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Leading Silks

Ranjit Bhose QC - Cornerstone BarristersHis quality of legal advice is allied to pragmatism and good people skills.
Martin Westgate QC - Doughty Street ChambersMartin is flawless on his feet and fights tooth and nail to win cases. It is no surprise when a judge accepts his compelling submissions.
Nicholas Grundy QC - Five PaperHe is at the top of his game. Displayed first-class knowledge of the law whilst maintaining an ability to translate complex legal principles into simple terms that could be understood by our client.
Kelvin Rutledge QC - Cornerstone BarristersKelvin has an encyclopaedic and enviable knowledge of housing law and its inter-relation with other areas of law, including community care and the Court of Protection. These qualities make him an excellent housing lawyer. He is equally an experienced, authoritative and persuasive advocate.
Richard Drabble QC - Landmark ChambersHe has appeared in a number of leading cases, including those concerning the bedroom tax and duties imposed on local authorities when determining the suitability of accommodation.
Ian Wise QC - Monckton ChambersA top pick for social housing work with a public law aspect, in particular discrimination and other challenges relating to social housing allocations schemes, or accommodation duties where there is a need for co-operation between social services and housing departments.

2021 Silks

Jamie Burton QC - Doughty Street ChambersControlled and convincing. Extremely knowledgeable about cross-over between housing and disability/community care law. Authoritative manner in court.

