Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP is ‘one of the best firms out there for social housing work‘ acting for tenants. The ‘excellent firm‘ with its ‘strong team and excellent partners‘ provides ‘experience in all types of social housing litigation‘, such as possession claims, tenancy deposit disputes, fire safety remediation works, licensing issues as well as group litigation. Practice head Andrew Brookes has a ‘wealth of knowledge and experience in housing litigation‘ and ‘is excellent when it comes to negotiating settlements in disrepair cases‘. Giles Peaker is hugely experienced in cases concerning homelessness, possession and property guardians and ‘is absolutely at the top of his game‘. Complex disrepair group claims are frequently handled by Sara Stephens, who is noted for her ‘excellent client care‘, and Timothy Waitt provides ‘clear and concise‘ advice when prosecuting and defending criminal cases dealing with housing conditions, among others.
Firms in the Spotlight Social housing: tenant
Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP
Ronald Fletcher Baker attracts a diverse client base from financial institutions, high-net-worth individuals and substantial freehold corporate investors, as a result of which the firm has considerable expertise acting for corporate investors based in the BVI, Bahamas, Mauritius, Seychelles, Turkey and Isle of Man. This department also acts for sellers and buyers, and buy-to-let investors, …View Profile...
Social housing: tenant in London
Other key lawyers:
Giles Peaker; Timothy Waitt; Sara Stephens; Eleanor Solomon
‘They are an excellent firm, with Giles Peaker showing the way as someone who is absolutely at the top of his game.’
One of the best firms out there for social housing work. They have a depth of knowledge that is difficult to find elsewhere. They have a strong team and excellent partners providing experience in all types of social housing litigation.’
‘Giles Peaker is one of the leading housing lawyers in the field. He has unrivalled knowledge when it comes to housing law. He is a joy to work with because he knows so much. Sara Stephens is great to work with. She is clever and practical when it comes to advising clients. She provides excellent client care and I would recommend her to friends or colleagues. Andrew Brookes is another partner who has a wealth of knowledge and experience in housing litigation. He is excellent when it comes to negotiating settlements in disrepair cases.’
‘What makes the practice stand out from the rest is the client-centred service and the ability to access industry-leading experts. They demonstrated the ability to review every last detail of evidence provided as part of the public inquiry to deliver outputs that exceeded the brief. Where required, they could also bring external inputs to add additional weight to their production, demonstrating great collaboration.’
‘The team genuinely cared about getting to the best possible outcome. In particular, Andrew Brookes has shown exceptional care, knowledge and commitment and truly is a credit to the firm. He can provide both challenging perspectives and throw his weight to support our views. He is incredibly authentic and knowledgeable, making him a pleasure to work with. Someone I genuinely trust.’
‘Individual partners I would single out include Andrew Brookes, Timothy Waitt, Giles Peaker and Sara Stephens. Their instructions, questions and communications with me, as a regularly appointed expert witness on housing disrepair matters, are clear and concise.’
‘Anthony Gold has a breadth of expertise in the housing team but the fact that they retain a commitment to representing social housing tenants, private tenants and housing need issues generally is hugely to their credit.’
‘Sara Stephens always impressive with her dedication and exceptional ability. Giles Peaker is an outstanding lawyer with a fierce intellect. He retains the capacity to be genuinely and refreshingly interested in all aspects of housing law, and housing law in its wider policy context.’
- Advised tenants of the Paragon, a social housing block where residents were suddenly told to leave because of fire safety concerns.
- Advised tenants of Macintosh Court, a sheltered housing scheme which is also a listed building, on extensive disrepair and nuisance.
- Advised shared ownership leaseholders of Bank Court on claims against their social landlord for numerous defects, including under the Defective Premises Act.
Bindmans LLP has ‘a really strong social housing practice‘ with an ‘amazingly broad‘ service offering that includes advice on disputes regarding disrepair, possession matters, breaches of covenants by social landlords and fire safety issues. A speciality of the unit are complex claims and injunctions involving capacity issues where the team utilizes its ‘exceptional, broader, public law practice‘ ‘to great effect for vulnerable clients‘. The team continues to be heavily involved in the Grenfell Tower inquiry acting for a large number of victims, with ‘excellent‘ practice head Paul Ridge leading on these cases. Senior housing practitioner Christian Hansen has ‘extensive housing experience‘ and acts for tenants and leaseholders in large group claims against social landlords, such as multi-party fire safety claims, while associate Will Whitaker has a focus on mental capacity issues in the scope of housing and community law matters.
