national housebuilder with regard to the acquisition of a prime residential development site. The site was acquired from a land promoter/facilitator who had secured an outline planning permission on the site. The transaction involved the division of a number of works which were required pursuant to the planning permission, the obtaining of reserved matters approval, deferred payment terms (together with a legal charge), payment by promissory notes and overage arrangements. Our ongoing work includes the disposal of the plots and open space land together with the establishment of the sustainable urban drainage system and working arrangements with the Local Authority who are to maintain the system direct

Contact a specialist

Lesley Fairclough

Partner | Built Environment

+44 (0) 330 137 3118

+44 (0) 784 131 7493

Email Lesley Fairclough

Read bio

Sophie Bohill

Partner | Built Environment

+44 (0) 330 137 3117

+44 (0)791 257 8824

Email Sophie Bohill

Read bio

Andrew Pliener

Partner | Built Environment

+44 (0) 330 137 3114

+44 (0)774 042 6380

Email Andrew Pliener

Read bio

Andrew Dunn

Partner | Built Environment

+44 (0) 330 137 3116

+44 (0)789 448 0161

Email Andrew Dunn

Read bio

View all contacts

What people say

  • To me, Ward Hadaway is a modern, open and engaging business. They have very broad range of legal experience with considerable depth in those areas I’ve engaged with previously. My focus has always been housebuilding and their expertise in this area is second to none, in my opinion. I’ve certainly not come across another business that I’ve been tempted to use since working with Ward Hadaway.’

    Legal 500, client quote
  • The individuals I work with at this practice are engaging, professional and attentive, they are always available to discuss matters at great length and conscientious in everything they produce. I have far more confidence in the advice provided than have encountered with other practices; they also make themselves available for a simply discussion, matters outside of the scope for general advice. Irrespective of knowing they have multiple clients and dealings, you always feel that the right time is allocated to your particular matter, something again which is not obtained elsewhere. Sophie Bohill and Julia Thomson are my main contacts at this practice; the above comments specifically relate to my sometimes daily interactions with these ladies who are genuinely amazing and work well outside the normal 9-5.

    Legal 500, Client quote
  • Ward Hadaway truly provide a one to one service, attention to detail and ensuring everything is clear and concise. Nothing ever feels difficult, always willing to go the extra mile and certainly obtainable at all hours. They are always accessible, make more of an effort keeping clients updated rather than being chased and the documentation provided in relation to transactions is vital for referencing after the event.

    Legal 500, Client quote
  • Ward Hadaway’s team is part of our team and acts as such. Our success is their success and vica versa. Both teams are aware of each others’ strengths and weaknesses and accommodate them.

    Legal 500, Client quote
  • Ward Hadaway compares favourably to other firms, helped by direct access to a partner who has been very willing to help on a range of matters and willing to talk things through in an uncomplicated way.

    Client quote
  • Always prepared to go the extra mile and is prepared to resource work and to keep you in the loop...the lawyers' commitment to the roles is evident and provides comfort that we as a company are in good hands.

    Client quote
  • Highly regarded full-service property practice acting for a number of household-name clients. Regularly represents national housebuilders, as well as several commercial developers and public sector organisations. Offers additional strength in property-secured lending.

    Chambers & Partners
  • The Ward Hadaway property team has a clear understanding of the needs of housebuilders

    Richard Bass, Regional Land Director, Keepmoat
  • The excellent service we receive leaves us confident in Ward Hadaway's ability to handle all our legal work

    Bernard Rooney, Managing Director, Barratt Homes

What we're thinking