Leading Juniors

Christopher Baker - 4-5 Gray's Inn SquareVery calm, thorough in preparation, very knowledgeable and approachable.
Justin Bates - Landmark ChambersJustin is a QC in the making. The move to Landmark is great for him and he continues to be leagues ahead of his contemporaries. Clever, easy to deal with and gives confident advice. He is realistic - a really good blend.
Liz Davies - Garden Court ChambersLiz is a superb advocate and knows her areas of law inside out and is one the main authorities on social housing law.
Edward Fitzpatrick - Garden Court ChambersApproachable, straight to point and provides advice which is easy to understand. Very good rapport with lay clients and explains the law in plain English.
Andrew Lane - Cornerstone BarristersFiercely intelligent, a formidable opponent, yet friendly, down to earth and approachable.
Jonathan Manning - 4-5 Gray's Inn SquareA very strong advocate, always effective and thinking of the next step in court proceedings.
Dean Underwood - Cornerstone BarristersAn excellent barrister - very calm, possibly as a result of his preparation, which is always second to none. Knows his onions and never lets you down.
Toby Vanhegan - 4-5 Gray's Inn SquareStrengths and qualities: excellent working knowledge of all aspects of housing law; very sharp mind; ability to determine and focus on the key issue(s) in a case.
Tim Baldwin - Garden Court ChambersHe is very thorough in his preparation, good with difficult clients, very sharp in advocacy.
Kuljit Bhogal - Cornerstone BarristersShe is extremely personable and a pleasure to be against. A strong advocate who fights hard for her clients, whilst retaining the integrity that one would expect from a member of the Bar.
David Carter - Doughty Street ChambersProvides good quality advice given in a timely manner, and sometimes even quicker when there is a requirement for urgent advice. David is an extremely good and reliable barrister.
Clare Cullen - Field Court ChambersA star of the housing junior Bar. She is a brilliant barrister who is blessed with a first-rate legal mind and a superb knowledge of housing law. Clare is a forensic and compelling advocate who regularly secures outstanding results for her clients. Her written work is impeccable as is her ability to analyse complex legal problems and identify novel legal arguments. Tenacious and talented.
Andrew Dymond - 4-5 Gray's Inn SquareVery approachable and easy to work with. He understands the local authority viewpoint.
Stephen Evans - Five PaperHe has notable expertise in the disability discrimination/equality aspects of housing, dilapidations claims and leasehold service charge disputes, among other matters.
Terry Gallivan - Five PaperTerry is a highly regarded and respected leader in this field and continues to provide top quality advice and support in complex matters affecting social landlords. He is an absolute pleasure to work with.
Lindsay Johnson - Doughty Street ChambersVery clever, creative, unafraid to challenge standard thinking. Very quick and a good choice for urgent cases.
Ryan Kohli - Cornerstone BarristersRyan is meticulous in his preparation and has a tremendous confidence, which he brings across in both his written work and advocacy.
David Lintott - Cornerstone BarristersVery astute, knowledgeable and dependable. His level of experience and application of the law is exemplary, as are his customer service skills. His delivery and presentation before the bench on litigation is of the highest quality. His advice is always easy to comprehend and rational.
Zia Nabi - Doughty Street ChambersZia is an outstanding advocate. Zia commands huge respect in the courtroom because of his vast experience and knowledge. He is a great communicator. He is persuasive because he is brilliant at explaining complex legal principles in an easy to understand manner.
Ian Peacock - 4-5 Gray's Inn SquareVery clear and thorough advice in which I have complete confidence, highly knowledgeable. Always willing to deal with very urgent matters and to provide urgent advice. Always thoroughly prepared for hearings, even at short notice.
Dominic Preston - Doughty Street ChambersVery thorough in preparation of cases and advising. Pragmatic and will give unpalatable advice where needed. Very knowledgeable and experienced in all areas of housing law and my go-to person for unusual cases.
Annette Cafferkey - 4-5 Gray's Inn SquareShe is methodical and very thorough. She is very capable with bulkier instructions containing a large volume of information and is very practical in advice.
Rebecca Cattermole - Tanfield ChambersVery thorough, tenacious, excellent advocate.
Justine Compton - Garden Court ChambersShe is an excellent advocate. She is always well prepared and professional in her work. Justine is very approachable and clients like her. She is extremely knowledgeable, particularly in Equality Act issues. She is very responsive and gives clear well thought out advice. She is a tenacious lawyer and willing to fight for the client.
Tina Conlan - Five PaperA personable approach to lay clients. Excellent attention to detail and pragmatic in terms of advice and outcome.
Stephen Cottle - Garden Court ChambersExtensive specialist legal expertise, willingness to work on an emergency basis, flexibility, compassion for the clients, super friendly and approachable.
Adrian Davis - Field Court ChambersHe is very knowledgeable and helpful and gives you good guidance. He is very good at advocacy.
Kevin Gannon - Garden Court ChambersKevin has extensive experience and expertise in all aspects of housing law and welfare benefits law. Kevin is calm, practical, very prompt and very efficient in all work he conducts. He is extremely reliable. He has an absolutely first-class reassuring manner with clients who are often vulnerable. He has a no nonsense approach to giving advice.
Emma Godfrey - Field Court ChambersAble to provide comprehensive advice, with a clear approach and with the understanding of the client's priorities. Excellent knowledge of the law and a professional, friendly manner. Persuasive and detailed in court.
Bethan Harris - Garden Court ChambersShe is particularly active in cases involving capacity/mental health issues, community care, and cases that need to be heard at the Court of Protection.
Connor Johnston - Garden Court ChambersConnor is my first-choice barrister in this area. He has a vast amount of knowledge of homelessness law for someone who is still relatively junior. He is very diligent, hard-working and committed to this area of law.
Stephanie Lovegrove - 4-5 Gray's Inn SquareStephanie is my go-to barrister. She has the expertise, tactics, reliability, flexibility and a clear understanding of clients' needs. She is a pleasure to work with and a highly competent advocate. Very approachable.
Alison Meacher - HardwickeVery personable and approachable. She has the ability to absorb vast amounts of complex information in a very short period of time, and to quickly identify the main issues of a particular matter, the key strengths and weaknesses and how to mitigate those weaknesses. Willingness to accommodate client demands and to work within tight timescales is also a strength.
