London (Bar) - Social Housing Lawyers & Law Firms - UK Bar - Chambers and Partners
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UK-Bar Guide

Social Housing — London (Bar)

Band 1

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

THE SET

Arden Chambers is a pre-eminent set which routinely receives instruction in the most significant, high-profile social housing matters. Its sought-after members frequently provide top-level counsel to policy makers across the UK. The chambers is renowned for its highly skilled team of practitioners, whose broad-based expertise regularly sees them acting on behalf of a varied client base, including social landlords, tenants and homeless applicants. Its members' sector knowledge runs the full gamut of social housing law, and they are experienced representatives before all levels of court and tribunal, including the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Client service: "The clerks are very easy to work with." "Fees are very reasonable and they're happy to negotiate based on instructions and the complexity of the matter." Elton Maryon leads the clerking team.

SILKS

Andrew Arden QC
A highly experienced and well-regarded housing silk. A master in his field, he has made over 25 appearances in the Supreme Court and is a regular feature in the most high-profile social housing cases. His significant contribution to the field includes long-standing positions as editor of the Encyclopaedia of Housing Law and Practice, the Housing Law Reports and the Journal of Housing Law.
Strengths: "Very impressive. A housing law expert with a national reputation."
Recent work: Appeared before the Supreme Court on behalf of the local authority in Haile v LB Waltham Forest, a significant case considering the pertinent factors for determining whether a person is 'intentionally homeless'.

JUNIORS

Justin Bates
Distinguished by the depth of his experience acting for social landlords, tenants and long leaseholders in particular. Routinely appears in cases, both for and against local authorities, concerning landlord licensing schemes. He is increasingly active in policy work, with a recent highlight being his drafting of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill 2015 for Karen Buck MP.
Strengths: "He is technically and academically one of the leading barristers in the trade." "Absolutely on top of the law and always willing to try inventive approaches."
Recent work: Provided expert evidence to a House of Lords committee concerning the impact of the Equality Act 2010 on disabled persons.

Christopher Baker
Founder member of Arden Chambers and a specialist in housing with "a comprehensive knowledge of local government law." He owes his strong reputation in the sector to his many appearances in high-profile cases which are often heard before the Supreme Court. He is recognised for the quality of his advisory work on matters such as policy making and strategic administration.
Strengths: "One of the best social housing lawyers around." "Enormous breadth of knowledge in housing, social care and local authority issues."
Recent work: Led for the local authority in Mohamoud v Kensington & Chelsea RLBC, a leading case in the Court of Appeal concerning whether a child's interests must be assessed before eviction from homelessness accommodation.

Andrew Dymond
Considered an extremely powerful practitioner in technically complex cases. His written advocacy wins particular praise, as does his insight into matters concerning proposed housing schemes and their statutory compliance. He also authors and edits key housing law commentary. Strengths: "Extremely good on his feet and hugely robust." "He is extremely bright and beautifully analytical." Recent work: Acted for a young mother in temporary accommodation in judicial review proceedings to establish the legality of the council's threat to evict her for having visitors after hours.

Jonathan Manning
Known particularly for his local government and judicial review work, he regularly appears for individual applicants and tenants as well as local authorities and registered providers. He is increasingly involved in cases relating to housing benefits, including the 2012 benefit cap.
Strengths: "Incisive, precise, approachable and easy to work with." "Has the ability to get to the salient point very quickly and is respected by judges. A standout practitioner."
Recent work: Successfully represented Birmingham City Council in Samuels v Birmingham CC, a homelessness appeal concerning the scope of benefits to be taken into account when determining whether accommodation is affordable.

Iain Colville
Primarily handles housing cases and homelessness appeals on behalf of public authorities and individual applicants. He is regularly instructed in cases in the lower and higher courts and has made several recent appearances in the Supreme Court. His complementary knowledge of the wider aspects of local government renders him a formidable opponent.
Recent work: Successfully resisted an application by East Midlands Property Owners to overturn Nottingham City Council's decision to designate certain areas in the city as subject to the additional licensing regime under the Housing Act 2004.

Toby Vanhegan
Talented junior who is highly thought of for his innovative approach. He is sought after by both landlords and tenants, and demonstrates particular strength in housing cases containing human rights or immigration elements. His sterling practice regularly sees him appearing before the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the ECHR. Strengths: "He knows the law inside out and his cross-examination is a treat to watch." Recent work: Served as junior counsel for both appellants in Mohamoud v Kensington & Chelsea LBC and Saleem v Wandsworth LBC. These were significant test cases to determine whether children's interests must be considered in decisions to repossess accommodation.

Robert Brown
Praised for his relaxed and confident court manner. He is an impressive junior who has appeared in courts at all levels, and has experience of handling both multi-track and fast-track cases.
Strengths: "When handling more complex cases, he projects a real air of confidence and gives the best possible advice." "Completely on top of the law and a calm, careful advocate."
Recent work: Successfully acted on behalf of the respondent local authority in Evans v Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, an appeal against a ruling that a claimant had made herself intentionally homeless due to antisocial behaviour.

Sam Madge-Wyld
Regularly acts on behalf of both tenants and landlords in a wide range of social housing disputes, and has particular experience of appearing in judicial reviews. Market commentators consider him to be "very technically able," while his considerable knowledge of immigration law complements his highly thought-of practice.
Strengths: "He understands the brief, masters it quickly and comes up with reasonable proposals for the client's position." "Thoroughly reliable, quick thinking and good on his feet. He's not caught out by anything in court and is completely on top of the law."
Recent work: Successfully appeared before the First-tier Tribunal on behalf of the leaseholders of St Saviour's Estate. It was decided that considerable costs from major works across several estates were not recoverable by Southwark LBC as some of the works carried out were improvements and not repairs.

Emily Orme
Well known for her adept representation of clients across the public and private sectors, including social landlords, local authorities, tenants and the homeless. Her impressive breadth of expertise encompasses areas such as business tenancies, antisocial behaviour, disrepair and possession claims and housing benefits.
Strengths: "I admire her attention to detail and how swiftly she is able to find solutions to even the most complicated cases. She is very experienced and knowledgeable and has a sharp mind. She is also very good with clients."
Recent work: Acted for the local authority in Islington LBC v Elugbadebo. This was a claim for possession on the basis of no right to succeed to the tenancy due to the continuity of occupation having been broken by the deceased tenant's two-month absence from the property prior to their death.

