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Ian Doolittle

Ian Doolittle

Consultant โ€“โ€“โ€“ London

Ian Doolittle is a Consultant in our Housing and Regeneration department.  Ian is a well known specialist in public sector housing law.

Ian works closely with local housing authorities (and their ALMOs) to identify investment and other options.  He is a well known expert on Housing Revenue Account issues: he served on the Government's expert panels on Self financing while the system was being developed.  He is at the forefront of the development of public sector housing law and policy.  He regularly engages with the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Chartered Institute of Housing, the Association of Retained Council Housing, the National Federation of ALMOs and other "trade" bodies.  He specialises in developing models and structures for resolving financial pressures and delivering new build and other housing solutions.  His HRA expertise assists in finding a way through both financial as well as legal difficulties and anticipating policy changes and new legislative provisions.

His expertise has led him to advise on restructuring Social Housing provision by local housing authorities and other public bodies, including work on the ongoing Social Housing Reform Programme in Northern Ireland. He also played a leading role in the reform of Jersey's unique social housing system: this led, through legislation, to the establishment of Andium Homes.

His recent work has focussed, in particular, on addressing the reforms in the Housing and Planning Act 2016, including the so called levy on higher value voids and other issues.  There has also been a great deal of work on the establishment of local housing companies, working with colleagues on (to date) nearly 100 commissions of various kinds.  This has involved a close understanding of HRA and other vires/powers issues.

Ian led the firm's teams on over 70 housing stock transfers, including most of the major and complex ones (for example, Sunderland, Bradford and Wakefield).  His more recent stock transfer work involved ALMO based ones, including those at Gloucester and Durham.  Many of the transfers he led concerned innovative structures, to address constraints imposed by Government and/or to deliver the specific aims of transferring councils.

Ian was also closely involved in the setting up of many of the arm's length management organisations (ALMOs), having drafted the model documentation and advised generally on the under pinning policy.  In the post Decent Homes period he helped create new or refashioned ALMOs, including the four authority one at East Kent as well as new ones at Shropshire and Northampton.  He has continued to work with many of the ALMOs, on longer term, new-style  Management Agreements and on their more regular legal needs.  Ian was a Board Member of the Kensington and Chelsea TMO ALMO for five years.

Ian has often been acknowledged as a leading individual and leader in his field in both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners guide to the legal profession in the fields of both local government and social housing.  In the 2016 Edition of Legal 500, Ian is cited as a 'leading individual' and a 'standout practitioner', and is described  in Chambers and Partners 2017 as being 'very knowledgeable and able to dispense straightforward advice.'