Catherine O'Donnell - Garden Court ChambersVery organised, very thorough in assessing the evidence, can relate well with clients and provides strong advocacy.
Jennifer Oscroft - Cornerstone BarristersExperienced in homelessness cases and social housing litigation involving issues over lawfulness of allocation schemes, applicants' immigration status and discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.
Victoria Osler - Five PaperVictoria has proven herself as a formidable barrister in all matters she has represented in. The pleadings had been concise and more importantly, have been necessarily aggressive whilst still protecting the client at the same time. She is well liked by clients she has worked with; she is able to offer a human touch whilst maintaining a professional decorum. This results in positive outcomes and happy clients.
Sarah SalmonCornerstone BarristersIs one of the best housing counsel there is. In demand by solicitors, in-house counsel and direct access – we are all fighting for her time. She is excellent on her feet in court and particularly in written pleadings and advisory work.
Marina Sergides - Garden Court Chambers ‘Attention to detail. Really detailed advice – very knowledgeable on the law. Ability to think outside the box.
Jim Shepherd - Doughty Street ChambersA solid counsel. Very experienced and pragmatic. Good procedurally, is efficient and returns papers quickly.
Laura Tweedy - HardwickeAn extremely hard worker absolutely loved by clients for her tenacity, common sense and ease to work with.
Wayne Beglan - Cornerstone BarristersAlways a pleasure to work with - extremely adept in putting the client at ease no matter what the situation. Very knowledgeable with a deep passion for his work.
Morayo Fagborun Bennett - HardwickeShe is an excellent barrister, with an in-depth knowledge of her subject - clients love the no-nonsense approach. She can win over judges with well-prepared arguments. A great advocate and always happy to think outside the box to look for solutions.
Sally Blackmore - Enterprise ChambersExtremely professional. Excellent with clients; approachable, empathetic, insightful and gives clear advice. Very practical to work with: always up to date with legal requirements, responsive, thorough. Goes out of her way to provide an excellent service.
Robert Brown - Selborne ChambersHis experience includes housing cases involving possession claims, anti-social behaviour, disrepair, unlawful evictions and homelessness.
Alexander Campbell - Field Court ChambersAlex is brilliant on technical and complex arguments. He is liked by clients and easy to reach for a quick opinion on the phone on a complex matter.
Ben Chataway - Doughty Street ChambersCalm and considered, intelligent and has great judgement.
Sian Davies - 39 Essex ChambersHer experience includes homelessness, immigration/eligibility for housing and welfare assistance and local authority powers and duties in relation to social care.
Iris Ferber - 42 Bedford RowIris has an exceptional ability to deliver complex advice in an accessible, concise and clear format. Iris' attention to detail and knowledge of property and land matters is second to none and she is a pleasure to work alongside.
Angela Hall - Five PaperShe has a real grasp of the law, and most importantly a real understanding of the social housing field and the particular challenges facing all parties in litigation. She is extremely adapt at spotting potential issues and proposing solutions. On her feet she is a persuasive and tenacious advocate for her client.
Naomi Hawkes - 42 Bedford RowNaomi is thorough, knowledgeable, pays attention to detail, and a fantastic advocate. Naomi is always good with clients and witnesses. She puts everyone at ease. She has excellent written and oral communication skills. I have no weaknesses to report'
Josephine Henderson - Five PaperAttention to detail, excellent client care skills, considerable knowledge of this area of law, excellent advocacy skills. Further, she is very down to earth and always receives extremely good client feedback.
Jane Hodgson - Five PaperStrengths: calm, astute and excellent in terms of approach.
Desmond Kilcoyne - 42 Bedford RowHas a wealth of knowledge and experience, he is a very good advocate one of his great assets is to be able to assess his opponents, witnesses and the bench. He is very approachable.
James Kirk - Doughty Street ChambersHe is a strong choice for homelessness proceedings, including both statutory appeals and claims for judicial review, as well as possession cases.
Matthew Lee - Lamb BuildingHis work is excellent, he is enthusiastic and not afraid to think outside the box. His wide-ranging experience includes cases involving homelessness, possession, antisocial behaviour and disrepair.
Sam Madge-Wyld - Tanfield ChambersSam is intelligent and incisive. He can absorb complex and voluminous case papers quickly and get to the heart of the matter. Clients are confident when he is at the helm and he always delivers. He has a great rapport with clients who warm to him as soon as they meet him.
Ben Maltz - Five PaperBen is very measured and confident in his advocacy and with clients. He is extremely knowledgeable and thorough.
Mathew McDermott - 42 Bedford RowMathew is very thorough and leaves no stone unturned. I am therefore confident in recommending clients to Mathew for his assistance in LL&T matters. Mathew also produces detailed advice which considers all options available to a client. As an advocate, he is confident and concise.
Sam Phillips - Five PaperSam is very adept at adapting his style to suit the case. He is also excellent with our clients and witnesses and has a very gentle manner whilst being knowledgeable and formidable on his feet. He is extremely well liked amongst clients who know that he will always give 100% to achieve their desired outcome. It is obvious that he puts a lot of effort into preparation to ensure that he fully knows and understands the papers.
Millie Polimac - Five PaperMillie's strengths are being able to think on her feet and having a creative and logical way of resolving problems.
Anneli Robins - 4-5 Gray's Inn SquareExtremely thorough and detailed, thinks outside the box, likes to consider new angles. Excellent on her feet and paperwork and excellent pleadings. Great with clients. An all around excellent barrister.
Catherine Rowlands - Cornerstone BarristersExceptional advocacy on paper and on her feet.
Sarah Steinhardt - Doughty Street ChambersSarah is highly intelligent, pragmatic and committed. She works incredibly hard. She is a high-quality advocate - she is clear, concise and very persuasive. Her written work is exceptional. She is always happy to discuss the strategy on a case. She is friendly and able to discuss complex legal issues in a way which our clients find easy to understand.
Anna Tkaczynska - Serjeants' Inn ChambersAnna is an exceptional advocate and has achieved fantastic results on many cases. She is hardworking, extremely thorough, highly knowledgeable and is exemplary in all aspects of her work.
Adrian Marshall Williams - Garden Court ChambersHis wide-ranging experience includes homelessness appeals, cases involving anti-social behaviour issues, service charges and disrepair.

