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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Real estate > Social housing: tenant > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Social housing: tenant
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Anthony Gold is β€˜an absolutely first-rate firm’ and its β€˜excellent reputation and superb lawyers contribute to its highly professional service and incredible approachability’. The team β€˜excels in challenging matters, particularly tricky disrepair cases’, where it acts for tenants and leaseholders. In a recent highlight, the group represented St Saviours Estate as right to buy leaseholders against Southwark Council in a matter relating to an estate regeneration and related issues surrounding who should pay for council estate fire safety improvement works. The team also advised an individual on homelessness issues and acted for another individual in a repair claim against a charity relating to damage caused by a leak. Andrew Brookes, who is β€˜a clear specialist in the field’ leads the department. Other names to note include Ian Mitchell, Giles Peaker, Timothy Waitt, who is β€˜incredibly committed to serving his client’s needs’, David Smith, Debra Wilson, consultant Deirdre Forster, who is β€˜truly superb, has unrivalled knowledge and is very pleasant to work with’, and Sara Stephens, who is β€˜outstanding’.

Bindmans LLP’s team is β€˜frankly exceptional’ and is β€˜streets ahead of the rest of the pack, even though it sits as a small and niche group’. The department stands out for its expertise in complex housing issues, particularly those involving mental capacity issues, civil liberties and community care. Practice head Paul Ridge is β€˜very approachable and provides high level advice’ and solicitor Will Whitaker is β€˜an up-and-comer in the field’. The duo are acting for an individual who fled Cameroon following homophobic persecution in a judicial review relating to the need for urgent social housing; and Ridge is handling several right to buy challenges for tenants seeking to exercise these rights who are facing rejection from their local councils. The Islington Park Street Community, Camelot Property Management, Crescent Road Community and Churchill Gardens Lessees Association are also clients.

Deighton Pierce Glynn’s team focuses on migrant work and housing issues relating to immigration. The group successfully obtained housing for a homeless client who is a victim of sex trafficking and previously didn’t qualify for homelessness assistance, and is advising a former Paralympic athlete and asylum seeker who was provided with accommodation by the Home Office that wasn’t suitable for her disability. The group also advises on public law housing cases and possession claims for travellers. Department head Sasha Rozansky is the key name for asylum seeker issues and has notable expertise representing trafficking victims; Sue Willman β€˜has an excellent reputation’; Gareth Mitchell is β€˜extremely impressive and determined’; Joanna Thomson is noted for her mental health expertise; and solicitor Sadaf Mir is the key contact for homelessness work. Polly Glynn and Adam Hundt are also recommended.

Hodge Jones & Allen LLP is β€˜an excellent firm at the top of its game’, and its team is β€˜highly competent and dedicated to the best interests of its clients’. The group β€˜has a well-deserved reputation’ for representing clients in disrepair matters, possession claims, homelessness issues, illegal evictions and judicial reviews. Recent highlights include advising several residents of the Strawberry Vale estate in a compensation claim relating to a breach of duty after the residents were left without a gas supply; acting for a single mother in a homelessness application that was refused by Westminster City Council; and handling a disrepair claim for a leaseholder related to water damage from repeated flooding. Jayesh Kunwardia, who leads the department, β€˜is a master tactician’ and β€˜a true force of nature in the area’ and has a reputation for handling β€˜ground-breaking’ work. Other names to note include Daniel Fitzpatrick, who is a β€˜key and steadying lynch pin’; β€˜outstanding practitioner’ Farzana Chowdhury; and Sophie Bell, who is β€˜a top performer who leaves no stone unturned in the fight for her clients’.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors is β€˜clearly a major player’ in the space and β€˜each practitioner excels in their area’. Dianne Cowie is the β€˜go-to’ name for housing disrepair matters, Subbiah Sivapunniyam regularly challenges local authorities in judicial reviews, and β€˜talented and insightful solicitor’ James de Vere Moss acts for vulnerable clients, including homeless people. The group recently defended an individual in possession proceedings brought by a registered social landlord, and advised a vulnerable client with mental health issues in the defence of possession proceedings brought by a local authority. Bernadette Chikwe was promoted to director in late 2016 and solicitor Manjinder Kaur Atwal, who β€˜clearly knows her stuff’, is β€˜incredibly bright, conscientious and pragmatic with excellent analytical skills’.