Other key lawyers:
Christian Hansen; Will Whitaker
‘Good range of expertise across the welfare field (community care, housing, benefits, general human rights).’
‘Christian Hansen – extensive housing experience, bright and committed.’
‘They are amazingly broad – from working for the Grenfell survivors through to Rent Act 1977 work and via all manner of public law housing work (e.g. allocations judicial review work) there is nothing they can’t do.’
‘Paul Ridge and Christian Hansen are excellent. They’ve seen it all.’
‘Bindmans are a great team with a really strong social housing practice which complements an exceptional, broader, public law practice. They use this expertise to great effect for vulnerable clients in other areas, like Court of Protection and community care law. This means collaboration is always creative and clients are at a good tactical advantage.’
‘Christian Hansen: really efficient in managing huge case loads and never misses anything. Christian is fearless in fighting for his client and gets great results, adopting a creative approach, blending his public law specialisms effectively. Incredibly user-friendly.’
‘Go to firm with lots of experience.’
‘Relatable, professional, reliable and knowledgable.’
Deighton Pierce Glynn
‘Stand-out firm‘ Deighton Pierce Glynn handles all contentious housing cases, such as possession, disrepair and unlawful evictions as well as judicial review claims and High Court service charge disputes. The unit has a specialisation in housing litigation on behalf of migrants and is ‘one of less than a handful of firms‘ that has a niche specialisation in working with the travelling community on housing matters, in particular regarding lawful caravan site provision, and ‘has an excellent reputation amongst traveller communities and the NGOs that work with them‘. Managing partner Polly Glynn is the firm’s specialist for homelessness and destitution matters and ‘very knowledgeable‘Sue Willman focuses on representing migrants and asylum seekers in housing cases. ‘Outstanding‘ Rebecca Bahar and ‘exceptional‘ Sasha Rozansky jointly head the practice, which clients note for the ‘exemplary work ethic‘ and ‘absolute commitment to justice‘.
Rebecca Bahar; Sasha Rozansky
Other key lawyers:
Polly Glynn; Sue Willman; Keith Coughtrie
‘We value DPG because of their expertise, innovative legal approaches, dedication to client care and the skill of their solicitors. They really are a stand-out firm.’
‘Generally I’ve not really come accross anyone at DPG that I haven’t been extremely impressed with. They all have their particular areas of speciality but they all share an absolute commitment to justice, to their clients and have an exemplary work ethic. This goes all the way up the firm (including the admin staff).’
‘The solicitors (including Sasha Rozansky and Rebecca Bahar) are very impressive. The firm’s unique selling point is its first-class reputation in relation to claims for judicial review and in particular its expertise in relation to migrants’ rights. This means that it is one of a small number of go-to firms for the purposes of strategic litigation in relation to social housing and social welfare cases.’
‘Sasha Rozansky is an exceptional solicitor, with extensive experience in housing, public law and migrant support. She is equally at home achieving important results for individuals and bringing important strategic challenges. She is incredibly bright, knowledgeable and hard-working, has a great eye for detail and is very committed to her clients. Rebecca Bahar is an excellent solicitor with a strong focus on social housing work. She has instructed me in a number of homelessness appeals and claims for judicial review. She is very knowledgeable and committed and her work is always of a very high standard.’
‘This firm’s social housing team has a reputation for excellence which is well-deserved. Its work is of a consistently high standard. It combines high levels of professionalism with a commendable dedication to representing vulnerable clients.’
‘Rebecca Bahar is an outstanding solicitor. She is hard-working, meticulous, and very dedicated. It is a pleasure to be instructed by her.’
‘Keith Coughtrie has about 30 years experience working with gypsies and travellers and is one of the few expert solicitors in the field. Keith has a huge commitment to the communities and the work fighting for their right to live a traditional way of life, which can involve planning appeals, statutory planning challenges in the Administrative Court, judicial review challenges to national planning policy and local council decisions relating to gypsy and traveller site provision as well as planning injunctions. with that commitment, Keith works tirelessly on behalf of his clients.’
