Home News Property solicitor Gerald Kelly joins Commonweal’s Board
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Lauren Aronin

Lauren is the Communications Officer at Commonweal Housing

Property solicitor Gerald Kelly joins Commonweal’s Board

Commonweal Housing has appointed experienced property solicitor Gerald Kelly, a Partner at UK leading law firm Macfarlanes, to its Board of Trustees. 

Gerald joins the Board with over 30 years of experience as a real estate solicitor, specialising in joint ventures and residential development projects using his legal expertise to advise developers, institutions, and private equity houses on the delivery of housing, as well as other asset classes.

Since 2016, Gerald has been a Partner at Macfarlanes, a leading UK law firm, providing organisations with legal advice on the acquisition and delivery of new homes as well as other property types. His recent work includes advising the FTSE 100 housing developer Berkeley Group on many of its development and joint venture residential projects, in partnership with investment organisations and not-for-profits.

Prior to joining Macfarlanes, Gerald was a Partner at the international law firm Ashurst. He worked at Ashurst for 24 years, starting as a trainee solicitor after obtaining his law degree and progressing to partner of the firm a decade later, in 2001.

Alongside his legal career, Gerald was a non-executive Board member of Hill Homes – a small housing association providing extra care for older people in North London – from 2010 to 2019. During this time, he also served as a non-finance member on the Board’s finance committee for three years, advising on strategic and financial decisions.

Gerald attended his first Commonweal Board meeting in March 2024. His appointment comes after the departure of long-standing Trustee Fiona Mactaggart, who stepped down from the Board in September 2023 but continues to support Commonweal as an Honorary Patron.

The nine-member Board, which meets quarterly for strategic and governance meetings and an annual strategic session, works alongside the Commonweal staff team to shape the charity’s strategic direction. Trustees collectively bring a wealth of expertise across social housing, policy, academia, development and regeneration, finance, and now real estate law.

The charity’s new Trustee marks a new addition to the Board following the appointment of its experienced Trustee and homelessness project delivery expert, Amarjit Bains, to Vice-Chair after four years as a Trustee. Over the past 12 months, Commonweal has also welcomed two new Trustees, Aphra Mactaggart and Dr. Elanor Warwick, to the Board.

Gerald Kelly, Trustee, Commonweal Housing, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for me to apply my experience of over 30 years of property development and joint venture legal expertise. Commonweal’s ethos of using property to trial and test new ways housing can solve social injustice is so appealing, and I look forward to being part of the projects that emerge during my time on the Board.”

Ashley Horsey, Chief Executive, Commonweal Housing, said: “I am delighted to welcome Gerald Kelly as the newest Trustee to join Commonweal’s Board of Trustees. With his extensive experience as a property solicitor, I am confident Gerald’s wealth of insights and expertise will be integral to guiding Commonweal’s efforts in acquiring property to deliver new property-based pilot projects to tackle social injustice.”

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