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Index of tables

  1. Social housing – Leading sets
  2. Social housing – Leading silks
  3. Social housing – New silks
  4. Social housing – Leading juniors

Social housing – Leading silks

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Social housing – New silks

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Social housing – Leading juniors

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Shooting further up the political agenda, social housing cases frequently touch on broader issues such as the Equality Act, mental capacity and more general public law issues. 2015 saw the Supreme Court hand down judgments in three homelessness cases: Hotak v London Borough of Southwark, regarding the definition of ‘vulnerability’, Haile v London Borough of Waltham Forest, concerning ‘intentional homelessness’, and Nzolameso v City of Westminster, regarding the increasingly common practice of London local authorities providing housing outside London. Due to the comparatively non-lucrative nature of the work, there are few dedicated silks in the sector, with many handling other public law or property matters alongside social housing cases.

Arden Chambers is ‘a very friendly set with very knowledgeable and experienced barristers, who are keen and ready to assist’. Members primarily act for landlords but also undertake work for tenants on the full range of social housing issues. Justin Bates advised the Welsh Assembly on the creation of bespoke Welsh housing law, while Andrew Arden QC represented Waltham Forest in Haile.

Cornerstone Barristers is ‘a great set, containing great personalities and vast expertise at all levels’. Members typically act for local authorities and arm’s-length external organisations (ALEOs) in a range of social housing matters from anti-social behaviour issues to homelessness. Kelvin Rutledge QC represented the London Borough of Southwark in Hotak.

Doughty Street Chambers’ tenant-focused social housing practice appears in homelessness, eviction and housing-related social security litigation. Martin Westgate QC represents the applicants in R (MA and others) v. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, which concerns the compatibility of the housing benefit’s under-occupancy penalty (better known as the “bedroom tax”) with the Human Rights Act.

Five Paper is ‘a strong set with a focus on work for social housing providers’, while also undertaking some tenant work. New silk Nicholas Grundy QC represented the social landlord in Akerman-Livingstone v Aster Communities, a Supreme Court case regarding the application of the Equality Act to possession proceedings.

An excellent set’, Garden Court Chambers contains ‘very committed barristers, who work really hard for homeless people and people at risk of losing their homes’. Tim Baldwin represented the claimant in R (Alemi) v Westminster City Council, in which the High Court found Westminster’s system of allocation unlawful. Jan Luba QC and Stephen Knafler QC have departed to the bench and Landmark Chambers respectively.

At Hardwicke, ‘the range of barristers is very good, from the very experienced to the more junior barristers’. Laura Tweedy represented the appellant in Haile.

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