‘From time to time I ask for help regarding points of law. I was never refused help if one of those solicitors have knowledge in this particular field. I think that they are in this profession because they like to help people. They want to make peoples’ lives better. They are willing to go out of their way to help. For them, it is not just a way to earn money. They see it not as a case, but a human being with a problem in need of help.’
Crisis (the Homeless Charity)
The Unity Project
Hodge Jones & Allen is ‘an industry leader in social housing law‘, representing clients across a broad spectrum of social housing matters, including possession, illegal eviction anti-social behaviour injunctions and disrepair claims, and provides ‘a valued service for legally-aided clients‘. The practice, headed by ‘exceptional lawyer‘ Jayesh Kunwardia, has a strong reputation for its work regarding the administrative law aspects of social housing, such as homelessness reviews, claims for judicial review and discrimination matters, and has a niche specialism in advising victims of domestic abuse and trafficking. ‘Exceptional‘ Farzana Chowdhury and ‘very well-regarded‘ Sophie Bell are both experienced in acting for vulnerable tenants and those with additional needs, such as those with capacity issues. Daniel Fitzpatrick has ‘extensive experience‘ in human rights and discrimination matters and is a lead housing solicitor in the Grenfell inquiry.
Other key lawyers:
Daniel Fitzpatrick; Farzana Chowdhury; Sophie Bell
‘A large team with numerous excellent member and quality across the board. A professional operation with good client care and knowledgable solicitors. A pleasure to work with.’
‘The Social Housing Team at Hodge Jones &Allen have in the last few years grown and developed as one of the strongest firms in Social Housing. They are involved in many of the major Social Housing cases that come before the higher courts and are represented on the Grenfell Inquiry, they now combine tenants rights with a contract to take on discrimination cases in housing. As leaders in the field, they provide great training to their junior solicitors and paralegals who always have an impressive knowledge of all aspects of housing.’
‘As a team they operate in a very organised and efficient way, there is never any question of slippage in terms of directions or making sure if bringing claims that they are on the front foot. Sophie Bell has a great aptitude for representing vulnerable clients.’
‘Hodge Jones & Allen is an industry leader in social housing law. The firm provides an exceptional service for all of its clients in disrepair, possession and homelessness. The firm has a reputation for providing an exceptional level of service and advancement of the law in very high profile cases in the Court of Appeal and Supreme court.’
‘Jayesh Kunwardia – an exceptional lawyer and head of the team. He is imaginative and exceptionally committed to the rights of tenants and homeless persons. Dan Fitzpatrick – a gifted lawyer with a fierce commitment to tenants rights. Sophie Bell – a very talented lawyer who is extremely diligent and takes on difficult cases with difficult clients and handles them both with aplomb and achieves outstanding results. Farzana Chowdhury – a quiet but exceptional lawyer who achieves exceptional results with quiet determination and exceptionally hard work.’
‘The social housing team at Hodge Jones & Allen are committed and energetic practitioners. They take on a wide range of cases and provide a valued service for legally-aided clients. They have a particular focus on discrimination and represent many vulnerable clients in this important area.’
‘Sophie Bell is very well-regarded with a consistently high standard of work.’
‘A strong housing team with a wealth of experience across the board.’
- Represented a number of residents on a widely-publicized challenge to the allocation scheme of a local authority (Lambeth Council) which marked an estate, namely Denby Court for development.
- Representation of a group of the bereaved, survivors and residents in the ongoing public inquiry into the fire at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017.
- Successfully represented a client defending an ASB injunction brought by the shared ownership landlord, Rosebery Housing Association, and bringing a counterclaim for disability discrimination, setting a precedent for a top Vento-band damages award for cases of this kind.
Duncan Lewis Solicitors covers a broad range of social housing claims and ‘a high volume of legal aid cases‘ for tenants, including disrepair, homelessness and succession matters. The practice ‘shows strength in depth‘ and has a niche area of expertise in acting for tenants in urgent possession and unlawful eviction cases via the County Court Possession Duty Schemes in London, and has further niche expertise of assisting vulnerable clients through means of Equality Act defences as well as challenges against local authorities by way of judicial review proceedings. ‘Excellent leaders‘ Manjinder Kaur Atwal , Dianne Cowie, Bernadette Chikwe and David Head lead the London housing offering and are ‘highly experienced in all areas of housing law‘.
