Jennie is an experienced and well regarded  finance and real estate lawyer with over twenty years of expertise in the social housing sector, advising both funders and Registered Providers (RPs) on real estate transactions. Jennie now acts exclusively for funders and security trustees in the sector and heads up the social housing finance property security team, dealing with the property aspects of charging large portfolios of properties as security for bank lending, bond issues, private placements and refinancing.  The social housing finance team forms part of AG's Social , Sustainable and Green Finance Group.  Jennie project manages her team of lawyers and paralegals on the larger transactions, including across office collaboration where appropriate.

Jennie also represents funders to the sector as part of the Securitisation Working Group, and actively represents funders' interests with various stakeholders to the sector including UK finance, the Regulator of Social Housing and DLUHC, or on consultations affecting the sector, including such matters as housing administration, methods of modern construction, building safety, For Profit Registered Providers and rent caps.

The AG Social, Sustainable and Green finance team works on the majority of the transactions in the social housing sector, including the largest and most complex refinances and mergers, and Jennie's team carries out the property security work on all of those transactions; including the merger of Notting Hill Housing Trust and Genesis Housing Association to form Notting Hill Genesis, and the £1.6 bn refinancing as a result of the merger of Metropolitan Housing Trust and Thames Valley Charitable Housing Association to form Metropolitan Thames Valley. 

Jennie led on the property work to secure several bond issues; L&Q (£1bn in two issues), Homegroup (£350M), Wrekin (£250M as part of a £600m refinancing) and Livewest (£250M as part of a £800M portfolio) to name a few, and numerous private placements of between £50M and £100M.

 Lenders Experience includes:

  • Providing advice on, and negotiating the level of due diligence appropriate to the transaction
  • advising on the negotiation of Certificates on Title and the due diligence carried out by Borrowers' solicitors on refinancing, mergers and group restructures as well as traditional bilateral, syndicatable lending and allocations under Security Trust Deeds
  • reporting to and advising the lender/investor on all aspects of the property being offered as security
  • ensuring compliance with conditions precedent
  • project managing larger transactions ensuring timescales are met
  • Horizon scanning and providing detailed advice on complex matters affecting the sector;
  • Providing specialist advice on affordable home ownership products and their delivery.

Borrowers Experience includes:

  • advising in relation to all due diligence and preparation of Certificates on Title and dealing with satisfaction of conditions precedent required under the security documentation
  • advising on several high value (e.g. £200m+) bond issues, involving both newly developed properties as well as established properties acquired by RPs from local authorities under Large Scale Property Transfers, including consideration of the effect and strength of Council warranties given at the time of transfer
  • advising on high-value securitisation under bilateral and syndicatable facilities and security trusts.

Previous Real Estate Development experience includes:

  • advising RP clients on the acquisition of major mixed-use development sites both within London and nationwide involving the resolution of complex property issues, often in very short timescales and coordinating all aspects. Advice included support on conditional contracts, tripartite development agreements, joint venture arrangements, leases and overage/clawback provisions and section 106 agreements
  • several large-scale Voluntary Transfers and estate transfers in London, involving substantial elements of redevelopment and regeneration
  • advising RPs on the acquisition of several Department of Health funded extra care schemes, including negotiating nomination agreements, leasebacks, crane oversail agreements and land transfer deeds
  • advising 

on residential and commercial conveyancing including: 

shared ownership plot sales and commercial leases

site acquisitions and set up for RPs, shared ownership plot sales

commercial leases, company share sales and property charging

  • Contributed to Estates Gazette on Mortgagee Exclusion Clauses

"Jennie is very adept at seeing what is coming over the horizon and how we might tackle the new issues as they arise.

I have found [Jennie's] legal and sector knowledge excellent and she has focussed on delivering a first-class service to [us] as her client.  Jennie attended two discussions at UK Finance [and] provided useful input [which] facilitated representation by the lenders to RICS and has resulted in the valuers revising their proposal to one which is acceptable to …lenders in the sector."

"Jennie Chilton ‘always finds a solution to challenging issues‘ when advising on the securing of large housing portfolios for private placements, bond issues and bank lending

Jennie Chilton is an industry leader with a great balance of technical and commercial acumen"

Legal 500 2023