Ward Hadaway’s housing management team celebrates 10 years’ service

Ward Hadaway’s housing management team is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year and has welcomed the appointment of a new director.

Since 2013 when they were recruited to extend the services of the wider Social Housing Group, the housing management team has experienced significant growth. What originally started as two people based out of the firm’s Leeds office, the recent appointment of Amy Stirton as director alongside Chloe Middlemas and Holly Templeman has taken headcount of the specialist team to 14. The team now have experienced housing management lawyers in each of Ward Hadaway’s three locations.

Considered as one of the most established legal teams working within the sector, turnover has trebled since 2020 and this has been boosted by their successful appointment to four legal panel frameworks for major social housing clients in the last 18 months.

The housing management team is part of the Chambers-ranked Social Housing Group at Ward Hadaway. Led by Julia Thomson, it continues to secure new client wins and increase its headcount, providing a truly holistic service to an impressive list of regional and national clients.

The housing management team was originally established by Partners John Murray and Simon Thirtle. Bringing their specialist expertise and experience, they launched a comprehensive service to support many of the firms’ local authorities, housing association clients and other sector partners, working on matters including tenancy management, enforcement action and defending housing disrepair claims.

Last month, Amy Stirton joined the team as Legal Director and is based with fellow Director Melanie Dirom at the firm’s Manchester office. She has over 10 years’ experience acting on behalf of social housing clients nationally and specialises in all aspects of housing management and complex antisocial behaviour.

She joins from her previous firm where she was a Senior Associate and is a recommended lawyer for Social Housing in Legal 500. She has delivered training nationally on areas such as antisocial behaviour, tackling domestic abuse and effective use of community protection notices, and has provided expert guidance on preparing good quality evidence in support of litigated tenancy enforcement cases.

Commenting on her appointment, Amy said: “The team at Ward Hadaway are widely recognised as leading legal providers within the social housing sector. I have known of the team and its reputation for many years and am delighted to have joined.”

Also joining Amy last month were Chloe Middlemas and Holly Templeman who have been appointed as paralegals based in the Newcastle and Leeds offices respectively.

Head of the housing management team, Partner Simon Thirtle, said: “I’m so proud of what we have achieved over the last ten years, both with regard to the expansion of the team and the professional development of its people. Now based across each of our three offices, we provide a highly effective service to our clients across the North and much further afield.

“As our reputation has grown, so too has our client base within the sector. This has enabled us to attract high-calibre solicitors such as Amy to join our team. I’m delighted to welcome her, Chloe and Holly to Ward Hadaway and look forward to working with them all.”

John Murray, now based within the firm’s Newcastle office, said: “The speed and growth of the team has been truly remarkable. Working with our colleagues in the wider social housing group, our experience and ability to provide a one-stop solution at such a high level for our clients sets us apart from other firms.

“We have helped build our reputation through a very open and collaborative approach. At regular free “law schools”, we have shared our knowledge and best practice with industry colleagues, and provided a forum to collectively discuss issues and topics that are happening within the sector.”

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