Manjinder Kaur Atwal; Dianne Cowie; Bernadette Chikwe; David Head
‘The social housing team shows strength in depth. From TOLATA-related equitable defences to possession claims to Equality Act 2010 discrimination and right to rent (immigration) defences. There is nothing I have not seen the team tackle with care, diligence and an appropriate understanding of the benefit counsel can bring to the table.’
‘Manjinder Kaur Atwal is an exceptional housing solicitor. Her knowledge is broad and her responses to questions are swift and equally incisive. The team has good case handling skills.’
‘Bernadette Chikwe runs a large team and is very much in control. If she is uncertain or wants to discuss matters, she does so openly and is responsive to advice given. She is very much focused on getting the best result for her clients. She runs a diverse team and works with a very diverse client group.’
‘The team are very experienced and knowledgable about all aspects of social housing. They regularly deal with clients who are vulnerable and/or have disabilities, including those for whom English is not their first language.’
‘Dianne Cowie has a vast amount of experience in social housing and excellent judgment but retains a very affable and approachable manner. She always has the client’s best interests in mind and gives sound and sensible advice.’
‘Headed up by some excellent leaders (e.g Dianne Cowie). Responsive to client’s needs and take a robust but realistic approach to litigation.’
‘The Duncan Lewis team are very competent and strong advisers. I am always impressed by their tenacity and ability to run complicated points successfully. They take diversity very seriously and this is demonstrated in their team. I would advise any person seeking housing advice to speak with Duncan Lewis.’
‘Our solicitor believed we had a good case. All clients hope to have a solicitor who believes in the justice of their case and has the skills and experience to win it – we had such a solicitor with the professional self-confidence to secure the Legal Aid funds and recruit outstanding barristers capable of winning. In all the circumstances we do not believe a competitor could have fielded a more accomplished legal team and our family will be forever grateful to Duncan Lewis.’
- Represented the defendant in a possession claim where the claimant sought possession based on Ground 17 of the Housing Act 1988 in respect of the defendant’s premises.
- Acted for the claimant in Ibrahim v Haringey LBC , a housing possession appeal matter at the High Court and later at the County Court. The client was unlawfully evicted from the property, and urgent steps were undertaken to reinstate him into the property as the defendants did not follow the correct legal procedure.
Hopkin Murray Beskine Solicitors
Hopkin Murray Beskine Solicitors acts for social housing tenants and leaseholders as well as homeless people, refugees, victims of trafficking, disabled children and their families on housing issues, and is further capable of acting for landlords. The team ‘is small but unrivalled in terms of concentrated quality‘ covering a broad range of social housing matters and with particular expertise in housing-related public law challenges and judicial reviews. ‘Stand-out individuals within the social housing world‘ Rebekah Carrier and Lesley Curtis jointly head the team. Carrier is experienced in complex judicial review cases before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, and Curtis has a strong track record of bringing Environmental Protection Act claims in connection with housing conditions. Ann Bevington is ‘clearly a brilliant solicitor‘ with particular experience in public law challenges regarding discrimination in housing allocations schemes.
Lesley Curtis; Rebekah Carrier
Other key lawyers:
‘Hopkin Murray Beskine’s housing team is small but unrivalled in terms of concentrated quality. There are simply no weak links and the team punches far above its size. Their three partners have been involved in an extraordinary proportion of the leading housing and social welfare cases of recent years, including a number of cases in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.’
‘Ann Bevington, Lesley Curtis and Rebekah Carrier are standout individuals within the social housing world, whose reputations are up with the very best. They are extremely able, experienced and thorough, allowing them to go many extra miles for their clients, taking novel points that push the boundaries of the area. This is perhaps most obviously reflected in their involvement in an extraordinary proportion of the leading housing and social welfare cases of recent years.’
‘Ann Bevington and Lesley Curtis are extraordinary solicitors. They are formidable, highly knowledgable, thorough, dedicated and all round exceptional. Although they are brilliant with clients, I would not want to get on the wrong side of them and they fiercely and passionately defend their clients.’