Stephanie Smith
Regularly instructed on behalf of local authorities and is well respected for her adroit handling of complex leasehold disputes. She demonstrates prowess across all areas of landlord and tenant law, including residential and commercial possession matters and homelessness appeals.
Strengths: "Great all-rounder, she'll pick up anything and do a very good job with it." "Absolutely excellent: clients and solicitors love her alike."
Recent work: Served as junior counsel in BCC v Norma Wilson, a homelessness appeal concerning the scope of inquiries in light of the Equality Act 2010.

Clare Cullen
Up-and-coming junior with considerable experience in the space, covering areas such as possession claims, homeless applications and antisocial behaviour injunctions. She routinely acts for both public and private clients, including tenants, social landlords and local authorities.
Strengths: "She has a lot of experience, very thorough. You can always rely on her to be thoroughly prepared for a hearing."
Recent work: Acted for one of the tenants in Shah v Folkes and Green, a claim for possession and counterclaim for an award under the Housing Act 2004. The cased centred on the alleged failure to serve prescribed information on a "relevant person."

Ian Peacock
Well known for his work appearing unled on behalf of Westminster Council in multiple cases concerning housing allocation schemes, homelessness and outer-borough placements. He has significant experience of appearing in key housing cases at the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
Strengths: "He is extremely thorough, thoughtful, and he puts the client's case across well."
Recent work: Acted as sole counsel for Westminster in R (Alemi) v Westminster City Council.

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Band 1

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

THE SET

Cornerstone Barristers is a standout social housing chambers with a formidable reputation for its work on behalf of public authorities, housing associations and registered landlords. Members of the set have appeared before the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal in numerous major cases, including complex and high-profile homelessness matters. The chambers houses high-quality advocates at all levels, from juniors through to silks. Its barristers' broad expertise encompasses areas such as statutory nuisance, repossessions and allocations, human rights and public law defences. A recent highlight for the set has been its engagement in The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea v Lessees of 1-124 Pond House. The matter resulted in a landmark decision that multiparty framework agreements entered into by, or on behalf of, a public authority qualified as long-term agreements, meaning full service charges can be recovered from leaseholders.

Client service: "The clerks are responsive and make sure everything is where it needs to be." "Very prompt and efficient to deal with." Ben Connor leads the clerking team.

SILKS

Ranjit Bhose QC
Well-respected silk with a broad housing practice that encompasses possession actions, housing finance and large-scale regeneration schemes for local authority and housing association clients. He is particularly commended for his expertise in complex leaseholder issues and service charges.
Strengths: "One of the best in the social housing sector. He knows and understands the law very well and is always very calm." "A brilliant lawyer - highly intelligent and always goes right to the issue. He has very good interpersonal skills with clients."
Recent work: Acted on behalf of the local authority in Tachie v Welwyn Hatfield DC in the Court of Appeal. The case involved complex public procurement issues and regulatory concerns.

Kelvin Rutledge QC
Highly experienced silk with a particular focus on matters concerning local government. He offers respected expertise in a range of cases, such as those involving homelessness allocation schemes and outer borough placements. He also makes frequent appearances before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
Strengths: "Blown away by him, one of the most tenacious advocates around."
Recent work: Led for both local authorities in Hotak v Southwark LBC and Johnson v Solihull MBC, two highly significant cases in the Supreme Court concerning the definition of "vulnerability" in the context of homelessness.

Matthew Hutchings QC
Highly regarded, passionate advocate with a broad housing practice. He is known for his adept representation of local authorities, tenants and homeless applicants before all levels of court.
Strengths: "Very good advocate. When he explains something, it's always presented in clear terms and in an attractive way." "An absolutely brilliant lawyer."

JUNIORS

Jon Holbrook
Routinely represents local authority landlords and housing associations in a broad range of housing disputes, including matters relating to community care, the Court of Protection and public law. He is widely praised for his thorough technical knowledge of the sector.
Strengths: "Always brilliant. He combines remarkable understanding of the law with standout client relationship skills." "Terribly good - you get a QC service when you go to him."
Recent work: Successfully defeated an appeal against a landlord's possession claim of a large central London house.

Andrew Lane
Talented advocate who is praised for his unwaveringly dedicated approach, regardless of whether he is handling high-profile cases in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court or more routine County Court possession claims. His practice encompasses all areas of social housing law, including welfare reform, housing fraud and advisory work for registered providers.
Strengths: "He's got a very good presence in court, affable but very able." "Excellent client skills and very good on his feet. He's particularly good with vulnerable residents who require a more sensitive form of cross-examination."
Recent work: Successfully obtained possession of a property for the London Borough of Sutton on the basis that the defendant had unlawfully sublet the premises.

Dean Underwood
Housing and administrative specialist and current chair of the Social Housing Law Association. He is praised for his "methodical" advocacy and adept representation of local authorities and social landlords at all levels of court and tribunal.
Strengths: "Exceptional understanding of housing issues, he is a thoroughly nice person and great with clients." "Very responsive and solution-oriented."
Recent work: Represented the respondent housing association in Werrett v Evesham & Pershore Housing Association in the High Court. Successfully defeated Mr Werrett's appeal against possession proceedings and injunction orders on the basis that he did not, as he claimed, lack mental capacity.

Michael Paget
Offers top-quality advice to an array of clients, including local authorities and housing associations. He is also highly regarded for his direct access and pro bono work on behalf of tenants. Interviewees particularly note his adroit handling of homelessness applications and leasehold disputes.
Strengths: "A fantastic barrister."
Recent work: Acted for Wandsworth LBC in a judicial review of the council's decision to refuse accommodation to a claimant.

Kuljit Bhogal
Considered an expert in areas such as antisocial behaviour, public defence and the Equality Act. She is frequently sought out by housing clients for her insight and advice on major policy matters.
Strengths: "Very robust but also highly reasonable with defendants." "She's very personable and a highly impressive oral advocate."
Recent work: Acted for the London Borough of Wandsworth in a successful application for a closure order due to persistent antisocial behaviour.

