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Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Work 020 7923 4020

Bernadette Chikwe

Work 020 7275 2885
Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Work Department



Housing director Bernadette specialise in all aspects of housing litigation and tenant/landlord social housing matters. She has copious experience in both dealing with privately rented, local authority and social landlords rent and other grounds possession proceedings. She also has experience in dealing with mortgage possession proceedings, charging order proceedings and assisting clients make their applications to suspend warrants of eviction.

Bernadette has worked in a number of reported cases including the recent Abdi v the London Borough of Waltham Forest an s.204 appeal, on the issue of suitability of temporary accommodation of time and distance in the context of borough placements and the post Localism Act.

She has been a duty solicitor since 2002 at both Bow County Court and the Central London County Court. As a duty solicitor, she gives clients face to face advice before and after their hearings. She liaises with third parties, represents them in relation to their hearings and when appropriate, makes referrals to other organisations following the hearing.

Bernadette also supervises a remote advice service through the Legal Aid Agency Civil Legal Advice. This entails representing clients UK-wide, handling their instructions and processing their cases remotely through non face to face communications such as video calls, telephone and/or email.


Following over 10 years’ experience in other firms, Bernadette joined Duncan Lewis in 2013 and was appointed partner-level, director of housing in 2016.


Bernadette speaks Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, some German and basic French


Bernadette completed her LPC at the College of Law in London and did the Common Professional Examination at City University. Prior to this she obtained a BA (Hons) in Business Studies from the University of North London.

London: Real estate

Social housing: tenant

Within: Social housing: tenant

'One of the most effective firms practicing social housing law', Duncan Lewis Solicitors has considerable expertise in Equality Act defence cases, unlawful eviction and possession claims, and homelessness appeals. The team also handles a considerable amount of pro-bono work, which has recently included representing a number of individuals in homelessness claims following the Grenfell Tower disaster. Bernadette Chikwe represented an individual in possession proceedings arising out of the client's inability to assume tenancy due to her immigration status, and Dianne Cowie has experience with disrepair claims. Subbiah Sivapunniyam has been called 'a legend among housing lawyers', and James de Vere Moss is also 'very good'. Chinedu Orogbu joined the team from Thomas Dunton Solicitors, and Manjinder Kaur Atwal was promoted to director.

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