Regrettably, we local authority lawyers are sometimes undermined by our private sector peers. You can imagine my surprise/delight when a colleague reported the following interaction with a property partner at a Legal 500 firm.

She was negotiating a planning obligation requiring the provision of shared ownership housing. She requested that the agreement include standard clauses to enable a purchaser to ‘staircase’ – that is, increase the percentage of the property they own.

My colleague was taken aback to receive an email from said partner. It read: ‘It is nonsensical to require a staircase provision. It’s a ground floor flat!’

Helen Woodward, locum solicitor, Cheltenham