Ryan Kohli
Talented junior who receives regular instruction in antisocial behaviour injunctions, homelessness appeals and possession claims. He is highly experienced at tribunal level and has served as sole counsel in the Court of Appeal.
Strengths: "An impressive advocate who provides good skeleton arguments in complex cases." "A very firm opponent."
Recent work: Obtained an outright possession order for the Peabody Trust against a tenant who had used the premises for serious drug-related antisocial behaviour.

Jennifer Oscroft
Specialises in defending local housing authorities and social landlords against public law challenges, offering particularly valuable insight into the housing implications of the Public Sector Equality Duty. She frequently appears in highly significant cases, often before the Supreme Court.
Strengths: "She is incredibly thorough, calm and approachable." "Exceptionally well prepared and brilliant with clients."
Recent work: Acting for the London Borough of Lewisham in a homelessness appeal concerning the implications of current immigration rules on a person's right to homelessness assistance.

Catherine Rowlands
Predominantly advocates on behalf of local authorities and housing associations. She offers expertise across all areas of housing law, including succession disputes, possession claims and unlawful eviction. Interviewees are particularly quick to highlight her tenacity in court.
Strengths: "A very tough opponent and really fights her corner." "Very quick, very clever. An excellent advocate."
Recent work: Acted for Southwark LBC in an appeal concerning intentional homelessness and domestic violence.

Wayne Beglan
Routinely undertakes housing work on behalf of local authorities and registered providers. He offers notable expertise across the areas of planning, regeneration and procurement. He has considerable experience appearing before the High Court and appellate courts.
Strengths: "Brilliant paperwork. He drafts letters which close down complex queries and result in the other side's lawyers waving the white flag."
Recent work: Represented Ealing in R (on the application of HA) v Ealing London Borough Council, a landmark case concerning the scope of residence requirements that councils are able to include in their allocation schemes.

David Lintott
Known particularly for his expertise in homelessness matters, he regularly makes successful presentations before the Court of Appeal. He is habitually instructed on behalf of local authorities, among his broader client base.
Strengths: "He will always give a practical answer and show you the way forward."
Recent work: Successfully appeared on behalf of the London Borough of Croydon in a major eligibility case before the Court of Appeal. The case concerned the compliance of English housing and homelessness regulations with EU law.

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Band 1

Doughty Street Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

THE SET

Doughty Street Chambers is one of the foremost housing sets in the country and continues to be a highly popular choice for both tenants and applicants. This burgeoning chambers is held in high esteem for its provision of a fully comprehensive service in housing law. It is known particularly for its regular involvement in complex cases that cross over with community care, human rights and social welfare issues. Members frequently appear in leading cases and are routinely called upon to present before the Supreme Court.

Client service: "Really easy to deal with, the clerks are extremely helpful and efficient." "Absolutely professional, they respond to things promptly and are consistently helpful. A good bunch." Sian Wilkins leads the clerking team.

SILKS

Martin Westgate QC
Respected leader of the housing and public law teams and widely considered to be a go-to silk for tenants and applicants. His recent work highlights include high-profile cases concerning the housing benefit cap and the so-called 'bedroom tax'.
Strengths: "Prodigious work ethic. His analysis is excellent and his reputation superb." "Brilliant lawyer with a beautiful ability to reduce complex legal issues."
Recent work: Acted in MG v SSHD, a case concerning an asylum seeker's challenge to the decision to place him in accommodation in Portsmouth and to refuse to provide him with travel expenses to enable him to visit his young son, a British citizen who lived with his mother in Canterbury.

JUNIORS

Jamie Burton
Well-respected litigator with a strong reputation for his judicial review work. He is held in esteem for his adroit handling of homelessness cases and landlord and tenant disputes, and offers particularly in-depth knowledge of the Housing Act 1996.
Strengths: "Incredibly intelligent, strategic and very well respected." "He's great, fights hard for his clients and has real presence in court."
Recent work: Acted in Poshteh v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, a major case in the Court of Appeal concerning how local authorities should consider mental health issues when making decisions regarding homeless assistance.

Lindsay Johnson
Housing specialist known for his strong track record in judicial reviews and in public law challenges covering a range of issues, such as failure to comply with homelessness duties, antisocial behaviour policies and failure to follow allocation policies. His diverse practice also includes areas such as stock transfers, unlawful eviction and possession proceedings.
Strengths: "A dogged advocate. He is thorough and reliably puts forward interesting arguments." "Very approachable and extremely tenacious."
Recent work: Appeared in Manchester Ship Canal Developments v Persons Unknown, a case concerning possession proceedings arising from protest camps established to protest against fracking.

Zia Nabi
Housing and social welfare specialist with significant experience advocating in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. He routinely handles public law challenges with regard to community care, social housing and human rights law.
Strengths: "Very concise and clever, he has incredible knowledge. He is both down-to-earth and eloquent."
Recent work: Successfully represented the appellant in Fryars v Crawley Borough Council, overturning the County Court's prior ruling that the council did not have a duty to accommodate Ms Fryars.

Dominic Preston
Elicits praise for his homelessness expertise, encompassing priority need and intentionality cases, Court of Protection and antisocial behaviour work. His is able to draw on broader knowledge of human rights, EU and immigration law to inform his burgeoning housing practice.
Strengths: "His thinking is quick and decisive, but inclusive and very approachable." "Extremely thoughtful. He's a real specialist and very well regarded in the housing community."
Recent work: Successfully represented the appellant in Farah v Hillington LBC at the Court of Appeal, an intentional homelessness case based on failure to pay rent which raised important issues concerning the government's recent changes to welfare benefits.

David Carter
Widely praised for the high quality of his written arguments. He has substantial experience of advocating on behalf of both private and public sector clients in a range of cases, covering areas such as landlord and tenant and local government issues.
Strengths: "Knows when to push hard in cases." "A very good advocate."
Recent work: Represented the applicant in Wilson v Birmingham City Council, an appeal against the council's denial of homelessness duty due to Wilson's refusal to accept high-rise accommodation as her son has claustrophobia and is scared of heights.

