James Stark > Garden Court North Chambers > Manchester, England > Barrister Profile

Garden Court North Chambers
M3 2JA

Work Department

Housing, Public Law (Judicial Review), Community health care and mental health, Court of protection, Discrimination, Local government law.


James was a housing law solicitor admitted in 1992 before being called to the Bar in 1998. Since then, he has become “one of the leading lights for social housing work” (Chambers and Partners 2010) and practises in all areas of housing law including: homelessness (appeals and judicial review) residential landlord and tenant, unlawful eviction and harassment, allocations judicial review and anti-social behaviour and gang related violence and drug dealing injunctions. He specialises particularly in housing cases involving human rights issues, complex possession proceedings, homelessness appeals, and disputes involving multiple parties and agencies in particular involving defendants with mental health issues and especially hoarding disorders.


James’ practice has involved a number of leading cases in the Supreme Court and the Court Appeal most notably two cases in the Supreme Court; Manchester City Council v Pinnock [2010] UKSC 45, which held that proportionality of an eviction can be raised as a defence in claims brought by public authorities reversing three earlier decisions of the House of Lords and; Samuels-v-Birmingham City Council [2019] UKSC 28 {2019} P.T.S.R 1229 where leading Tom Royston the Supreme Court allowed an appeal from the Court of Appeal in which it was established that a person should not be held to be intentionally homeless if their income level was below subsistence benefit levels, and that assessment of a person’s reasonable living expenses had to be objectively assessed. He also appeared in the House of Lords in R-v-Manchester Crown Court ex parte McCann [2003] 1 AC 787 the leading test case on anti-social behaviour orders and the standard of proof.




  • Legal Action Group;
  • North West Housing Law Practitioners (co-ordinator); and
  • Administrative Law Bar Association.


LL.B (Hons)

Lawyer Rankings

Regional Bar > Northern Circuit > Social housing

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

James Stark – Garden Court North Chambers

Viewed as ‘a strong set for housing law’, Garden Court North Chambers‘ members handle a wide spectrum of work in the space, including unlawful evictions, disrepair claims, homelessness matters and possession claims. James Stark is sought after for his expertise in advising on cases involving human rights issues, and Sonia Birdee is very well known for representing tenants in discrimination cases under the Equality Act 2010. Joseph Markus regularly represents vulnerable clients in homelessness cases. Elizabeth Mottershaw is ‘judicious and measured – a reliable and solid advocate‘. In December 2022 Gary Willock moved to Trinity Chambers.

Regional Bar > Northern Circuit > Administrative and public law (including civil liberties and human rights)

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

James Stark – Garden Court North Chamber