Rising Stars

Nick Bano - Garden Court ChambersHis experience includes homelessness cases and possession claims involving equality rights and public law issues.
Riccardo Calzavara - Cornerstone BarristersRiccardo has boundless enthusiasm and a real capacity for hard work. He is 100% reliable and has a real understanding of social housing law.
Daniel Clarke - Doughty Street ChambersDan is very quick at turning instructions around, he provides in-depth and clear advice, works very well together with the instructing solicitor, he is very sensitive to the client’s specific requirements and needs, he will have great ideas about how to push the current legal boundaries to our clients’ advantage.

Social housing in London Bar

4-5 Gray's Inn Square

4-5 Gray's Inn Square's members are sought out in the most complex and impactful cases shaping the social housing sphere. Their expertise spans the entire ambit of housing law issues, including homelessness and allocation schemes, disrepair and dilapidations, housing benefit and welfare reform, and fraud. The set has been playing a key role in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, with members representing the bereaved, survivors and residents. On a related note, they also provide regulatory advice to other local authorities, particularly in relation to the use of cladding in residential buildings. One of the many highly regarded practitioners at the chambers is Christopher Baker, who is representing Agudas Israel Housing Association in R (Z) v Hackney LBC and Agudas Israel Housing Association; a case where it was alleged that the housing association was unlawfully discriminating in favour of Orthodox Jewish people. Also of note, Jonathan Manning acted for the respondent local authority at the Supreme Court in Samuels v Birmingham City Council.

Cornerstone Barristers

Cornerstone Barristers has an outstanding track record representing housing associations and local authorities in groundbreaking cases that often involve an interplay between housing law and related areas, such as the Children Act, immigration rights, adult social care, among others. In 2019, Kelvin Rutledge QC and Andrew Lane represented the local authority at the Court of Appeal in R(Gullu) v London Borough of Hillingdon, which was a test case involving a challenge to Hillingdon's ten-year residency requirement in order to join its housing waiting list. Also notable was that Ranjit Bhose QC and Ruchi Parekh represented circa 20 local housing authorities (through the Local Government Association) at the High Court in RB Kingston-upon-Thames v Moss, which was a water re-selling test case the implications of which could mean that many housing associations and local authorities have to reimburse tenants for overcharges for the supply of water; the matter is now pending before the Court of Appeal.

Doughty Street Chambers

Doughty Street Chambers has a first-rate reputation acting for individuals (including tenants and homelessness applicants) in many of the leading cases seen in the social housing arena. It has a strong presence in housing cases that interface with issues such as mental health, physical disability, immigration, community care and public law, among others. In 2019, Martin Westgate QC represented Shelter an intervening party at the Supreme Court in R (DA & others) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and DS v SSWP, which involved linked challenges to the revised, lower benefit cap. In another matter, Westgate QC acted for Shelter and Child Poverty Action Group in Samuels v Birmingham City Council, which was a homelessness appeal regarding whether a person can be intentionally homeless if they lose their home through non-payment of rent when they cannot pay their rent without using subsistence benefits. Ben Chataway successfully represented the defendant in Waltham Forest LBC v Saleh, which concerned a local authority's obligations where it sought to house a homelessness applicant outside of its own district.