‘The housing team at HMB have been at the forefront of developments in homelessness law. They are more tenacious than any other similar firm and have a reputation as leading developments in the area and as bringing challenges that are both structural, innovative and reasonable. It would be difficult to think of a firm that has done more to advance the law in this area than HMB.’
‘Rebekah Carrier is almost certainly the most knowledgable housing solicitor in London. She has a firm grasp of both the law and the practical realities of enforcing the rights of individuals in a climate of reduced resources.’
‘I have worked with Ann Bevington who is clearly a brilliant solicitor, who will fight for clients, while advising them robustly. Her instructions are clear and concise, and she has a very good knack for steering the case towards a successful outcome.’
‘I work principally with Lesley Curtis. She is particularly committed to her vulnerable clients, working hard to see they get justice. I have also worked with Rebekah Carrier and Ann Bevington in the past. All of them are confident in their own opinions as to the law and how to run their cases.’
- Acted in Z & Others v Agudas Israel Housing Association & London Borough of Hackney , a judicial review claim relating to policy of housing association to let homes only to Haredi Jews.
- Acted in DA v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions , a discrimination challenge against the government’s flagship “benefit cap” welfare reform policy, which introduced a reduced maximum figure of benefits (including housing benefit) for non-working households, which took effect as a reduction to housing benefit. Acted for several lone parents and their children under the age of two.
Osbornes acts for social housing tenants on disrepair, possession, warrants for eviction, homelessness, anti-social behaviour and illegal evictions claims. The practice is ‘undoubtedly one of the best in the business‘ and has a strong reputation for complex disrepair cases and possession claims against local authorities and housing associations. The team, which is ‘prepared to look at difficult situations‘ and willing to ‘take on cases that do not look promising‘, has a specialism at the intersection with community care law, acting for vulnerable clients that lack capacity in housing matters. Practice head William Ford ‘is a test case lawyer whose practice spans social housing and welfare issues‘ who ‘stands out as an exceptional and highly regarded lawyer in the field’.
Other key lawyers:
Edward Taylor; Alex McMahon
‘As a legal aid practice their instructions are always full and precise. If a short deadline comes up on an urgent case, solicitors are active in collaborating to ensure it can be met. There’s a real sense of team ethic. It’s clear that internal communication and case recording are strong because if a solicitor handling a case is away the person covering is fully up to speed, has the necessary documents available to them and nothing falls through the cracks.’
‘It is clear the firm put the interests of the client first at all times. The associates have a thorough knowledge of the area of law, communicate effectively and are incredibly easy to work with. Will Ford recently took over a case from a departing colleague and was immediately on top of all the issues in a fact-heavy case; he is always available to speak to and in a case against a hard-to-manage litigant in person he was excellent.’
‘From the very first moment, I was aware and grateful to have been put in touch with Osbornes. From helping to receive legal aid which was vital, the expertise, advice, leaving no stone unturned right from the first minute until the very last, I would most certainly recommend every single time.’
‘The lawyer that was helping me with my case was William Ford was simply amazing – if a partner shows all these qualities, this must, I’m sure, filter down to the rest of the employees due to the example set.’
‘Osbornes is one of the firms that I consistently recommend. Excellent service, and thorough and knowledgable lawyers.’
‘Will Ford stands out as an exceptional and highly regarded lawyer in the field.’
‘Osbornes’ team have grown in size and stature under the excellent leadership of Will Ford. They are a firm that likes a challenge and are prepared to do the groundwork to develop cases, even if it means much preparation without remuneration. They are now recognised as firm that is prepared to take on test cases and will not shirk from meeting tight deadlines to ensure that their clients arguments are heard.’
‘Osbornes are very approachable; in a time where many firms are unwilling to take on cases that do not look promising, they are prepared to look at difficult situations and find a way to assist their clients. Will Ford is a test case lawyer whose practice spans Social Housing and Welfare issues, his breadth of knowledge in both fields in invaluable to those working in his team.’
