Having worked for social housing providers and Local Authorities all her legal career, Jo is an expert legal voice and a highly experienced lawyer in a wide range of 'business critical' governance, regulatory and constitutional areas.
Her experience includes governance advice, policy and constitutional issues, identifying and mitigating risk, and advising on strategic projects such as stock transfers (Jo has acted on 13 large stock transfers to date) and group structures. She also has expertise in commercial contracts and partnering arrangements and complex negotiations, including with Local Authorities, third party solicitors and funders’ solicitors on contract terms, warranties, service level agreements, nominations, VAT sharing and VAT shelters.
Jo also advises on a wide range of mergers, cost-sharing vehicles, JVs and other partnering arrangements, including JVs between charitable and private organisations, and also matters ranging from codes of conduct and board member service agreements to restructures, creating subsidiary organisations and intra-group arrangements.
Jo is at the cutting edge of developments in the regulatory environment, regularly speaking at seminars and conferences on changes affecting the sector. For example, in 2015 Jo was invited to deliver a keynote session at the Housing Quality Network’s end of year Housing Law conference on the challenges and opportunities facing the sector as a result of the radical policy agenda from Government.
Jo also demonstrates authoritative ‘thought leadership’ through her regular blogs and contributions to the housing press. Jo also contributed to the legal text Handbook of Co-operative and Community Benefit Society Law.
- Advising on terms and set up of an investment policy to enable a charitable housing group to assist a non-charitable subsidiary with a development scheme (through £2.5m investment), without tax and vires implications.
- Advising an RP regarding setting up cost sharing vehicle with another RP to provide a joint repairs and maintenance service, saving £600k annually through VAT and other savings.
- Advising on a contractual joint venture between two RPs to enable a development to proceed. Included drafting JV agreement and leasehold arrangements, construction documents and management agreement.
- Advising on restructure of a group of care homes and other subsidiaries; transferring some of the subsidiaries back into the parent and streamlining the group and the services within the subsidiaries.
- Advising multiple RPs on subsidiaries’ commercial activities in relation to market renting/development covering constitutions/parental controls, board structures and shadow directorships, charity tax and vires, intra-group agreements, and corporation tax/gift aid.
- Acting for a number of RP on Large Scale Voluntary Transfers - to date Jo has advised on 13 LSVTs.
- Advising on mergers, transfers and group structure options, including constitutional changes.
- Creating new RPs and charitable organisations, including CIO
- Advising on the HCA framework agreemen
- Advising on intercompany loan arrangements
- Advising on entry and exit of complex contractual arrangements
- Negotiating catering contracts for care homes