Alice Richardson > Chambers of Toby Hedworth QC > Newcastle upon Tyne, England > Lawyer Profile
Chambers of Toby Hedworth QC Offices
THE CUSTOM HOUSE, QUAYSIDE
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
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Alice practises primarily in the Housing, Local Government and Property sectors. She undertook pupillage, and began her practice, at a leading specialist set of Chambers in London before relocating to the North-East.
Prior to coming to the Bar, Alice worked as a housing advisor for three years. She has a particular interest in cases involving discrimination, human rights, capacity issues and public law/judicial review. She acts for local authorities, social landlords and private landlords as well as tenants and other individuals.
Since 2018 Alice has been appointed to the Attorney General’s Regional Panel of Counsel and can accept instructions from the Government Legal Department (formerly Treasury Solicitor).
Alice’s practice covers all aspects of housing litigation including possession, homelessness, allocations, anti-social behaviour, unlawful eviction, disrepair, succession and assignment.
Alice has a particular interest in homelessness cases and has been instructed in both s.204 appeals and applications for judicial review. In R (Sambotin) v Brent LBC  EWHC 1190 (Admin) she successfully represented the claimant in a judicial review of a local authority’s decision to revoke a decision made under Part 7, Housing Act 1996. During pupillage, she assisted on a number of homelessness matters in the High Court and Court of Appeal including Firoozmand v Lambeth LBC  EWCA Civ 952;  PTSR 65;  HLR 45.
Alice also has significant experience in matters concerning anti-social behaviour and community safety. She is interested in the use of civil remedies in tackling community safety issues such as domestic violence and gang-related problems. Recently Alice was junior counsel in the case of Birmingham City Council v Jerome Jones & 17 others (Birmingham County Court, ex tempore judgment, 12th July 2017) successfully representing the applicant in the largest ever gang-injunction application.
Alice was also junior counsel on behalf of the local authority, in Christie v Birmingham City Council  EWCA Civ 1339 in which the Court of Appeal considered the lawfulness of a suspended sentence for breach of a gang injunction. She has also obtained Closure Orders on behalf of Local Authorities in the Magistrates’ Court and has advised on Public Space Protection Orders and Community Protection Notices.
Local Government, Public Law & Judicial Review
In addition to the above Alice advises and acts in a wide range of public law and local government matters. She has advised on social housing fraud and the right to buy as well as housing policy and procedure.
Alice is instructed in cases concerning social care for those facing homelessness or living in unsuitable accommodation. She has been instructed in judicial review proceedings concerning the provision of accommodation under the Children Act 1989 and the Care Act 2014.
Business & Property
Alice’s practice covers traditional chancery work and she has particular experience of TOLATA claims, dilapidations, disrepair, possession and related disputes including breach of covenant, forfeiture and relief.
Alice was junior counsel for the Residential Landlord’s Association (“RLA”) in the Supreme Court case of McDonald v McDonald  UKSC 28;  AC 273;  3 WLR 45;  1 All ER 961;  HRLR 18;  BPIR 728;  HLR 28;  L & TR 9;  2 P& CR.DG 22; Times, June 29, 2016. The RLA intervened by way of written submissions on the applicability of an Article 8 defence in possession proceedings brought by a private landlord.
She also appears in the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) and she accepts instructions in leasehold disputes including service charges, property management and enfranchisement.
Court of Protection
Alice has a developing Court of Protection practice and is regularly instructed in matters concerning both Property and Affairs and Health and Welfare Matters. She has been instructed by local authorities, professional deputies and on behalf of the Official Solicitor.
Recent cases include: appearing on behalf of a professional deputy seeking authority to litigate following defective works undertaken to a patient’s property; advising on injunctive relief where a patient was a victim of anti-social behaviour; acting for a local authority seeking a deprivation of liberty and acting in a trial where lack of capacity was in dispute.
She is also regularly instructed in County Court matters in proceedings involving parties lacking capacity particularly those which arise in the context of housing issues.
Licensing & Regulatory
Alice undertakes regulatory work in the housing, property and local government sectors and has advised and represented clients in matters such as:
- Tenancy deposit protection
- Social housing fraud
- The Environmental Protection Act 1990
- Rent Repayment Orders
- Closure Orders
- Public Space Protection Orders
- HMO licensing
- Council Tax and Business Rates.