Burke Niazi Solicitors & Advocates
Burke Niazi Solicitors & Advocates covers all areas of housing law, acting for social housing clients on matters including possession, unlawful evictions and disrepair as well as administrative and public law challenges, and is noted for its ‘strong expertise in mental health and in representing vulnerable clients‘. Each of its practitioners has a further specialisation alongside social housing law, such as in mental health and capacity issues, which they ‘use to enhance their housing practise‘. ‘Exceptionally knowledgable and thorough‘ Keith Clarke and ‘very experienced‘ Michael Barrett head the practice and provide ‘excellent client care‘.
Keith Clarke; Michael Barrett
Other key lawyers:
‘Burke Niazi has a small but excellent housing team that is committed to achieving the best results for the most vulnerable clients. In my experience, the team has not shied away from difficult cases and individuals use the expertise they have in adjacent areas (particularly mental health) to enhance their housing practise.’
‘Keith Clarke deserves special mention. He is exceptionally knowledgable and thorough.’
‘Really excellent team with high level of experience and expertise, in particular in relation to cases involving the complex areas of mental health, and capacity as well as community care.’
‘Keith Clarke is highly efficient and capable as well as having great people skills which are invaluable in dealing with clients and opponents. Michael Barrett is also a very effective litigator whose calm is invaluable in dealing with often fraught litigation issues, particularly in a field where disputes concern highly personal matters.’
‘Strong expertise in mental health and in representing vulnerable clients. Excellent client care. Strong knowledge of the law.’
‘The team is strong in combining supportive and effective client care with efficient litigation. They strong across the range of social housing tenant work. Crossover expertise with mental health law and Court of Protection work also adds to the teams strength.’
‘They are attentive to the actual problem and above all I believe they go the extra mile to make sure that the client is satisfied.’
‘Will Ako is a fantastic young housing solicitor. I am always impressed by the lengths Will is willing to go for clients who come to him at the lowest points in their lives, and who have understandably struggled to maintain good contact with other professionals in their lives. Will uses his compassion and his experience in mental health law to keep these clients on board and get the best results for them, which is a remarkable achievement.’
Edwards Duthie Shamash ‘provides an exemplary service to all of its clients in defending possession claims, homelessness and challenges to allocation of social housing and disrepair‘. The practitioners have further ‘expertise across a range of adjacent areas, including community care, mental health and Court of Protection‘, meaning that the team is ‘well-placed to assist vulnerable clients with complex cases‘. ‘Very experienced and committed‘ James Harrison heads the team and is ‘able to deal with cases at all levels of court‘ with ‘no fears in bringing ground-breaking cases‘. Simon Mullings left the firm.
‘Excellent firm committed and caring and a valued part of the local community.’
‘Edwards Duthie Shamash’s housing team are of a very good standard. The firm has expertise across a range of adjacent areas (including community care, mental health and Court of Protection) which means that they are well-placed to assist vulnerable clients with complex cases, raising a range of issues.’
‘James Harrison is experienced, calm and a very safe pair of hands to handle difficult cases.’
‘Edwards Duthie Shamash is a leading firm in social housing law and provides an exemplary service to all of its clients in defending possession claims, homelessness and challenges to allocation of social housing and disrepair. The firm provides services from the duty scheme to high profile and difficult claims in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.’
‘James Harrison is a gifted lawyer and exceptional leader of the Housing team.’
‘EDS’ social housing team has incredible experience and expertise built up over many years operating in east and north London. This includes participating in duty schemes at several courts across the area. It has well-developed links with local advice agencies. As a result it picks up cases across the spectrum of social housing law. The firm is always focussed on achieving the best and most practical outcome for its clients.’
‘A strong social housing team with an established track record of assisting those in housing need.’
‘Providing high quality social housing law representation to tenants across the north and east London areas. Highly approachable and effective team who use technology very effectively to collaborate and deliver a seamless service.’
The ‘excellent‘ social housing team at GT Stewart Limited advises tenants on any type of social housing claim, including disrepair, anti-social behaviour, illegal evictions and service charge disputes, and frequently works closely with charities on housing matters. ‘Incredibly efficient litigator‘ Claire Wiles is experienced in acting for clients that lack capacity and James Garvey acts predominantly for leaseholders. Sarah Mossop has a specialism in disrepair claims and works ‘extremely hard to get the best outcome‘ for clients. Clients appreciate that the members of the team ‘are willing to go the extra mile‘ for them.
