Throughout 2011 and until completion in March 2012, we acted for Rochdale MBC in connection with the stock transfer to Rochdale Boroughwide Housing.
We acted pre-ballot as the Council consulted its secure tenants then worked with the Council to negotiate the commercial and contractual terms. This transaction paved the way for a new housing model, the housing mutual, so it was vital that the advice we gave to the Council was clear on the transfer project and also on governance. To make sure that high quality advice was given, we had a dedicated senior governance lawyer focussing purely on the governance modelling while working closely with the transfer lead. This meant that there was no distraction from the delivery of the transfer itself and that the main timetable was not compromised.
The Rochdale transfer was also significant in that the contract negotiations were completed within 3 months of ballot. This meant that a significant amount of work which would traditionally be classed as post-ballot needed to be done pre-ballot. Working closely with the Council’s in-house team was crucial to the project being delivered on time and without exposing the Council to unnecessary risk. The key to delivery of legal advice within a tight timescale is a clear project plan, but also regular and frequent contact between lawyer and client to make sure that agreed tasks are delivered on time. This also ensures that if either lawyer or client is unclear about what needs to be done, issues can be discussed before they become problems. This is how we deliver our services, close and regular contact with our clients and always being available, particularly as we near completion.