Ben Chataway
Experienced housing lawyer and part-time Tribunal Judge whose practice is informed and enhanced by his knowledge of welfare and social security benefit matters. He typically handles housing cases involving public law and discrimination issues.
Strengths: "He has a very methodical approach to casework, always very clear and concise." "A fantastic junior: hard working, co-operative and very reliable."
Recent work: Represented a homeless 17-year-old in an urgent challenge by judicial review of Wandsworth social services' refusal to accommodate.

Jim Shepherd
Housing and property specialist known for his work on behalf of law centres and vulnerable tenants. He is lauded by market commentators as a personable, sensitive but tenacious advocate.
Strengths: "Offers all-round solid advice, and is pragmatic and good at negotiation." "A straightforward, no-nonsense advocate. Composed, on top of things, unflappable and charming."
Recent work: Successfully defended a tenant with schizophrenia from eviction proceedings brought on grounds of rent arrears.

Stephen Reeder
A specialist in homelessness and social housing allocation cases concerning vulnerability and intentionality issues, particularly with regard to mental health. As such, he is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor on behalf of litigants lacking capacity.
Strengths: "Universally liked by clients and opponents." "Great opponent to have, very measured and clear."

Sarah Steinhardt
Effective, up-and-coming advocate with pronounced expertise in mental capacity and Equality Act issues in the context of social housing. She regularly handles disability discrimination matters in relation to the 'bedroom tax' as part of her diverse practice.
Strengths: "A rising star, able to think outside the box, who is quick on her feet, covers all bases and never loses sight of the prize." "Very knowledgeable. She will always look for an innovative argument and push the client's case."
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in two linked judicial reviews regarding the London Borough of Brent's failure to provide suitable accommodation.

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Band 1

Garden Court Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

THE SET

Garden Court Chambers continues to be instructed in significant and varied social housing matters. Its pre-eminent team of highly skilled barristers renders the set a highly popular choice for tenants, occupiers and homeless applicants in particular. The set's unwavering commitment to publicly funded work on behalf of vulnerable clients has made it a go-to set for law centres and legal-aided housing cases across the UK. The chambers is routinely involved in precedent-setting cases, with members making regular appearances before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Client service: "The clerks are exceptionally great, they respond immediately and are unflappable. They clearly have a good relationship with the barristers and are good at juggling things around." "Very good client care, they get back to you quickly and have a well-organised system." Tim Hempsted leads the clerking team.

JUNIORS

Liz Davies
Has vast experience in the social housing sector and is recognised for her outstanding knowledge of homelessness law, which she demonstrates in court and in her authoritative writing on the subject. She draws on her broader expertise in the fields of community care and administrative law to buttress her highly esteemed housing practice.
Strengths: "A real star of the housing team. She brings confidence and experience to the courtroom and has a real passion for housing and the rights of tenants." "Has an encyclopaedic knowledge of homelessness law and is a really good advocate as well."
Recent work: Appeared in a successful homelessness appeal against Westminster City Council. The case involved interpretation of the Hotak v Southwark LBC Supreme Court decision on the definition of 'vulnerable' in councils' homelessness duties.

Edward Fitzpatrick
Handles a wide range of housing and property matters for tenants and applicants. He earns consistent praise for his measured and meticulous approach to complex homelessness and antisocial behaviour litigation.
Strengths: "Has a very calm manner and tends to put agitated clients at ease by explaining things in a clear, concise way." "Very good in court, realistic and pragmatic. He has tenacity measured with realism."
Recent work: Acted in a homelessness case concerning the suitability of accommodation offered by Solihull MBC to a defendant with mental health problems who had suffered discrimination and abuse in the area following gender reassignment.

Bethan Harris
Specialises in cases with combined housing, capacity and community care aspects, often for disabled and otherwise vulnerable clients. She sits on the Panel of Counsel for the Equality and Human Rights Commission and regularly speaks on developments in social housing law.
Strengths: "An experienced tenant lawyer with 100% commitment to any case she takes on. Her preparation is second to none and she brings a real interest in equality and disability legislation to her work."

Timothy Baldwin
Dedicated junior with a reputation for taking on challenging and legally complex social housing work. His practice typically concerns homelessness and allocation cases for tenants with mental health issues or specialist community care needs.
Strengths: "Very intelligent. Broad and thorough understanding of the law." "Highly intellectual, extremely helpful, always up to the challenge."
Recent work: Appeared on behalf of a homeless claimant in a High Court test case, successfully arguing that Westminster City Council's housing allocation scheme was unlawful .

John Beckley
Practises a broad range of social housing law, with particular expertise in defending vulnerable clients threatened with possession or accused of antisocial behaviour. He is also well regarded for his work in homelessness appeals and disrepair cases.
Strengths: "A brilliant barrister, really good with the clients and approachable." "He can formulate an argument very clearly and inspires confidence in others."

James Bowen
Experienced social housing specialist who is praised for his calm and confident manner when dealing with clients. His practice comprises all aspects of antisocial behaviour, possession, unlawful eviction and homelessness.
Strengths: "Clearly very experienced and puts clients at ease." "A very strong housing lawyer."

Justine Compton
Up-and-coming housing junior with specialist knowledge of Traveller law. In addition to her advocacy, she routinely writes and lectures on various aspects of social housing legislation.
Strengths: "Justine's excellent. I find her very good on disrepair cases. She's very clear, does good tables and is a good advocate as well." "She's very sympathetic to the client; they really like her."
Recent work: Successfully defeated the City of Westminster in an appeal concerning whether the client was intentionally homeless having left her husband who had caused her psychological harm.

Marina Sergides
A "persistent and tenacious" advocate with a broad social housing practice, encompassing areas such as homelessness, unlawful eviction and disrepair. She offers enviable experience in possession claims, particularly as they relate to Article 8 and public law.
Strengths: "In court she's just a great advocate, she really fights the client's corner." "She will take on unusual and challenging cases, and I like her approach with clients."
Recent work: Defended a vulnerable tenant with serious mental health problems who faced eviction on the basis of antisocial behaviour.

