Derek acts on behalf of many registered social landlords (RSLs), local authorities and other public bodies in Scotland with particular emphasis on governance, regulatory and constitutional advice and property and funding work. Derek regularly advises clients in relation to governance and constitutional matters, the application of legislative developments and the development and implementation of policy, as well as general advisory work.
He is also very active in relation to RSL funding work, including having acted for the issuers in the vast majority of private placements involving Scottish RSLs in recent years.
He also has a breadth of experience in acting for clients on the management, acquisition and disposal of large housing portfolios which is unrivalled in Scotland. Derek led the legal team which successfully delivered the largest ever housing transfer in the UK – the transfer of 80,000 houses from Glasgow City Council to Glasgow Housing Association (GHA). Derek also acted as lead external solicitor to GHA over an eight year period in connection with its programme of second stage transfers which ultimately successfully delivered the transfer of circa. 20,000 houses by way of 35 separate transfers.
Derek also has over 25 years of mainstream commercial property experience and continues to act for a number of property investors and developers, including in relation to innovative funding structures to deliver affordable housing.
He is a former member of the committees of management of Hillcrest, Old Town and Trust Housing Associations, and is also qualified to act as a solicitor in England and Wales. He has also served as a Chairperson member of the Private Rented Housing Panel/Homeowners Housing Panel, and was also a contributing editor to the Thomson Reuters’ Scottish Lawyer’s Factbook on residential tenancies. Derek is a regular speaker at seminars and workshops run by the firm and by external organisations.
Chambers UK Guide to the Legal Profession lists Derek as a "Leader in the Field" in Social Housing, where clients have noted that "he gives advice from our perspective, not just a legal perspective. He sees and connects legal issues back to us and the pressures we face." The Legal 500 has referred to Derek as “approachable and utterly reliable.”
Qualifications: LLB (Hons) Dip LP NP
Joined the firm: 2010