The β€˜excellent’ team at Osbornes, which β€˜fields experts in the social housing market’, is led by Shilpa Mathuradas. Clients also single out newly promoted partner William Ford, who is β€˜a tenacious litigator with a lovely manner that, combined with intelligence, knowledge and pragmatism, makes him a pleasure to work with’; β€˜extremely committed’ associate Manjit Mandair, and solicitor Thul Khan, who is β€˜a cool customer in a crisis’. The practice is highly regarded for its tenancy deposit litigation expertise and also acts for clients in disrepair claims, possession proceedings, eviction warrants, community care-related matters, homelessness issues, anti-social behaviour orders and illegal evictions. The group acts for vulnerable individuals, individuals with mental health issues who lack capacity, the disabled, the elderly and clients with language difficulties.

TV Edwards LLP’s practice, led by Jane Pritchard, has β€˜a solid reputation acting for tenants thanks to its impressive level of experience and dedication to clients’. The team also includes Katie Brown, whose practice centres on homelessness issues, particularly those involving migrants; John Gorringe, who is experienced in social housing allocations and judicial reviews; and solicitor Jenny Mansell, whose β€˜experience, tenacity and commitment is exceptional’ and who is β€˜a clear up-and-comer with a promising future in the field’. The group recently acted for a tenant in a judicial review challenging Wandsworth Council’s decision that the client could not succeed to her deceased partner’s secure tenancy. Other areas of expertise include possession proceedings, disrepair matters and anti-social behaviour orders, with a particular specialism in homelessness matters.

At Edwards Duthie, James Harrison is the key name, with recent work including advising on homelessness issues and housing allocations. The team advises on the full gamut of social housing work including repossession and eviction mandates, unlawful evictions, disrepair claims and judicial reviews. Rebecca Manson is also noted.

Hopkin Murray Beskine Solicitors’ team β€˜can match any others on dedication and knowledge’ and β€˜punches well above its weight in the area’. The practice is highly regarded for its housing disrepair, illegal eviction, possession and homelessness advice, but handles the full spectrum of social tenancy work. In a recent highlight, the group represented an individual who was a victim of domestic violence in a judicial review of the bedroom tax policy relating to whether the policy unlawfully discriminates on the basis of gender; the team also acted in a judicial review of Islington Council’s allocation scheme; and assisted an individual with an issue relating to the duty owed by a local authority to a homeless applicant pertaining to housing needs assessments. Rebekah Carrier and Lesley Curtis lead the practice.

Morrison Spowart regularly acts for publicly funded tenants, homeless applicants, trespassers and squatters on the full spectrum of housing matters, including eviction proceedings, disrepair claims, harassment issues, mortgage repossessions, homelessness applications, squatter’s rights and judicial reviews. Anne Spowart heads the practice.

Philcox Gray & Co’s team has β€˜an extremely strong and impressive reputation for providing high-quality advice’ with β€˜an outstanding, strong and meticulous team’. Rebecca Bahar leads the β€˜incredibly reliable’ practice and is β€˜tenacious, knowledgeable and will fight tooth and nail for her clients’; she is β€˜meticulous in her preparation and leaves no stone unturned in order to get the best possible solution’. Consultant Alan Russell is also recommended as β€˜a truly remarkable individual’. The team advises on eviction appeals, disrepair issues, possession proceedings, homelessness cases, judicial reviews and allocation matters.