Connor Johnston
Recognised housing and homelessness specialist with a growing reputation for technically complex possession cases and judicial review. He won the 2015 Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year award for his commitment to publicly funded social housing work.
Strengths: "Provides thorough, clear advice and acts quickly when it's needed." "Clients love him. He's very approachable and understands all the legal issues with ease."
Recent work: Represented a young mother in a complex homelessness appeal concerning the eligibility for homelessness assistance with regard to Article 8 of the ECHR.

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Band 2

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

THE SET
The social housing team at Hardwicke is distinguished by its expertise in property and public law. Members practise in all areas of social housing litigation, including possession and disrepair claims, right-to-buy matters and landlord and tenant disputes. They are regularly instructed on behalf of housing associations and local authorities in County Court proceedings and have appeared at all court levels up to the Supreme Court.

Client service: "They deserve praise for clerking. The clerks give us the impression that they value us." "They're efficient, very easy to get on with and really helpful." Paul Horsfield is the senior practice manager.

JUNIORS

Morayo Fagborun Bennett
Handles a wide range of social housing matters, with a particular emphasis on homelessness and disrepair cases. Her esteemed work in the area is complemented by her substantial property practice.
Strengths: "She's excellent, incredibly thorough."
Recent work: Successfully obtained an outright possession order for East Thames Homes against a disabled assured tenant who had let out parts of the property to lodgers.

Laura Tweedy
A "go-to barrister" for many large housing associations. She elicits praise for her deft client-handling and cross-examination skills and makes regular appearances before the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.
Strengths: "She goes down very well with the clients, knows her stuff and gets the results."
Recent work: Successfully appealed to the Court of Appeal on behalf of the appellant in Haile v the London Borough of Waltham Forest, a homelessness case in the Supreme Court.

Alison Meacher
A specialist in housing work which crosses over with Court of Protection, mental capacity and other social welfare matters. She habitually acts on behalf of local authorities, registered providers and vulnerable tenants.
Strengths: "Great for Court of Protection and housing-related work, she's robust and clear thinking."
Recent work: Represented the defendant tenant in Moat Homes v Bastow, a case concerning an application for possession and an application for an Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction with respect to the tenant.

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Band 2

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

THE SET

Clients praise the housing team at Five Paper for its "very professional and highly skilled" team of barristers. Members routinely provide counsel to, and advocate on behalf of, housing associations, registered social landlords and local authorities. Commentators rate the breadth of experience and expertise on offer at the set, covering areas such as antisocial behaviour, housing management and unlawful eviction cases.

Client service: "Absolutely excellent clerking, no issues with fees at all and they are very flexible." "They always deal with issues quickly and work hard to keep our level of trust in them." David Portch is the senior clerk.

SILKS

Nicholas Grundy QC
Head of chambers and an experienced senior advocate with a specialism in social housing cases that interact with real property, European law or discrimination issues. He regularly advises local housing authorities on policy matters and earns praise for his dedication to clients.
Strengths: "He does a brilliant job, he's right on the money. His response times are frightening and his level of client care is a cut above." "Absolutely excellent advice. He has a real depth of knowledge but has also retained a very down-to-earth manner."
Recent work: Successfully represented the housing association in Akerman-Livingstone v Aster Communities Ltd, a case that was heard in the Supreme Court.

JUNIORS

Sara Beecham
Acts on behalf of local authorities and registered providers in a wide range of social housing matters, including antisocial behaviour injunction and possession claims. She has a particular interest in cases involving human rights and discrimination issues.
Strengths: "Very experienced, confident and approachable." "Technically excellent and a pleasure to deal with."
Recent work: Acted for London Quadrant Housing Trust in a successful possession claim against protesters who were occupying a former university campus.

Stephen Evans
Considered an authority on the Equality Act and disability discrimination in relation to social housing. He is also experienced in judicial review of homelessness decisions, leasehold valuation and dilapidation claims.
Strengths: "Sound, practical advice which comes with a thorough knowledge of the law." "His knowledge of court procedure is second to none."
Recent work: Successfully acted for the local council in Mohamoud v Kensington and Chelsea Royal London Borough Council, a County Court possession claim which went to the Court of Appeal.

Terence Gallivan
Acts primarily for housing associations and local authorities, although he is also recognised for his representation of legal aid clients in the sector. Much of his housing practice involves human rights and mental health issues.
Strengths: "What he doesn't know about housing law isn't worth knowing." "He is clever and charming and has that confidence which comes from having done this for many years."
Recent work: Represented Lambeth LBC in claims to adverse possession of short-life properties brought by occupiers who had been there for 30 years.

Victoria Osler
Well known for her diverse practice which covers areas such as possession actions and homelessness cases, among others. Routinely handles matters in the High Court and Court of Appeal. She impresses clients with the high quality of her written advice as well as her oral advocacy.
Strengths: "An excellent technical lawyer. I have a huge respect for her mind, she is an amazing legal brain." "She's wonderful with clients, very personable and friendly but also very clear on where the case is at and what needs to be done."

Joanna Brownhill
A property barrister with significant experience acting for both landlords and tenants in social housing cases. She has a thorough knowledge of leasehold matters and service charge disputes; she also sits as a part-time judge in the First-tier Tribunal.
Strengths: "Technically excellent and a pleasure to deal with." "A very robust advocate, highly knowledgeable and very approachable."
Recent work: Successfully obtained an outright possession order against a joint tenant in a sheltered persons' scheme.

Jane Hodgson
Routinely handles a broad range of housing, landlord and tenant cases, encompassing areas such as unlawful eviction, succession rights and antisocial behaviour.
Strengths: "An excellent social housing barrister and a tough advocate." "Sensible, very effective and not someone to be brow-beaten."
Recent work: Represented London Borough of Redbridge in a homelessness appeal.

Brynmor Adams Talented up-and-coming junior who is particularly well known for his adroit handling of social housing cases that contain property and public law elements. He offers significant experience in Environmental Protection Act prosecutions. Strengths: "His ability to read a document and pull it apart is way beyond his years." "He achieves fantastic results and offers incredibly sound advice." Recent work: Acted for Notting Hill Housing Trust in a tenancy fraud case brought against a tenant whose brother was living in the property illegally.