Garden Court Chambers

Garden Court Chambers is well-known for its ethos of promoting social justice and standing up for the interests of the most vulnerable individuals in society.  Fielding a 27-strong team of advocates, the set has a strong track record in landmark social housing cases, where it acts for homelessness applicants, tenants and occupiers. It has expertise in the full range of housing law cases, including those concerning homelessness, allocation of social housing, the licensing of houses in multiple occupation, welfare benefits and anti-social behaviour. In 2019, highlights included Liz Davies acting as the leading counsel to the appellant in the Court of Appeal case of Adesotu v Lewisham LBC, where it was alleged that the respondent had discriminated against her on the basis of her disability in the manner that it had handled an offer of accommodation made under its main housing duty. Another notable matter involved Tim Baldwin representing the defendant in London Borough of Hackney v Yavuz Yildiz; this was a Court of Appeal case, which defined the law on succession and recovery of possession. Rising star Nick Bano recently joined from 1MCB.

Five Paper

Five Paper's barristers are regularly instructed in cases that are creating new precedents in the social housing arena. Its members are instructed by regional and national law firms, local authorities, registered housing providers, landlords and individuals. Highly regarded individuals at the set include Nicholas Grundy QC, who made a number of appearances at the Court of Appeal in 2019, which included acting for Aldwyck Housing Association in Aldwyck HA v Forward; in this case, it was held that the housing association's failure to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) was not fatal to a possession claim because the outcome of the claim would have been the same even if the PSED had been complied with. Another highlight saw Grundy QC represent the respondent local housing authority in Simawi v London Borough of Haringey, which concerned the application of the single succession rule in secure council tenancies (as governed by the Housing Act 1985). Stephen Evans is experienced in cases concerning disability discrimination/equality issues, fire safety, homelessness and dilapidations, among other areas.

42 Bedford Row

42 Bedford Row's team is strong across all the main areas of housing law, including cases involving homelessness, possession claims, unlawful evictions, disrepair and service charges. It is particularly sought out in housing cases that interface with serious allegations of anti-social behaviour, as well as family law issues. The highly regarded team includes Mathew McDermott, who acted for the applicant in R (Laryea) v London Borough of Ealing; this is one of the few reported cases to deal with the provisions of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017. In addition to representing individuals, members also act for local authorities, housing associations and registered landlords, among others. In addition to her practice, Naomi Hawkes is praised for the 'excellent training' she provides to clients. With his 'wealth of knowledge and experience', Desmond Kilcoyne and 'fearless advocateIris Ferber are also worthy of note.

Hardwicke Chambers Limited

Gatehouse Chambers has benefited from the consolidation in the social housing sector, which has seen a large number of housing associations merge to form 'super' housing associations. With the set having strong capabilities in real estate litigation and construction, its members are increasingly sought out to advise these entities on a broad cross-section of issues beyond those specific to the management of social housing tenancies. On the social housing management side, Morayo Fagborun Bennett acted for Peabody Trust in a possession claim, which had been defended on the basis that the occupier had paid an unprotected deposit to a fraudulent former employee of the housing association. Optivo, London & Quadrant and A2 Dominion also turn to the set for advice, while members also act for local authorities and tenants. Alison Meacher represented Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council at the Court of Appeal in a significant bedroom tax test case against the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Field Court Chambers

Field Court Chambers demonstrates strong capabilities across all areas of housing law, including possession and eviction cases, homelessness, allocations, tenancy fraud, service charges and anti-social behaviour. The practice is notably strong in housing cases that have an interplay with community care, human rights, EU law and social services law. The team of highly-reputed barristers includes Adrian Davis, who represented the local authority at the Court of Appeal in Yildiz v London Borough of Hackney; in this case, it was held that a court does not have an overarching discretion to dispense with notice seeking possession if the strict requirements of Ground 15A, Schedule 2, Housing Act 1985 are not met. In addition to acting for local authorities, the set also represents housing associations, registered social landlords and individuals. Davis co-heads the housing team with Emma Godfrey, who has over 20 years of experience in the social housing arena.

Landmark Chambers

Landmark Chambers' members have a strong track record appearing in many of the seminal cases shaping the social housing landscape. It is widely seen as a strong choice in high-profile and complex matters, as is evidenced by its work for individuals, local authorities and housing associations, among others. Practitioners are called upon to advise on matters involving an interplay between housing and related areas, such as planning, mental health and capacity, public law, human rights and equality. In one notable matter, Justin Bates represented the Equality and Human Rights Commission at the Court of Appeal in Adesotu v LB Lewisham, where it was held that a homeless person cannot raise alleged breaches of the Equality Act 2010 in a homelessness appeal before a county court judge.