James specialises in local government, housing and regeneration projects including estate regeneration, town centre redevelopments, stock transfers and housing PFI projects. In particular he focuses on local authority housing and joint ventures and supports the Womble Bond Dickinson team on housing association matters, including governance and regulatory issues.

James also sat on the Housing Corporation’s committee on stock rationalisation in 2006, drafted the HCA guidance for non-HRA housing PFI projects and was for many years a housing association board member.


Examples of experience include advising:

  • Telford & Wrekin BC, LB Tower Hamlets and Luton BC on the creation of local authority wholly owned companies for the delivery and management/sale of new homes. These involve a newly formed council company (NewCo). NewCo (funded by the Council) to develop out various sites with a mix of private rented and affordable housing together with housing for sale. Advice included procurement, State aid, local authority powers and HRA issues
  • LB Tower Hamlets on a wider housing options appraisal including public/public and public/private joint ventures.  Again advice included procurement, State aid, local authority powers and HRA issues
  • Rentplus Limited – advising this company on its intermediate rent to buy product which involves a leasing structure with a registered provider and low cost home ownership
  • Westminster City Council on a project to mitigate the impact of the higher value housing levy.  This has involved the investigation and legal and financial assessment of six solutions relating to existing HRA stock
  • Westminster City Council, Durham County Council and Bristol City Council on options for a wholly owned housing company.