Relevant Experience Public Sector

London Borough of Wandsworth

We provide legal services to London Borough of Wandsworth and the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames (with which London Borough of Wandsworth have been sharing services since October 2016). We are the sole legal provider for criminal and civil litigation services, housing management services, employment, planning and highways and contracts and procurement. Our multi-disciplinary team has advised Wandsworth on a wide spectrum of matters across the London Borough of Wandsworth's many service areas: from possession claims to homelessness applications, pre-claim employment settlements to disciplinary processes, criminal prosecutions for fraudulent use of disabled parking badges to prosecutions for dog fouling and extensions to multi-million pound contracts to early contract terminations.

Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

We are sole employment and HR advisers to the Trust.  We have advised the Trust on a number of contentious sensitive Employment Tribunal claims relating to whistleblowing, unfair dismissal, deductions from wages and discrimination.  We have also advised on a number of non-contentious issues including the review, preparation and application of HR policies; organisational change and re-structuring; the avoidance of discrimination; employment governance; criminal convictions; immigration issues; safeguarding issues; and NHS Employment Standards.

Lambeth Borough Council - Homes for Lambeth

We are sole legal services provider to London Borough of Lambeth's newly created Homes for Lambeth ("HfL") group of companies, providing a full range of legal services on the delivery of new homes across Lambeth. HfL has been tasked (by its 100% owner Lambeth Council) to deliver homes across a large number of Council-owned and privately-owned estates. We have provided a multi-disciplinary team of local government, employment, procurement, real estate, finance, construction and corporate lawyers to assist the group in its responsibilities to its owner. Our instructions cover all elements of the legal advice required by the group companies. We provide timely, pro-active and strategic advice on finance, regulatory, procurement, corporate and real estate legal structures to enable HfL to deliver its bold and innovative strategy for addressing the housing challenges in its borough.

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

We are advising the RBKC in relation to its Edenham Way regeneration project alongside CBRE and Grant Thornton. The regeneration will deliver market housing, social housing and intermediate housing as well as a commercial block. The intermediate housing is to be purchased by a wholly owned subsidiary of RBKC and held within that company. This transfer is intended to leverage the use of a separate corporate entity to drive a new generation of high quality, publically owned and sustainable intermediate housing stock. Community cohesion is key to this project. We have assisted RBKC to ensure this is delivered, using the procurement process as a tool to drive the correct behaviour from the selected development partner.

Exeter City Council

We acted for Exeter City Council in relation to a twelve-acre mixed use regeneration scheme involving the second phase of an award winning town centre redevelopment. The current scheme involves comprehensive development including the relocation of a bus depot, construction of a new leisure complex, an enhanced bus station, retail floor space, commercial leisure uses, entertainment uses, pedestrianisation and other uses. Ashfords is fielding a multi-disciplinary team to provide advice on  the procurement and contract aspects of the appointment of the design and construction teams, all planning elements and related complex and commercial property transactions, State aid compliance and in respect of corporate governance.

London Borough of Croydon

We regularly prosecute rogue trader fraud cases on behalf of trading standards for London Borough of Croydon. To date we have achieved a 100% success rate; offenders have been imprisoned and assets seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act. We designed, trained and implemented a successful prosecution model for the Council, bringing many prosecutions for dog fouling, fly-tipping and littering cases. The result has been an increase in low level environmental law enforcement that reduces the cost to the tax payer of cleaning up litter, that is cost neutral and politically popular.

The Guinness Partnership Trust

We have acted for The Guinness Partnership for over 15 years. We provide advice on a wide range of housing management matters including disrepair claims, ASB-based proceedings (including possession and injunction claims), non-occupation, subletting and housing fraud and the provision of policy advice. 

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

We assisted the Council in defending a claim following an allegation that a car park barrier at a school had descended, hitting the Claimant on the head. Ashfords worked closely with the installation company to produce technical evidence showing that the scenario was improbable, despite independent evidence supporting the Claimant's account. The Claim was discontinued before trial.

Taunton Deane Borough Council at Firepool

We are advising Taunton Deane Borough Council on the development of its Firepool site, a major long term town centre regeneration project. The first phase (residential and 27,00sq ft office space for Viridor) has been taken forward by St Modwen. The Council have instructed Ashfords in relation to the redevelopment of the remainder of the Firepool site.  We are advising the Council on the use of powers of compulsory acquisition, appropriation, and its arrangements with St Modwen, to ensure that the scheme currently being taken through planning for  a mix of retail (food and non food), offices, a hotel and community uses is delivered.