The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
Anthony Collins Solicitors has published its first Social Impact Report, recording that in 2017/18 the Birmingham-based law firm attributed 91% of its work to directly improving lives, communities and society.
Released today (13 February), the Report highlights the scale and impact of the firm’s social purpose driven legal practice - www.anthonycollins.com/socialimpactreport.
In the same time period, Anthony Collins Solicitors established and registered 120 new charities, while also advising UK housing associations on how to access £1.2bn of funding. 12,240 homes were built because of the finance – providing 28,000 people with a place to live.
The work of Anthony Collins Solicitors has been national in its reach, with its health and social care team representing Care England in its intervention on sleep-in care shifts. Taking the case to the Court of Appeal, the firm helped to overturn a £400million back-pay bill allegedly owed to care workers deemed to be underpaid for overnight shifts.
By relinquishing providers from the responsibility of paying the substantial arrears, the law firm protected over two-thirds from entering bankruptcy. A motion that would have spelt disaster for the sector and jeopardised the care of 1.2million vulnerable people in the UK.
Peter Hubbard, Senior Partner at Anthony Collins Solicitors, said:
“From the firm’s founding in 1973, our team has committed to improving lives, communities and society. Yet, up to this point, we have never attempted to quantify the real-life impact of our work.
“One of our key findings from this process was that culturally many of our staff do not realise the extent their contributions have on the wellbeing of others. By releasing our first Social Impact Report, we wanted to shine a light on the often-extraordinary results their work has both locally and nationally.”
Elsewhere in the report, Anthony Collins Solicitors covers the work of its private client team who advise individuals on a range of matters including, financial planning, employment and relationships. A highlight from this activity is the team’s role as deputy when managing £79m worth of assets for 129 people, avoiding the risk of financial abuse.
In 2018, the firm was responsible for creating legal history after establishing a new precedent at the High Court addressing parental responsibility in road accidents caused by a third party. This decision arrived after the team successfully defended a mother from a legal suit brought forward by an insurance company that had claimed her responsible for the life-changing injuries her son sustained when hit by a speeding driver.
“Our quest for social improvement is ongoing. From our headquarters in Birmingham and newly launched office in Manchester, we plan to pursue further change.
“The Social Impact Report will provide us with a benchmark moving forward, as we measure our success and repeat this evaluation every year. With the talent and selfless attitude of our staff, I know anything is possible.”
Anthony Collins Solicitors' Social Impact Report is available to read here.
Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
A recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK means new measures are being put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of a second wave. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt, it is important to remain focused on the sector’s road to recovery.
Sometimes half an hour at a conference gives you the reality that has been staring you in the face all along. That was my experience watching “Change is on the Horizon”
Following our recent e-briefing on Possession Notices, Helen Tucker and Emilie Pownall from our housing litigation team discuss the impact of the changes on social landlords.
Not only has the possession stay been extended until 20 September, the notice periods to be given to tenants has been extended in certain circumstances with some important exceptions.
The Court has confirmed that a party cannot withhold its consent in order to re-write the original bargain.
Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, building safety continues to be a key concern for social housing providers and their residents.
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