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Star Individuals

Arden Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Andrew Arden QC 
A highly experienced and well-regarded housing silk. A master in his field, he has made over 25 appearances in the Supreme Court and is a regular feature in the most high-profile social housing cases. His significant contribution to the field includes long-standing positions as editor of the Encyclopaedia of Housing Law and Practice, the Housing Law Reports and the Journal of Housing Law.
Strengths: "Very impressive. A housing law expert with a national reputation."
Recent work: Appeared before the Supreme Court on behalf of the local authority in Haile v LB Waltham Forest, a significant case considering the pertinent factors for determining whether a person is 'intentionally homeless'.

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Band 1

Stephen Knafler QC

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Stephen Knafler QC of Landmark Chambers 
Experienced housing and public law specialist with a thorough knowledge of immigration, judicial review and community care law. He regularly leads in housing cases in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
Strengths: "He is one of the best community care lawyers in the country. If you've got a community services element to your case, he is the man you go to." "A great housing and public law lawyer."
Recent work: Represented the appellant in Rehana Hussain v Waltham Forest LBC at the Court of Appeal. The case concerned the requirement for authorities to accommodate victims of psychological and not just physical abuse.

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Band 1

Martin Westgate QC

Doughty Street Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Martin Westgate QC
Respected leader of the housing and public law teams and widely considered to be a go-to silk for tenants and applicants. His recent work highlights include high-profile cases concerning the housing benefit cap and the so-called 'bedroom tax'.
Strengths: "Prodigious work ethic. His analysis is excellent and his reputation superb." "Brilliant lawyer with a beautiful ability to reduce complex legal issues."
Recent work: Acted in MG v SSHD, a case concerning an asylum seeker's challenge to the decision to place him in accommodation in Portsmouth and to refuse to provide him with travel expenses to enable him to visit his young son, a British citizen who lived with his mother in Canterbury.

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Band 2

Enterprise Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Zia Bhaloo QC of Enterprise Chambers 
A leading silk for property and commercial real estate, her social housing practice primarily involves high-value planning and development issues as well as landlord and tenant disputes.
Strengths: "Very strategic. She doesn't just give you the law, she explains the practical effects of what you can and cannot do within that law."

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Band 2

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Ranjit Bhose QC
Well-respected silk with a broad housing practice that encompasses possession actions, housing finance and large-scale regeneration schemes for local authority and housing association clients. He is particularly commended for his expertise in complex leaseholder issues and service charges.
Strengths: "One of the best in the social housing sector. He knows and understands the law very well and is always very calm." "A brilliant lawyer - highly intelligent and always goes right to the issue. He has very good interpersonal skills with clients."
Recent work: Acted on behalf of the local authority in Tachie v Welwyn Hatfield DC in the Court of Appeal. The case involved complex public procurement issues and regulatory concerns.

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Band 2

Richard Drabble QC

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Richard Drabble QC of Landmark Chambers
A local government and planning specialist with extensive knowledge and experience of housing benefits and social welfare cases, including work concerning the recent benefit cap. He routinely appears at all levels of domestic and European courts.
Strengths: "Commands authority and has prodigious mental agility and ability." "He has an all-round ability to see the law from a much wider perspective."

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Band 2

Kelvin Rutledge QC

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Kelvin Rutledge QC 
Highly experienced silk with a particular focus on matters concerning local government. He offers respected expertise in a range of cases, such as those involving homelessness allocation schemes and outer borough placements. He also makes frequent appearances before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
Strengths: "Blown away by him, one of the most tenacious advocates around."
Recent work: Led for both local authorities in Hotak v Southwark LBC and Johnson v Solihull MBC, two highly significant cases in the Supreme Court concerning the definition of "vulnerability" in the context of homelessness.

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Band 3

Nathalie Lieven QC

Blackstone Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Nathalie Lieven QC of Blackstone Chambers
Highly regarded for her expertise across a broad range of public law matters, she regularly acts on behalf of central and local government clients. She has appeared in several high-profile social housing and homelessness cases, including Sharif v LB Camden in the Supreme Court.
Strengths: "A very successful practitioner."

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New Silk

Kerry Bretherton QC

A

Tanfield Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Kerry Bretherton QC of Tanfield Chambers
Has a long-standing reputation for public law and real estate litigation, and regularly acts on behalf of social housing tenants and homeless applicants. She has significant experience of appearing before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
Strengths: "She goes the extra mile for clients and thinks outside the box."
Recent work: Appeared in an appeal concerning the implications of Article 8 for possession orders brought by private landlords.

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New Silk

Nicholas Grundy QC

Five Paper

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Nicholas Grundy QC
Head of chambers and an experienced senior advocate with a specialism in social housing cases that interact with real property, European law or discrimination issues. He regularly advises local housing authorities on policy matters and earns praise for his dedication to clients.
Strengths: "He does a brilliant job, he's right on the money. His response times are frightening and his level of client care is a cut above." "Absolutely excellent advice. He has a real depth of knowledge but has also retained a very down-to-earth manner."
Recent work: Successfully represented the housing association in Akerman-Livingstone v Aster Communities Ltd, a case that was heard in the Supreme Court.

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New Silk

Matthew Hutchings QC

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Matthew Hutchings QC
Highly regarded, passionate advocate with a broad housing practice. He is known for his adept representation of local authorities, tenants and homeless applicants before all levels of court.
Strengths: "Very good advocate. When he explains something, it's always presented in clear terms and in an attractive way." "An absolutely brilliant lawyer."

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Star Individuals

Arden Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Justin Bates 
Distinguished by the depth of his experience acting for social landlords, tenants and long leaseholders in particular. Routinely appears in cases, both for and against local authorities, concerning landlord licensing schemes. He is increasingly active in policy work, with a recent highlight being his drafting of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill 2015 for Karen Buck MP.
Strengths: "He is technically and academically one of the leading barristers in the trade." "Absolutely on top of the law and always willing to try inventive approaches."
Recent work: Provided expert evidence to a House of Lords committee concerning the impact of the Equality Act 2010 on disabled persons.