Claire Wiles; James Garvey
Other key lawyers:
Sarah Mossop; Michael McCrone; Denise Phillips; Susan Gronbach; Simeon Wilmore
‘I primarily dealt with Sarah Mossop: extremely knowledgeable and professional. Sarah was very efficient and worked extremely hard to get the best outcome. I felt she was prepared to try any approach, from conference meetings to reading recent case law and seeking advice from an expert barrister on one particular aspect of the case which clearly gave an advantage in further negotiations.’
‘We found Michael McCrone and Sarah Mossop had expert knowledge specific to our case and fully understood the issues and complexities it entailed, whilst being able to fully explain the legal implications to us as clients, throughout the duration of the case, at all stages.’
‘Simeon Wilmore is not only experienced; he is also a very creative and engaged social housing lawyer. That means he can not only handle complex cases of great importance to his clients, but also unusual cases, where a fresh or different perspective on the law is required in order to achieve a result for the tenant.’
‘The team are extremely committed, and have substantial experience in the social housing space. They show excellent client care skills – at times in very difficult situations.’
‘Claire Wiles – seriously competent and commercially sensible. Simeon Wilmore – always willing to go the extra mile for clients – similarly knowledgeable and practical.’
‘This is not a “stack ’em high” type of practice. They work really hard and tirelessly for their clients, developing individual and proportionate solutions, as well as fighting exceptionally hard for their interests. An outstanding firm, with outstanding individuals’
‘Claire Wiles is one of the top housing solicitors in England. Thorough, clever, and absolutely passionate about her clients.’
‘The team work tirelessly for their clients, going above and beyond many legal aid solicitors. They approach their cases with care and achieve fantastic results for their clients.’
Russell-Cooke LLP is adept at representing individual clients in claims against local authorities and social landlords relating to disrepair, possession, allocation, judicial review challenges, leasehold disputes and homelessness appeals. Jason Hunter is the head of the housing and property litigation team, which includes Graham French, who is active in the Grenfell inquiry where he analyses, processes and challenges expert evidence. ‘Exceptional social housing lawyer‘ Caroline Brosnan, ‘excellent‘ Jodie Green and ‘exceptionally professional‘ Matilda Rubens have a focus on legal aid work where they frequently act for homeless applicants and vulnerable clients.
Other key lawyers:
Graham French; Caroline Brosnan; Matilda Rubens; Jodie Green
‘A uniquely young and determined housing team with excellent knowledge and client focus.’
‘Caroline Brosnan and Jodie Green are two of the best lawyers I have worked with.’
‘Excellent team. One of the things that makes this team stand out is in the access that the team has to expertise in property law, including complex trust arrangements or proprietary estoppels. Therefore, when social housing cases raise those issues, there is the expertise in house to deal with them.’
‘Caroline Brosnan is well known in social housing, and is not only committed to her work and to her clients, but is adept at negotiating and good to work with.’
‘They are able to advise in some of the more complex cases which may involve leasehold disputes. The team is led by Caroline Brosnan who has huge experience in this field and has a reputation for leaving no stone unturned in her cases, her attention to the detail of the case is second to none, and being a Executive member of the Housing Law Practitioner Association she is always up to date with new issues arising in this sector.’
‘Matilda Rubens was exceptionally professional handling our case. She is a knowledgeable and experienced solicitor one can fully trust.’
‘The practice demonstrates a high role of working standards with friendly staff members to communicate with. You are treated with respect on all occasions and kept up to date through out your casework.’
‘Jodie Green was excellent and the worked she had done gave us a positive outcome and we are always satisfied with her communication.’
- Successful section 204 appeal against a decision that Waltham Forest could discharge their full housing duty to the client and his family with an out of borough placement in Stoke on Trent.
- Advised a tenant facing eviction under ground 13 because of dispute over the extent of the adaptations to the property.
- Assisted a vulnerable tenant facing injunction proceedings which were issued prematurely and to bring a counterclaim for racial discrimination.
