Addleshaw Goddard LLP is delighted to announce the appointment of Beth Collett, from Allen & Overy, as a Partner within its market-leading Housing Finance practice.

Beth is arguably the best debt capital markets lawyer in the UK specialising in housing finance, having advised on the vast majority of public bond issues in the sector in the last decade. Beth's practice includes advising both issuers (including L&Q, Affinity Sutton, Places for People and Wheatley) and, more commonly, managers and trustees in the sector, as part of her broader capital markets experience. This ranges from advising on government gilt issues, local authority and university financing and issues by corporates (on both secured and unsecured issues, and on structured and plain vanilla debt).

Beth's expertise and reputation is recognised by both Chambers & Partners (where Beth is ranked as a "Tier 1" lawyer, nationally in social housing finance, with clients describing Beth as "incredibly knowledgeable and very responsive") as well as Legal 500 where she is listed as a 'Leading Individual'.

Whilst Beth will be a key Partner in the Housing Finance team, she will have a wider mandate to lead, develop and grow the firm's public debt capital markets and private placement practices.

Lee Shankland, Head of Housing Finance and the Firm's Joint Head of Banking, said: "Persuading Beth to join our business has been a long held ambition, as most of the market knows.

She is a fantastic lawyer who has carved out an unparalleled reputation for advice on public debt capital markets issues by housing associations, advising on almost 100 public debt issues since 2008. She brings to AG the missing piece of the jigsaw in our Housing Finance practice, namely a credible public bond offering. She has already been instructed, in her first week at AG, by the bookrunners on what is expected to be one of the largest public debt issues by a housing association to date.

Whilst we are very proud of our existing team, and the reputation we have built over many years, Beth's appointment is rightly described by clients as a "game changer" for us, and the market."

Beth's recruitment comes on the back of a number of other significant appointments, including the recruitment of Jennie Chilton from Trowers & Hamlins as a Legal Director in the firm's housing security team, which is now headed by Partner Katie Ridehalgh. Our forthcoming merger with HBJ will add further strength in depth to our team, given the reputation which HBJ Partners, notably Heather Pearson, Susan McDonald and Tom Speirs and their teams enjoy in the Scotland Housing Finance markets.

Beth commented: "I am delighted to be joining Addleshaw Goddard as a Partner. Their commitment to the Housing Finance sector is unsurpassed, as is their collaborative approach and focus on delivery. It is the perfect fit, both for me and my clients. I look forward to working with Lee, Steve, Nick, Katie and the wider teams, to further grow our business whilst continuing to be at the forefront of all Housing Finance developments in the UK."

Notes to Editors
  • Our banking practice, with over 100 lawyers internationally, covers a range of finance related advice as well as housing finance, including asset finance and leasing, asset based lending , corporate banking, derivatives, finance for professional practices, funds finance, hotel finance , Islamic finance, leveraged finance and real estate finance.
  • Our housing finance team has been consistently recognised with a national Tier 1 ranking in both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 for the past 10 years, and is seen as the pre-eminent firm advising funders on housing finance transactions. Alongside Beth, Lee Shankland, Steve Mackie and Nick Barlow are recognised experts.
  • The team has advised on many of the most highest profile transactions during the past 12 months, including advising all lenders on the refinancings and "mega mergers" in the sector, notably the two largest ever transactions in the social housing space, both of which completed in December 2016:
    • the £2.8bn refinancing of Clarion Group which was established on the mergers of Affinity Housing and Circle Housing; and
    • the £3.4bn refinancing of London & Quadrant Housing Group and East Thames Housing Group, as part of their merger.
  • The team is at the cutting edge of legislative changes and has recently been advising the funding community, via the Council of Mortgage Lenders, on changes to the insolvency regime (and the introduction of a "special administration" route) for housing associations.