With the fluctuation in social care policy and a projected one in four people in the UK expected to be over the age of 65 by 2037, set against the backdrop of an anticipated shortfall of near 70,000 homes with care available by 2030, there is an enormous amount of activity in this sector from all stakeholders.
Our Later Living team has the specialist experience, capacity and knowledge of this market to tailor our advice for each of our developer, funder and operator clients. However, most importantly for us, is that we strive to forge strong relationships with our clients so that we can truly collaborate as a team in successfully delivering projects, time and time again, across the Later Living spectrum – be it retirement villages, traditional care homes, extra care or sheltered housing. There is so much going on in the sector right now and our lawyers are here to help. Whether it is a discussion around how the proposed ground rent abolition will affect the sector or affordable housing contributions on a plot designated for extra care, our team is across all of the latest news and will already be drafting to accommodate inevitable change.
The Shoosmiths Later Living Team comprises legal advisers with specialist knowledge of the market across all relevant disciplines, including core real estate, planning, construction, litigation, tax, environment and corporate matters, which allows us to pull together and deliver focussed, market-led advice on demand, whatever our client’s project.
Our focus on client relationships is the cornerstone of the service we provide as we recognise that each client has unique requirements. From day one, we ensure the people delivering the service are introduced to and keep in touch with our clients regularly to facilitate and maintain a joined-up approach, to get to know how each client works and, importantly, what we can do to make their lives easier. Our service delivery is bolstered by feedback from client listening exercises, which we conduct at a national and regional level wherever possible. Client listening meetings or calls are hosted by our non-legal Client Relationship Managers, whose role is to assess how well we are meeting your needs. This transparent and open approach is what set us apart from the competition.
And the results
Our involvement in the Later Living sector is rewarding in so many ways. We are often acting in relation to land that had previous uses: derelict houses; garden centres; or petrol filling stations. We work through significant development and planning constraints with clients to bring new schemes to life. We consider our clients’ needs at every stage: for developers it is profit and exit, and for operators it is the need for the property to work for them, often a turnkey solution suiting residents’ changing needs and expectations from later life. We understand the nuances of the retirement living sector: event fees; deferred management fees and the impact of legislative change. We also work with clients to ensure that, where a care development is to be sold on the funding market as an income stream, the lease is set up on institutional terms. The most rewarding moment of all is when the buildings we have seen on paper for years start taking shape and, ultimately, occupied to provide much needed homes for the older generation.
Shoosmiths’ later living team has been shortlisted for legal advisor of the year at the Health Investor Seniors Housing Awards 2023 and LaingBuisson Awards 2023.