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Star Individuals

Garden Court Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Liz Davies
Has vast experience in the social housing sector and is recognised for her outstanding knowledge of homelessness law, which she demonstrates in court and in her authoritative writing on the subject. She draws on her broader expertise in the fields of community care and administrative law to buttress her highly esteemed housing practice.
Strengths: "A real star of the housing team. She brings confidence and experience to the courtroom and has a real passion for housing and the rights of tenants." "Has an encyclopaedic knowledge of homelessness law and is a really good advocate as well."
Recent work: Appeared in a successful homelessness appeal against Westminster City Council. The case involved interpretation of the Hotak v Southwark LBC Supreme Court decision on the definition of 'vulnerable' in councils' homelessness duties.

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Band 1

Christopher Baker

Arden Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Christopher Baker 
Founder member of Arden Chambers and a specialist in housing with "a comprehensive knowledge of local government law." He owes his strong reputation in the sector to his many appearances in high-profile cases which are often heard before the Supreme Court. He is recognised for the quality of his advisory work on matters such as policy making and strategic administration.
Strengths: "One of the best social housing lawyers around." "Enormous breadth of knowledge in housing, social care and local authority issues."
Recent work: Led for the local authority in Mohamoud v Kensington & Chelsea RLBC, a leading case in the Court of Appeal concerning whether a child's interests must be assessed before eviction from homelessness accommodation.

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Band 1

Doughty Street Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Jamie Burton 
Well-respected litigator with a strong reputation for his judicial review work. He is held in esteem for his adroit handling of homelessness cases and landlord and tenant disputes, and offers particularly in-depth knowledge of the Housing Act 1996.
Strengths: "Incredibly intelligent, strategic and very well respected." "He's great, fights hard for his clients and has real presence in court."
Recent work: Acted in Poshteh v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, a major case in the Court of Appeal concerning how local authorities should consider mental health issues when making decisions regarding homeless assistance.

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Band 1

Arden Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Andrew Dymond
Considered an extremely powerful practitioner in technically complex cases. His written advocacy wins particular praise, as does his insight into matters concerning proposed housing schemes and their statutory compliance. He also authors and edits key housing law commentary. Strengths: "Extremely good on his feet and hugely robust." "He is extremely bright and beautifully analytical." Recent work: Acted for a young mother in temporary accommodation in judicial review proceedings to establish the legality of the council's threat to evict her for having visitors after hours.

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Band 1

Edward Fitzpatrick

Garden Court Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Edward Fitzpatrick
Handles a wide range of housing and property matters for tenants and applicants. He earns consistent praise for his measured and meticulous approach to complex homelessness and antisocial behaviour litigation.
Strengths: "Has a very calm manner and tends to put agitated clients at ease by explaining things in a clear, concise way." "Very good in court, realistic and pragmatic. He has tenacity measured with realism."
Recent work: Acted in a homelessness case concerning the suitability of accommodation offered by Solihull MBC to a defendant with mental health problems who had suffered discrimination and abuse in the area following gender reassignment.

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Band 1

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Jon Holbrook 
Routinely represents local authority landlords and housing associations in a broad range of housing disputes, including matters relating to community care, the Court of Protection and public law. He is widely praised for his thorough technical knowledge of the sector. 
Strengths: "Always brilliant. He combines remarkable understanding of the law with standout client relationship skills." "Terribly good - you get a QC service when you go to him."
Recent work: Successfully defeated an appeal against a landlord's possession claim of a large central London house.

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Band 1

Lindsay Johnson

A

Doughty Street Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Lindsay Johnson
Housing specialist known for his strong track record in judicial reviews and in public law challenges covering a range of issues, such as failure to comply with homelessness duties, antisocial behaviour policies and failure to follow allocation policies. His diverse practice also includes areas such as stock transfers, unlawful eviction and possession proceedings.  
Strengths: "A dogged advocate. He is thorough and reliably puts forward interesting arguments." "Very approachable and extremely tenacious."
Recent work: Appeared in Manchester Ship Canal Developments v Persons Unknown, a case concerning possession proceedings arising from protest camps established to protest against fracking.

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Band 1

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Andrew Lane 
Talented advocate who is praised for his unwaveringly dedicated approach, regardless of whether he is handling high-profile cases in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court or more routine County Court possession claims. His practice encompasses all areas of social housing law, including welfare reform, housing fraud and advisory work for registered providers.
Strengths: "He's got a very good presence in court, affable but very able." "Excellent client skills and very good on his feet. He's particularly good with vulnerable residents who require a more sensitive form of cross-examination." 
Recent work: Successfully obtained possession of a property for the London Borough of Sutton on the basis that the defendant had unlawfully sublet the premises.

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Band 1

Arden Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Jonathan Manning 
Known particularly for his local government and judicial review work, he regularly appears for individual applicants and tenants as well as local authorities and registered providers. He is increasingly involved in cases relating to housing benefits, including the 2012 benefit cap.
Strengths: "Incisive, precise, approachable and easy to work with." "Has the ability to get to the salient point very quickly and is respected by judges. A standout practitioner."
Recent work: Successfully represented Birmingham City Council in Samuels v Birmingham CC, a homelessness appeal concerning the scope of benefits to be taken into account when determining whether accommodation is affordable.

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Band 1

Doughty Street Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Zia Nabi
Housing and social welfare specialist with significant experience advocating in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. He routinely handles public law challenges with regard to community care, social housing and human rights law.
Strengths: "Very concise and clever, he has incredible knowledge. He is both down-to-earth and eloquent."
Recent work: Successfully represented the appellant in Fryars v Crawley Borough Council, overturning the County Court's prior ruling that the council did not have a duty to accommodate Ms Fryars.

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Band 1

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Michael Paget
Offers top-quality advice to an array of clients, including local authorities and housing associations. He is also highly regarded for his direct access and pro bono work on behalf of tenants. Interviewees particularly note his adroit handling of homelessness applications and leasehold disputes.
Strengths: "A fantastic barrister."
Recent work: Acted for Wandsworth LBC in a judicial review of the council's decision to refuse accommodation to a claimant.

