Richard Macphail

Partner, Head of Social Housing

Richard is head of our social housing team, coordinating the work of over 50 lawyers, paralegals and support staff. An integral part of this role is to lead on the firms work with communities to ensure that social value remains a key priority in all of our activities.

Richard acts for a variety of public and private sector clients for all aspects of commercial property work and has over twelve years’ experience of acting for social housing clients, with a particular focus on development work, including land acquisitions, option agreements, development agreements, package deals, planning agreements and infrastructure agreements.

Richard has acted for a number of housing associations such as Newydd Housing Association in relation to the acquisition of 190 properties across three phases representing the allocation of affordable housing units pursuant to a section 106 agreement and has acted for Melin Homes Limited in relation to the acquisition of a former school site from a local authority for redevelopment and is continuing to act for Cardiff Community Housing Association in relation to the £20m regeneration of the Maelfa Shopping Centre, Cardiff. He has advised Bron Afon Community Housing on a number of option agreements relating to potential development sites across South Wales.

Richard also advises a number of community groups in relation to the lease of properties under the Community Asset Transfer scheme from a local authority and disposing of sites and surplus land by Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council.

Richard is the lead advisor to E G Carter & Company in relation to its land led package deal transactions to South West based housing associations.

Richard regularly delivers training sessions and seminars to clients and at conferences on matters relating to property development and disposals.

Richard is a member of the business support group for the Duke of Edinburgh Award and is on the committee of Penarth Rowing Club.


Work History

Richard was appointed the head of social housing at the firm in September 2018. He joined Hugh James in the summer of 2017 from Blake Morgan to bolster the firm’s social housing offering and brings a large following of clients owing to his reputation for the quality of service and technical expertise.

Richard qualified in 2006.



Richard is a pleasure to work with and we have a good working relationship. He understands our requirements and helps us meet our often challenging timescales.

Paul Wyatt| Melin Homes


We have appointed Hugh James on a range of site acquisitions. They have provided a professional service with one point of contact, they are responsive, deliver on timescale commitments, good communicators and most importantly, they've helped us get deals over the line.

Paul Gardiner | E G Carter

Quotes “go to person” with regard to legal advice on land acquisition contracts in the public sector. His knowledge and experience of this sector has proved invaluable in securing options and contracts from both private and public organisations for the delivery of affordable housing in South Wales.

Keith Richardson, Development Consultant, Bron Afon Community Housing


They are all high-calibre individuals who are easily accessible to their clients. I feel very reassured when the team is on our side.

Chambers and Partners UK