β€˜Highly professional firm’ Russell-Cooke LLP has β€˜an exceptional record in the property field and is expanding that knowledge into the social housing area’. Practice head Graham French is β€˜in the absolute top drawer of excellent lawyers working in this area’ and associate Caroline Brosnan is β€˜a truly brilliant young lawyer with particular expertise in homelessness law and possession claims’. The group assists with a range of mandates including disrepair matters, landlord and tenant disputes and possession proceedings, and has particular expertise advising tenants affected by housing regeneration schemes, and assisting with homelessness applications and issues surrounding the rights of private tenants. Loughborough Estate Management Board is a noteworthy client.

Burke Niazi Solicitors & Advocates’ team has β€˜particular expertise in cases involving mental health, capacity and Court of Protection issues’ and β€˜exceptional knowledge paired with unfailing patience and courtesy’. Practice head Keith Clarke is β€˜committed and works hard to get the outcome that his clients need’. Other names to note include solicitor Patricia Michael-Forrester, who has notable expertise in homelessness issues, possession proceedings and judicial reviews, and solicitor Michael Barrett, who is β€˜making a name for himself as an excellent lawyer’, who is β€˜intellectually smart’.

GT Stewart Limited’s group is β€˜committed and driven to help vulnerable tenants’ and is β€˜fearless in its pursuit of ensuring public authorities act lawfully’. Its β€˜excellent track record’ includes handling complex disrepair claims, possession proceedings, anti-social behaviour orders, homelessness issues and disability discrimination disputes. Denise Phillips, who is β€˜incredibly diligent and committed’, leads the practice. Other key names include solicitor Dirghayu Patel, who stands out for his β€˜experience’ and β€˜unmatched commitment and patience’; solicitor Claire Wiles, who is β€˜simply brilliant’ and is β€˜realistic in her advice, tough with opponents and an excellent team player’; and Susan Gronbach, who is β€˜a pleasure to work with’.

Hansen Palomares Solicitors’ β€˜highly committed and experienced’ team advises tenants on repair and compensation claims, possession proceedings, eviction issues, leasehold provisions and housing benefit matters. The group also assists homeless clients with obtaining temporary and permanent housing. Associate Christian Hansen leads the department and has expertise in homelessness, possession matters and disrepair claims.

Hockfield & Co Solicitors’ team β€˜performs incredibly well’, has β€˜a very professional manner’ and its β€˜exceptional knowledge and expert advice is provided in a pragmatic way’. The β€˜committed’ group has considerable experience handling disrepair work; recent highlights include acting for a tenant in a disrepair claim relating to damp issues, and representing a leaseholder in a dispute with Lambeth Council pertaining to disrepair claims relating to subsidence and roofing problems. Practice head James Garvey β€˜always produces excellent results’, Sarah Mossop, is a key name for disrepair claims that have personal injury and disease elements, and Michael McCrone, is β€˜highly knowledgeable’.

Minton Morrill’s β€˜relentlessly client-focused’ practice in Leeds is led by associate Rhiannon Jones, who is β€˜firmly committed to representing disadvantaged and marginalised communities’. The group advises on the full range of issues, including assisting homeless clients with challenges to local authorities, advising on possession claims and acting for individuals from the gypsy and traveller communities. In a recent highlight, Jones acted for an individual in a dispute under the Rent Act 1977. The team also acted for a tenant in a disrepair claim and represented a client in a judicial review pertaining to a local authority’s decision concerning eligibility for housing assistance. Keith Lomax and Keith Coughtrie are also noted.

Steel & Shamash’s group is β€˜exceptional in its representation of vulnerable clients’ and has β€˜a good knowledge of the law and incredible commitment to clients, no matter the issue’. Recent work includes handling challenges to local authority decisions relating to assessments, asylum seeker issues, judicial reviews and challenges to the Home Office relating to the decision to move asylum seekers outside of London. Anna O’Connell heads the department, Chris Callender is β€˜a calm and thorough lawyer, who is very committed and down to earth’, and Andrew Bowmer is β€˜an experienced and able practitioner’.

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