TV Edwards LLP
TV Edwards LLP ‘provides an excellent service to its clients in possession, discrimination and homelessness matters‘ and combines the social housing expertise with further areas of expertise, such as community care and court of protection work, so as to offer ‘a high quality “holistic” service‘ to clients. The practice is headed by ‘true long standing legal aid warrior‘ Jacky Starling and ‘highly respect and gifted housing lawyer‘ Katie Brown. Starling is particularly experienced in defending possession proceedings, and Brown has particular expertise in defending clients facing eviction due to benefit issues. Jenny Hunt departed in March 2022.
Jacky Starling; Katie Brown
‘This firm is able to offer exceptional expertise in cases which overlap housing, community care, mental capacity and related areas.’
‘TV Edwards has a number of offices, and consistently good solicitors across the board. They are thorough, committed, and always willing to run innovative points of law.’
‘The social housing team at TV Edwards are absolutely brilliant. Meticulous, highly capable, and with excellent levels of client care, they inspire confidence and are a pleasure to work with.’
‘The social housing team at TV Edwards is very well established, has depth of knowledge and experience. It is headed by two of the most reputed solicitors in this area – Katie Brown and Jacky Starling. They are tremendously knowledgeable in social housing law, and Jacky also in the related area of social security law (welfare benefits).’
‘Katie Brown is a long established and highly respect gifted housing lawyer. Jacky Starling is a true long standing legal aid warrior.’
‘A small but highly effective team with a multi-disciplinary expertise across housing, homelessness, community care and Court of Protection law which means they can provide a comprehensive service to the most vulnerable clients. They are as good as any firm out there.’
‘TV Edwards is an inner London firm, serving a culturally diverse community, with high levels of social deprivation, including acute housing problems. This is predominantly public funding work, so the firm receives minimal remuneration, despite which they are committed to assisting and representing clients pursuing their public and administrative law rights.’
‘TV Edwards has a very strong team representing social housing and private tenants, which includes some of the best solicitors I have worked with. They are almost uniquely well-placed to deal with difficult cases for clients with complex needs given not only the strength of their community care, mental health and Court of Protection teams, but also the fact that many members of the housing team also work in these areas. This means that they are able to provide a truly holistic service to some of the most vulnerable clients.’
Miles & Partners LLP
Miles & Partners LLP covers a range of social housing matters and is particularly adept at challenging local authority decisions on homeless duties and getting them overturned. The team, headed by ‘very highly-regarded‘ Lou Crisfield, has wide range of expertise ‘across a range of areas, including family law, community care and mental health‘ enabling it to advise ‘on a range of interconnected issues‘. ‘Brilliant‘ Rajea Sultana, who is ‘an unsung legend in the field, who provides some of the best representations for her clients on homelessness cases‘ made partner in 2021.
Other key lawyers:
‘Lou Cristfield is amazing. She is a pleasure to work with as she prepares a case fully. Rajea Sultana is also brilliant. She works tirelessly for clients. She is funny which is a massive attribute in a difficult area of work. I always recommend her and Lou whenever someone is looking for a safe pair of hands.’
‘Lou Crisfield is one of the very best housing lawyers in social housing, and one of the best to work with.’
‘Miles & Partners has a small but dedicated team, which is one of the go-to firms in East London for individuals with housing law issues. The firm’s wider expertise across a range of areas, including family law, community care and mental health, means they are able to consider clients’ situations in the round and advise them on a range of inter-connected issues that might arise.’
‘Lou Crisfield is extremely knowledgeable but also accessible and compassionate to our charity’s service users that she advises. Her advice is pragmatic and realistic, and delivered very kindly.’
‘The housing team goes from strength to strength, and punches well above its weight. They provide outstanding representation for their clients throughout, and are particularly tenacious, leading to excellent outcomes for their clients’
‘Rajea Sultana – An unsung legend in the field, who provides some of the best representations for her clients on homelessness cases. Lou Crisfield – Deeply knowledgeable and thoughtful, thorough, passionate about her clients’ rights and interests.’
‘Lou Crisfield is, without doubt, one of the most capable and effective housing advisors out there. A real leader in the field. Fights tirelessly on behalf of her clients and achieves excellent results. Particularly strong in cases which have an immigration or community care element, which is an invaluable specialism.’
‘Rajea Sultana is incredible. Rajea Sultana worked tirelessly with a very vulnerable client of mine. She was kind, determined, thorough, she worked far harder than she should have. As a result of her, my client will get social housing. Rajea is all heart.’