She has particular experience advising on licensing schemes under the Housing Act 2004. During pupillage she assisted in R (Regas) v Enfield LBC  EWHC 4173 (Admin);  HLR 14, a successful judicial review challenging a local authority’s additional and selective licensing schemes.
Alice also represents both landlords and local authorities in prosecutions under the 2004 Act. She recently represented a local authority in a prosecution of a property management company and its sole director for failure to obtain a licence in an area subject to selective licensing.
Birmingham City Council v Jerome Jones & 17 others, Birmingham County Court, 12th July 2017 (junior counsel) successfully represented the applicant in the largest ever gang-injunction application.
R (Sambotin) v Brent LBC  EWHC 1190 (Admin);  HLR 31 – successfully represented the claimant in a judicial review of a local authority’s decision to revoke a decision made under Part 7, Housing Act 1996.
Christie v Birmingham CC  EWCA Civ 1339, unreported, 14 December 2016, CA (junior counsel) – successfully opposed an appeal to the Court of Appeal on the lawfulness of a suspended sentence for breach of a gang injunction
McDonald v McDonald  UKSC 28;  AC 273;  3 WLR 45;  1 All ER 961;  HRLR 18;  BPIR 728;  HLR 28;  L & TR 9;  2 P& CR.DG 22; Times, June 29, 2016. (junior counsel) – successfully acted for the RLA, an intervener by way of written submissions, in the Supreme Court on the applicability of an Article 8 defence in possession proceedings brought by a private landlord.
Firoozmand v Lambeth LBC  EWCA Civ 952;  PTSR 65;  HLR 45 (assisted as a pupil) – an appeal to the Court of Appeal on local authorities’ duties when a homeless applicant complains about the suitability of accommodation.
R (Regas) v Enfield LBC  EWHC 4173 (Admin);  HLR 14 (assisted as a pupil) a – a successful judicial review challenging a local authority’s additional and selective licensing schemes under the Housing Act 2004.
Attorney General’s Regional Panel of Counsel (since 2018)
The right to rent and local authorities’ duties (R v Milton Keynes Council), Lexis PSL,19th January 2018 (available here)
Selective Licensing & Company Directors, Local Government Lawyer, 19th January 2018 (available here)
Securing gang injunctions, Local Government Lawyer, 7th September 2017 (available here).
Revisiting decisions on eligibility for homelessness assistance, Local Government Lawyer, 9th June 2017 (available here).
Proportionality and Private Landlords, Solicitor’s Journal 2016, 160(36) Supp (Bar Focus), 24-27.
Ali v United Kingdom: Homelessness Appeals and the Right to a Fair Trial, Journal of Housing Law 2016, Vol.19(2), 38-42.
Alice is a regular contributor to the Legal Action Group Housing Law Blog (available here). Blog posts include:
Bedroom Tax: Round 2, 7 May 2017
Joined up thinking, 13 April 2017
Showing your workings, 2 February 2017
Alice regularly summarises cases for Lime Legal’s “Housing Law Week” (available here).
Alice is available to deliver CPD training to solicitors, advisors and clients across her specialist areas.
She is also qualified to accept instructions directly from the members of the public through the Direct Access scheme.
Alice undertook a four-month internship with Reprieve working pro-bono on death penalty cases at a Texas law office prior to commencing pupillage. She continues to undertake pro-bono work including through the Bar Pro Bono Unit.
Social Housing Law Association
Property Bar Association
Constitutional & Administrative Law Bar Association
Housing Law Practitioners’ Association
Sir Joseph Priestly Scholarship 2013- The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple
Internship Award 2013- The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple
Duke of Edinburgh Scholarship 2012 – The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple
Exhibition Award (BPTC) 2012- The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple
Best New Student Pro-Bono Activity 2012 – LawWorks/Attorney-General’s Awards
2011-2013 Bar Professional Training Course (Part-time) “Very Competent”, College of Law, London Bloomsbury
2007-2010 LLB (Hons) 2.1, The University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne