Arden Chambers offers dedicated advice and representation to a diverse client base that includes local authorities, central government and social tenants. Its range of work includes high-profile possessions, homelessness and allocation cases, as well as welfare benefits, family law and general public law matters. Around half of its work is funded by legal aid, the other half being handled on behalf of landlords. Commentators note that its barristers are particularly adept at advising on long leasehold property management issues.
Client service: "The clerking team is extremely helpful, is able to react quickly and has an excellent working knowledge of our sector." It is led by Mike Alexander and includes experienced clerks Neil Goodwright and Sam Windle.
Andrew Arden QC
Specialises in pure housing matters and has a superb reputation. His distinguished career at the Housing Bar has seen him handle countless major cases, many of which have made it to the House of Lords and the Supreme Court.
Strengths: "He has an excellent handle on housing law, and the pressures on the public purse." "He has deep expertise in the sector and a common-sense approach that means he can provide swift and solid advice."
Recent work: Appeared in two Supreme Court cases, LB Camden v Sharif and LB Lambeth v Loveridge, representing the local authorities. He also appeared in R (CN) v Lewisham LBC, and in Sims v Dacorum BC.
Has an outstanding reputation for social housing work and is known for the quality of his local government work generally. His practice encompasses high-profile judicial reviews and appeals up to the Supreme Court.
Strengths: "A smooth and polished courtroom presence." "A go-to barrister for appeals and higher court housing work."
Recent work: He recently represented the landlord in Blyth and others v Notting Hill Home Ownership, a claim by multiple leaseholders alleging defects in the build. In another case, he advised the authority in Birmingham City Council v Balog.
Praised for his excellent understanding of social housing and his ability to work on complex matters. His practice covers private housing, licensing and service charge disputes.
Strengths: "Highly intelligent and extremely knowledgeable." "He's simply excellent as he's cool, calm and measured."
Recent work: Advised the accommodation provider as junior counsel in Islington LBC v Unite Plc, a case regarding the licensing of student accommodation as HMOs. He has also represented leaseholders and landlords in service charge disputes, appearing in such cases as Hackney LBC v Leaseholders of Hackney.
A barrister with a "genuine interest in the development of the law," he is highly regarded for his expertise in housing matters. He acts for both social landlords and their tenants, and is noted for his expertise in human rights issues.
Strengths: "Clear when advancing complicated arguments, he delivers well in court." "He is widely recognised as one of the best of his generation."
Recent work: Acted for a defendant in possession proceedings initiated by Circle 33 Housing Trust. He also assisted the tenant in Wandsworth LBC v Maggot, a case establishing that tenancy agreements can regulate the use of land, not moral behaviour.
Attracts high praise for his social housing, public law and human rights expertise. His recent work has included high-profile cases on welfare reform and the 'bedroom tax', and he has often appeared for Shelter acting as an intervener. He is further expert in matters involving possession claims and antisocial behaviour injunctions.
Strengths: "Judges think highly of him because he is thorough and has an excellent command of the papers." "He's an expert on proportionality, having appeared in all leading cases."
Recent work: Appeared for Birmingham City Council and Shelter as interveners in R (MA) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, a case challenging the 'bedroom tax'. He also appeared for Shelter in R (JS) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, a judicial review on welfare reforms.
Leads on a series of high-profile housing matters, and is noted for his human rights, public law and EU law expertise. He is especially highlighted for his advice on allocation, eligibility and homelessness, and typically, though not exclusively, acts for tenants.
Strengths: "A greatly respected, serious opponent." "He turns cases around with clear and effective arguments."
Recent work: Acted for the tenant in two high-profile Supreme Court appeals, R(CN) v Lewisham LBC and R(ZH) v Newham LBC. He also advised on Sims v Dacorum BC.
Offers a wide-ranging housing practice covering all aspects of the area, including property and social housing cases.
Strengths: "He picks up matters well, and becomes familiar with the issues in a case quickly." "He's very persuasive."
Recent work: Acted for the local authority in Sharif v Camden LBC, a Supreme Court case concerning separate units of accommodation.
Considered by sources to be a "bright spark in the sector." He advises on antisocial behaviour proceedings, allocation policies and disrepair, among other matters.
Strengths: Offers "smooth negotiation of the cases." "He's balanced and ensures we follow our positions."
Recent work: Appeared in Asghar v Barnet LBC, a case involving an Article 8 defence against retaliatory eviction.
Handles a range of work, including possession claims and homelessness appeals. Often acts for local authorities.
Strengths: "Keeps her composure and works well with the judge." "An excellent advocate, who is professional, knowledgeable and thorough."
Recent work: Represented the local council in Brent LBC v Chakdouf, seeking possession of two properties let on secure tenancies. She also assisted the authority in Mohamoud v Birmingham CC, a homelessness appeal concerning discharge of duty and review procedures.
Advises on social housing, private property, public law and local government issues.
Strengths: "She always takes a professional approach," and "knows what points to take."
Has a good court presence and offers excellent client care, according to solicitors. She is an expert in homelessness, possession and tenancy fraud cases.
Strengths: "She will find a way, as she knows the weaknesses in an opponent's case and works on them." "She thinks quickly on her feet."
Handles a broad range of housing, property, public law, and landlord and tenant matters, including matters before the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. Sources describe him as a junior who "punches above his call year."
Strengths: "He is quick on his feet and passionate about his public work." "He's commercially astute and considers the final objective."
Recent work: Assisted the local authority in RB Greenwich v Hammett, a possession claim against an introductory tenancy.
Attracts wide praise from sources for her client care skills and her comprehension of complex points of law. Her practice extends to homelessness and antisocial behaviour cases.
Strengths: "A first-class litigator." "She's personable, proactive and a real favourite with clients."
Recent work: Successfully represented the housing provider in Melin Homes v Leanne Price, a case concerning possession proceedings against a non-secure tenant.
Cornerstone Barristers maintains an impressive reputation for social housing work and typically assists local authorities and housing associations on a cross-section of matters, such as homelessness, asylum, possession claims, contested succession, antisocial behaviour and disrepair cases. It has a strong offering of barristers at all levels of call.
Client service: "It is a very professional and efficient set, whose barristers are thorough and well prepared."
Bryan McGuire QC
Has a broad practice that encompasses homelessness, asylum, social services and community care cases. He is an experienced litigator, who acts for both social landlords and for tenants.
Strengths: "A standout individual," who has "excellent knowledge of the interplay between community care and housing."
Recent work: He recently led in Hammersmith & Fulham LBC v George.
Ranjit Bhose QC
Described as "the smoothest advocate in court imaginable," he has a long-standing reputation in social housing and typically represents local authorities and registered providers. His advice extends to advising on regeneration schemes, tenancy agreements and policies.
Strengths: "Provides excellent, concise advice and is impressive on his feet." "You know he will run the case hard."
Recent work: Recently advised on Tachie v Welwyn Hatfield DC, a case concerning a series of homelessness appeals. He also assisted the housing provider in Francis v Brent Housing Partnership, a Court of Appeal case regarding a new secured tenancy.
Kelvin Rutledge QC
An established name for social housing work, who is especially noted for his work on public inquiries and children services cases.
Recent work: Represented the local authority in Hotak v LB Southwark, a homelessness case seeking to define the term 'vulnerability'.
Has an outstanding reputation and is highly praised for his style, popularity with instructing solicitors and passion for the sector. His practice almost exclusively comprises representing and advising local authorities and housing associations.
Strengths: "A major strength is his approachability." "He knows his client and fully appreciates the difficulties that social housing providers face. As a result clients have confidence in his abilities."
Recent work: Handled a number of possession claims, disrepair matters, leaseholder disputes and flexible tenancy cases.
Commands great respect from all corners of the sector, with opponents describing him as "someone you can engage with in a meaningful way." He has recently represented local authorities in major housing disputes at Supreme Court level. He also receives excellent praise for his work on behalf of tenants.
Strengths: "He has great confidence, presence and authority." "He is razor sharp and excellent at seeing what the hot point in a case is."
Recent work: Advised on two of the most high-profile cases currently running, R(CN) v LB Lewisham LBC and R(ZH) v Newham LBC. He acted for the local authority in both these matters.
Receives praise for the expertise and client care he brings to a variety of social housing matters, most notably when acting for local authorities. He is particularly adept at handling human rights and public law arguments, as well as questions relating to welfare reform.
Strengths: "He is outstanding." "He produces clear paperwork, writes well and has an excellent grip on all the legal issues." "Clients have a lot of faith in him."
Recent work: Appeared for the local authority in the Court of Appeal in Michael Sims v Dacorum Borough Council.
Widely respected for his housing practice, he "wins difficult cases" and "works out the important points in language everyone understands." He is especially highlighted for his Court of Appeal practice, where he typically acts for housing providers.
Strengths: "Efficient, polite and very effective," he is "a collaborative team player" whose "advocacy is second to none."
Recent work: Advised the housing provider in Swan Housing Association v Gill.
Handles housing and community care matters, and has an excellent reputation for assisting local authorities. Her practice extends to representing clients in age assessment and Court of Protection cases that have a social housing angle to them.
Strengths: "Extremely popular with clients." "She is thorough with her paperwork and has an enviable array of skills."
Recent work: Represented the local authority in Johnson v Solihull MBC, a homelessness appeal concerning how to determine if a homeless person is vulnerable. She has also advised on Muema v Muema and Croydon LBC, a case regarding Article 8 and joint tenancy.
Handles social housing cases as part of a wide local government practice. Has extensive experience in the appellate courts.
Strengths: "Clear, determined and hard-working."
Recent work: Recently advised Croydon LBC on a County Court case regarding possession against former service tenants. He also appeared for the local authority in Poorsalehy v Wandsworth LBC, a case regarding an out of time homelessness appeal.
Enjoys an excellent reputation, with senior practitioners in the field describing him as "exceptional" and "highly accomplished." He typically acts for local authorities.
Strengths: He has "a crystal-clear mind" and "real confidence in what he does."
Recent work: Assisted the local authority in Hyde Housing v Lorraine Newman, a case to suspend the warrant for possession. His work has also included unlawful subletting and contested succession matters.
"A persuasive advocate" who advises on the full range of high-profile housing matters. His practice includes private property work, and he is very good on leasehold disputes.
Strengths: "He cannot do enough for you from the moment you pick up the phone." "He has a quick understanding of the key legal principles."
Recent work: Advised, alongside Jan Luba QC, on Loveridge v Lambeth LBC, a statutory damages case concerning the unlawful eviction of a secure tenant that advanced to the Supreme Court.
A favourite of instructing solicitors, he has developed a strong practice in homelessness challenges against public authorities. He has appeared in significant cases before the Court of Appeal.
Strengths: "He has a wonderfully approachable nature." "Clients have confidence in him."
Recent work: Has assisted local authorities on cases involving allocation policies, review procedures and intentional homelessness. He represented the local authority in Wandsworth LBC v NJ, a successful case involving refuge accommodation.
Acts for both housing providers and their tenants. She is an expert in judicial review and increasingly appears in the Court of Appeal.
Strengths: "A real star." "She is accomplished in what she does, and offers sensible and practical advice."
Recent work: Appeared in R(CN) v LB Lewisham LBC and R(ZH) v Newham LBC.
Handles social housing matters for local authorities, including antisocial behaviour possession cases. She has particular expertise in cases involving public law defences and the public sector Equality Duty.
Recent work: Advised as junior counsel on Tachie v Welwyn Hatfield LBC, a series of appeals regarding procurement and contracting-out by the council.
Has a strong understanding of EU law and welfare benefits, and is particularly strong on immigration-related housing cases.
Strengths: "Incredibly clever." "She knows everything there is to know about eligibility."
Recent work: Advised the tenant in Viackiene v Tower Hamlets LBC, a case involving rent liability between co-tenants.
Handles community care and local government cases, and is particularly highlighted for her knowledge of EU law in the context of social housing.
Strengths: "A clear and forceful advocate, who is very much up and at 'em."
Garden Court Chambers has a long-standing reputation for social housing work and its members have regularly appeared in major housing cases over the years, many of which have made it to the House of Lords/Supreme Court. It acts for tenants, other occupiers and the homeless, with most of its work being legal aid-funded. An approachable set, it is home to a deep bench of committed practitioners who remain the first port of call for a host of instructing solicitors throughout the UK.
Client service: "The clerks are excellent. You always get through to someone and they are extremely reliable." "The set has friendly clerks who are on the ball, and barristers who are ready to step in and deal with urgent work." Phil Bampfylde leads the clerking team.
Jan Luba QC
One of the biggest names in the field and someone who receives effusive praise. One interviewee summed up the situation by saying: "Not only is Garden Court Chambers lucky to have him, but so is the sector as a whole." Luba has handled countless cases against government authorities and public bodies.
Strengths: "Jan Luba is without doubt the foremost silk working within social housing." "An advocate in the true sense of the word."
Recent work: Represented the tenants in the Court of Appeal cases of Francis v Brent Council, Loveridge v Lambeth Council and Malik v Persons Unknown.
Stephen Knafler QC
Maintains an impressive reputation for handling housing cases involving community care, immigration and welfare benefit issues. He notably advises housing authorities on their allocation schemes and policies.
Strengths: "Judges listen to him as he is a real authority with a background in social housing." "He's a serious player on cases at the interface between community care and housing."
Recent work: Acted for the respondent, a failed asylum seeker, in R (SL) v Westminster CC, a Court of Appeal case determining if the local authority had a duty to accommodate.
A former solicitor, who is praised by clients for her impressive knowledge of the sector and her tactically astute approach. She is especially noted for her advice on homelessness and allocation cases, and is regularly cited by instructing solicitors as a leading authority for complex matters in this area.
Strengths: "She goes that little bit further in her advice, reminding you what you need to do. She does not miss a thing and keeps you informed."
Recent work: Appeared in R (Alansi) v Newham LBC, a case regarding legitimate expectation and the local authority allocation scheme.
Widely endorsed by instructing solicitors for his effective representation of vulnerable and distressed clients. His practice takes in homelessness, antisocial behaviour possession claims and disrepair cases.
Strengths: "Excellent in court." "From the moment he was on board I felt like he was really working for us," said one solicitor.
Recent work: Represented a series of tenants or intentionally homeless individuals in successful appeals against London-based local authorities.
An acknowledged expert on EU law in the context of social housing, who is involved in many of the leading cases in the area. He is considered to be the best source of advice on migrant rights issues.
Strengths: "There would be a large number of homeless children if it was not for his persistence." "What he does not know is not worth knowing."
Recent work: Advised as lead counsel on the test case of HB v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, a case concerning the social entitlement of asylum seekers.
Maintains a wide social housing practice that encompasses homelessness, antisocial behaviour and possession proceedings. "He will fight the client's corner until we are blown out of the water," note impressed sources.
Strengths: "He is a robust advocate for vulnerable clients." "Meticulous with his case preparation, he offers excellent advocacy and great client care skills."
Recent work: Acted as junior council on Chishimba v Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, a case regarding a tenant's misconduct.
Excellent with clients and thoroughly prepares her cases. Her practice is wide and she is particularly adept at handling vulnerability and mental health issues.
Recent work: Acted on a number of appeals for vulnerable clients with mental health issues.
She proves particularly strong on disrepair cases, but is also praised for handling antisocial behaviour possession matters and homelessness appeals.
Strengths: "Authoritative and knowledgeable, with huge command of her cases." "You can have the utmost confidence in her advice on quantum and in her assessment of the merits of the case."
Recent work: She recently represented tenants in a range of homelessness and possession claims.
Described as a "real asset" by instructing solicitors, he is known primarily for his expertise on welfare benefit and community care cases. He also advises on possession claims and disrepair.
Strengths: "Extremely well attuned to the law." "He is clever, knowledgeable and up-to-date on the latest changes."
Recent work: Acted in Lee Verrall (1 & 2) v Chichester Council, a homelessness appeal.
A highly experienced barrister with an excellent reputation for social housing cases, especially those dealing with possession and homelessness.
Strengths: "Down-to-earth, very approachable and good on complex legal issues." "He is excellent on his feet; judges like him and he comes across effectively."
Recent work: Has recently handled a number of statutory appeals and antisocial behaviour possession cases.
Tackles a range of social housing matters but is particularly highlighted for his work challenging the eviction of Travellers.
Strengths: "His advocacy is excellent, and he does not falter." "Has impressive all-round knowledge of many areas."
Recent work: Appeared in Eastwood v Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, which looked at whether a council’s decision to evict Travellers was wrong in law.
Specialises in advising vulnerable clients and families, including those with mental health and capacity issues. Her practice takes in antisocial behaviour, homelessness and disrepair cases.
Strengths: "Excellent with vulnerable clients." "She gets results in very difficult situations."
Well versed in possession proceedings, homelessness appeals, disrepair claims and unlawful eviction cases, she is often instructed by the Official Solicitor to represent vulnerable tenants with mental health problems, where capacity is in issue.
Strengths: "Excellent with clients and very sympathetic." "She is impressive on her feet and gets to grips with arguments quickly."
Recent work: Assisted a tenant in an action against Lambeth LBC concerning vacant possession.
Instructing solicitors highlight this relative newcomer as an "excellent example of the standard of the barristers at Garden Court." He can typically be found in the County Court advising on housing and community care cases.
Strengths: "He worked well under pressure, got to the issues and inspired real trust." "He represented the interests of the client well in court."
A popular choice for social housing cases and a set that commands real respect for its approach to public law and human rights cases generally. It is praised for its strong commitment to the area and its protection and enforcement of the housing rights of vulnerable individuals. Cases concerning eligibility, community care and mental health issues are a particular speciality.
Client service: "When you instruct someone from there, you are getting a team effort and collective discussion as a bonus." Paul Friend is the senior civil clerk.
Martin Westgate QC
Handles complex social housing matters, dealing with matters such as welfare benefits and disputes against matters of public policy, such as the benefit reforms. His wider understanding of public law issues enables him to "think out of the box on more challenging cases," note impressed sources.
Strengths: "He is a clever man who translates his thoughtfulness into creative and effective legal arguments." "He's bright and destined to be a judge."
Recent work: Represented the claimants in R (MA and others) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, a high-profile challenge to the 'bedroom tax'. He is highlighted for his work on NJ v Wandsworth LBC, a homelessness appeal concerning refuge accommodation.
Represents clients in complex homelessness and possession appeals in the higher courts. Also regularly handles judicial review proceedings and matters relating to community care and social welfare. He is praised for his tactically astute handing of cases.
Expertise: "He is perceptive, creative, approachable, and full of humanity and charm." "Zia has a talent for picking up interesting appeal points in cases."
Recent work: Acted in Ali & Others v Birmingham City Council & Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government. Also appeared in Birmingham City Council v Balog, a homelessness appeal relating to the affordability of rent.
"A rising star within the set," he has handled cases concerning challenges to council tax payment thresholds, refuge accommodation and housing benefit reductions. He also tackled a successful High Court human rights case relating to social welfare, called Almeida.
Strengths: "A persuasive advocate." "His reputation is phenomenal."
Recent work: Advised on R (M) v Haringey Council, a challenge to the government’s changes to council tax benefit. Also represented the claimant in NJ v Wandsworth LBC.
Has established a strong social housing practice and is particularly good on judicial review cases relating to allocation and refusal to supply accommodation. He has also handled appeals against breaches of statutory public sector duties.
Recent work: Acted for the claimant, a child, in TS v Croydon LBC, a judicial review seeking interim relief against the authority's refusal to supply accommodation pending a community care assessment.
Handles difficult disrepair matters and homelessness proceedings. He is praised for his robust style, strategic handling of cases and excellent manner with vulnerable and challenging clients, and for his wider understanding of property and leasehold matters.
Strengths: "He is a fearless fighter, not afraid of tackling a contentious case." "He is a straight opponent, capable of being robust in the interest of the vulnerable client."
Recent work: He has an excellent appeals practice representing potentially homeless individuals in issues such as rent affordability and the application of the Pereira test to determine vulnerability.
A popular barrister who specialises in tenants' housing issues. He regularly handles cases involving allocation schemes, possession proceedings and unlawful eviction, and is particularly adept at Article 8 arguments.
Strengths: "Produces first-class drafting."
Recent work: He was recently led by Jan Luba QC in Malik v Fassenfelt, a case stating evicted private tenants are entitled to a determination of proportionality.
A broad-based practitioner whose mandates include homelessness appeals, possession claims and community care cases, including mental health and Court of Protection matters.
Strengths: "He has an excellent reputation, and is utterly charming."
Recent work: Defended the tenant successfully in Douglas Haig Memorial Homes v Donlevy, a possession claim against a secure tenant.
Has an excellent reputation for his dedication to the client. He advises on a range of housing matters, and receives particular praise for his representation of vulnerable tenants in possession claims and discrimination cases.
Strengths: "He's incredibly easy to work with, helpful and supportive."
Recent work: Represented the tenants in House Owners v Berry, a case which seeks to clarify the position in Malik v Fassenfelt on the application of human rights law to private landlord possession claims.
Handles a broad range of housing matters and is noted for his background working as a solicitor in this field prior to joining Doughty Street. Those that instruct him say this gives him "an understanding of the grittier issues in a case."
Strengths: "Clear, thoughtful and considered."
Recent work: Appeared for the claimants in R (MA) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
Five Paper has a strong team for social housing matters that acts for local authorities, private registered providers of social housing, landlords and private individuals. It has barristers who are specialist at all levels, and who are particularly praised for their work in antisocial behaviour, homelessness and disrepair cases.
Client service: "The team assists us on urgent matters at short notice, and there is always someone to pick the case up." The senior clerk is Alan Stammers.
Widely admired for her expertise across a diverse range of social housing matters, she acts for both tenants and public authorities. Her practice takes in service charge and lease cases, and commentators describe her as "a bright and extremely tenacious" barrister.
Strengths: "She has a very technical mind and is able to pick through the issues." "She offers faultless advocacy."
Recent work: Recently represented the claimant in R (on the application of IA) v Westminster CC, a case concerning the council's refusal to supply housing.
Has a broad practice and acts for housing associations and public authorities, amongst others.
Strengths: "Universally excellent." She has a "pleasant and efficient manner," and provides "great perspective on cases."
Focuses on work for social housing providers and public authorities. He is especially praised for his technical understanding of complex areas of housing law, such as disability discrimination.
Strengths: "My clients ask for Stephen because he gets excellent results, and he is an expert on particularly ground-breaking areas."
Recent work: He recently appeared for the authority at the High Court in Lane v Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, a case involving questions on disability.
Advises and acts on a range of matters for social landlords and individuals. His practice comprises property, landlord and tenant, local authority and judicial review cases.
Strengths: A good advocate who "offers good, clear, concise advice in a charismatic way."
Recent work: He recently appeared for the landlord in Smart v LB Lambeth, an adverse possession case. In other matters, he represented a homeless person without capacity in R (Selvarajah) v LB Croydon.
Praised for his work on "complex cases of high importance," he has great depth of experience in acting for housing providers. His practice includes serious antisocial behaviour cases, as well as high-profile homelessness matters.
Strengths: "A safe pair of hands and a fierce advocate." "He gets to grips with the papers very quickly and sees the bigger picture."
Recent work: He appeared for the public authority on appeals in two important cases, Chishimba v RB of Kensington & Chelsea and Southend-on-Sea BC v Armour.
A well-regarded practitioner who acts for housing providers and local authorities on matters such as possession proceedings and long leases.
Recent work: Obtained an outright possession order in the case of Woking Borough Council v Wiseman.
Handles a range of social housing matters for both landlords and tenants, and is "a solid performer," according to sources. Her practice encompasses homelessness, security of tenure, succession rights and unlawful eviction cases.
Strengths: "She really knows her homelessness cases, and her skeletons are excellent." "Clients are very happy with her."
Recent work: Acted for the council in ZN, BB, JHS v LB Redbridge, a case concerning overpayment of welfare benefits. She also represented a vulnerable tenant in LB Brent v Ashok Savjani.
Advises social landlords, including public authorities and housing trusts, on possession claims and antisocial behaviour proceedings. His practice also includes work on service charge disputes and matters relating to general landlord and tenant law.
Strengths: "He is an incredibly safe pair of hands," and provides "clear and fast advice."
Recent work: Acted for the landlord on appeal in Southern Land Securities Ltd v Hodge & Carpenter, a recent service charge dispute.
A set that is committed to social housing and receives excellent praise for its work on behalf of vulnerable tenants and applicants in judicial review. The team routinely receives instructions on homelessness and antisocial behaviour cases, and includes a number of key practitioners with supplementary expertise in community care, disability law and mental health cases.
Client service: "The team assists on urgent, out-of-hours work and is fantastic. There is always a rota of barristers, and always a call back from the clerks." Senior clerk Ian Burrow was highlighted by interviewees.
Highlighted for his broad expertise in housing, and particularly well regarded for his work on behalf of tenants in disrepair, leasehold and Leasehold Valuation Tribunal cases. He has a reputation for fearless advocacy, and is also known for his understanding of priority needs and social welfare.
Strengths: "Provides excellent written work, and is a skilful and effective advocate." "He's a great authority."
Recent work: Appeared in Solihull MBC v Hickin.
Praised for his thoroughness and efficiency, especially when handling urgent homelessness matters and judicial review proceedings.
Strengths: "Very knowledgeable on all aspects of social welfare law."
Recent work: He was junior counsel in the Supreme Court case of Hounslow LBC v Powell.
Praised by sources as an excellent advocate for vulnerable clients. He advises on a range of housing matters, including appeals against the Housing Act, and is described as having "a brilliant legal mind."
Strengths: "He has such a great way with clients." "He's experienced, persistent and appropriately cautious."
Recent work: He is respected for his work for the tenants in Sharif v Camden LBC.
Advises on landlord and tenant issues such as possession, antisocial behaviour, disrepair and unlawful eviction. She is particularly praised for her judicial review work, and is a first choice for a number of instructing solicitors.
Strengths: "Calm, polite and firm, she has an excellent manner when dealing with challenging clients. She is prompt and responsive in all her dealings."
Since publication, Kevin Gannon has joined Garden Court Chambers
This set's barristers are praised for their "rounded advice," and typically act for housing providers and local authorities. Those that instruct them do so as they offer "real passion and the personal touch." The individuals here specialise in all manner of housing-related work, such as allocation reviews, possession actions, anti-social behaviour cases and disrepair claims, to name but a few.
Client service: The barristers provide "excellent handling of urgent work, and pull out all the stops." They benefit from a "smooth clerking team" that is "responsive and friendly." Paul Horsfield is the senior practice manager for the property and private client division.
Has significant expertise in cases involving mental health and Court of Protection issues, and is good on cases relating to welfare benefit. She generally acts for local authorities.
Strengths: "Confident in court, she certainly had the judge.s ear," said one instructing solicitor. "She was able to see our position and work from that standpoint."
Recent work: She recently appeared for the local authority in Babergh DC v Grimsey, a case involving possession proceedings against a vulnerable tenant.
Has a broad social housing practice, and regularly handles complex antisocial behaviour injunctions.
Strengths: "She is robust, and you can see the passion in her to get things done." "Energetic and thorough." "Her advice is always concise and tailored to our clients’ needs."
Recent work: She recently acted for the tenant in Leicester Housing Association v Armstrong, which involved defending a claim for possession.
Zia Bhaloo QC of Enterprise Chambers
A highly respected barrister with excellent knowledge of property law. She frequently acts for registered providers on issues relating to redevelopment and regeneration schemes. She is also often instructed by leading housing firms.
Strengths: "An excellent advocate, one of whose many strengths is that she knows how important it is to be part of the team. She will go the extra mile to help and she is brilliant with clients."
Recent work: Represented the registered provider in Gavin v Community Housing Association, a case concerning a landlord's implied duties to repair.
Richard Drabble QC of Landmark Chambers
A much-celebrated lawyer who handles social housing cases with the same aplomb as he does all manner of public law cases. He is especially respected for his work on cases involving social security and welfare benefits.
Strengths: "One of the best advocates of his generation." "He is fantastic on welfare benefits cases and one of the few who understands this work."
Recent work: Appeared for one of the claimant tenants in R(MA) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, a high-profile judicial review challenge to the size criteria for the calculation of housing benefit. He is also noted for his work on R (JS) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
Nathalie Lieven QC of Landmark Chambers
Handles a wide range of social housing and public law matters. Her clients include central government and social security claimants, and she is especially noted for her work on high-profile cases in the sector.
Strengths: "Top drawer." "She is always able to find a novel point of law."
Recent work: Represented the tenant in Sharif v Camden LBC, a Supreme Court case concerning the council's decision to split families between two separate units of accommodation.
Sally Blackmore of Ely Place Chambers
Acts regularly for tenants, landlords and authorities on both public and private housing matters.
Strengths: "She gets very good results and is very thorough."
Recent work: Acted on a series of possession claims for tenants and social landlords.
Kerry Bretherton of Tanfield Chambers
Particularly good on complex social housing cases, and routinely acts on possession claims and homelessness cases. She has a strong Court of Appeal practice.
Strengths: "A very strong and forceful advocate, who will always explore all possible avenues and provide clear, well set-out advice."
Recent work: Acted for the tenant in a significant case on homelessness, Haile v London Borough of Waltham Forest.
Rebecca Cattermole of Tanfield Chambers
Highly praised for her advocacy skills and broad understanding of social housing and property law. She has particular experience of high-value dilapidation cases.
Strengths: "Loved by clients, she is very efficient, and has an excellent presence in court." "She always seems to get results."
Recent work: Recently advised parties in the private sector on housing transfers from the public sector. Issues touched upon included secure tenancies, recovery of possession and the sale of land.