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Band 1

Doughty Street Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Dominic Preston
Elicits praise for his homelessness expertise, encompassing priority need and intentionality cases, Court of Protection and antisocial behaviour work. His is able to draw on broader knowledge of human rights, EU and immigration law to inform his burgeoning housing practice. 
Strengths: "His thinking is quick and decisive, but inclusive and very approachable." "Extremely thoughtful. He's a real specialist and very well regarded in the housing community."
Recent work: Successfully represented the appellant in Farah v Hillington LBC at the Court of Appeal, an intentional homelessness case based on failure to pay rent which raised important issues concerning the government's recent changes to welfare benefits.

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Band 1

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Dean Underwood
Housing and administrative specialist and current chair of the Social Housing Law Association. He is praised for his "methodical" advocacy and adept representation of local authorities and social landlords at all levels of court and tribunal. 
Strengths: "Exceptional understanding of housing issues, he is a thoroughly nice person and great with clients." "Very responsive and solution-oriented."
Recent work: Represented the respondent housing association in Werrett v Evesham & Pershore Housing Association in the High Court. Successfully defeated Mr Werrett's appeal against possession proceedings and injunction orders on the basis that he did not, as he claimed, lack mental capacity.

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Band 2

Five Paper

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Sara Beecham 
Acts on behalf of local authorities and registered providers in a wide range of social housing matters, including antisocial behaviour injunction and possession claims. She has a particular interest in cases involving human rights and discrimination issues. 
Strengths: "Very experienced, confident and approachable." "Technically excellent and a pleasure to deal with."
Recent work: Acted for London Quadrant Housing Trust in a successful possession claim against protesters who were occupying a former university campus.

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Band 2

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Kuljit Bhogal 
Considered an expert in areas such as antisocial behaviour, public defence and the Equality Act. She is frequently sought out by housing clients for her insight and advice on major policy matters.
Strengths: "Very robust but also highly reasonable with defendants." "She's very personable and a highly impressive oral advocate."
Recent work: Acted for the London Borough of Wandsworth in a successful application for a closure order due to persistent antisocial behaviour.

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Band 2

Doughty Street Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

David Carter
Widely praised for the high quality of his written arguments. He has substantial experience of advocating on behalf of both private and public sector clients in a range of cases, covering areas such as landlord and tenant and local government issues. 
Strengths: "Knows when to push hard in cases." "A very good advocate."
Recent work: Represented the applicant in Wilson v Birmingham City Council, an appeal against the council's denial of homelessness duty due to Wilson's refusal to accept high-rise accommodation as her son has claustrophobia and is scared of heights.

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Band 2

Rebecca Cattermole

Tanfield Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Rebecca Cattermole of Tanfield Chambers
A landlord and tenant specialist with an enviable understanding of the property aspects of social housing law, as well as antisocial behaviour and housing management issues. 
Strengths: "Her paperwork is superb. She is bright and tenacious."
Recent work: Represented the tenant in a possession claim against Hyde Housing Association concerning the terms of a shared ownership lease.

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Band 2

Doughty Street Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Ben Chataway
Experienced housing lawyer and part-time Tribunal Judge whose practice is informed and enhanced by his knowledge of welfare and social security benefit matters. He typically handles housing cases involving public law and discrimination issues.
Strengths: "He has a very methodical approach to casework, always very clear and concise." "A fantastic junior: hard working, co-operative and very reliable." 
Recent work: Represented a homeless 17-year-old in an urgent challenge by judicial review of Wandsworth social services' refusal to accommodate.

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Band 2

Arden Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Iain Colville 
Primarily handles housing cases and homelessness appeals on behalf of public authorities and individual applicants. He is regularly instructed in cases in the lower and higher courts and has made several recent appearances in the Supreme Court. His complementary knowledge of the wider aspects of local government renders him a formidable opponent.
Recent work: Successfully resisted an application by East Midlands Property Owners to overturn Nottingham City Council's decision to designate certain areas in the city as subject to the additional licensing regime under the Housing Act 2004.

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Band 2

39 Essex Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Sian Davies of 39 Essex Chambers 
Advises and advocates for local government, social services and housing departments on a wide range of public law matters. Her social housing practice is further strengthened by her knowledge of immigration, asylum and EU law.

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Band 2

Five Paper

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Stephen Evans
Considered an authority on the Equality Act and disability discrimination in relation to social housing. He is also experienced in judicial review of homelessness decisions, leasehold valuation and dilapidation claims. 
Strengths: "Sound, practical advice which comes with a thorough knowledge of the law." "His knowledge of court procedure is second to none."
Recent work: Successfully acted for the local council in Mohamoud v Kensington and Chelsea Royal London Borough Council, a County Court possession claim which went to the Court of Appeal.

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Band 2

Terence Gallivan

A

Five Paper

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Terence Gallivan 
Acts primarily for housing associations and local authorities, although he is also recognised for his representation of legal aid clients in the sector. Much of his housing practice involves human rights and mental health issues.
Strengths: "What he doesn't know about housing law isn't worth knowing." "He is clever and charming and has that confidence which comes from having done this for many years."
Recent work: Represented Lambeth LBC in claims to adverse possession of short-life properties brought by occupiers who had been there for 30 years.

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Band 2

Garden Court Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Bethan Harris 
Specialises in cases with combined housing, capacity and community care aspects, often for disabled and otherwise vulnerable clients. She sits on the Panel of Counsel for the Equality and Human Rights Commission and regularly speaks on developments in social housing law.
Strengths: "An experienced tenant lawyer with 100% commitment to any case she takes on. Her preparation is second to none and she brings a real interest in equality and disability legislation to her work."

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Band 2

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Ryan Kohli
Talented junior who receives regular instruction in antisocial behaviour injunctions, homelessness appeals and possession claims. He is highly experienced at tribunal level and has served as sole counsel in the Court of Appeal.
Strengths: "An impressive advocate who provides good skeleton arguments in complex cases." "A very firm opponent."
Recent work: Obtained an outright possession order for the Peabody Trust against a tenant who had used the premises for serious drug-related antisocial behaviour.

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Band 2

1 Pump Court

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Nicholas Nicol of 1 Pump Court 
A social welfare and public law specialist who is noted for his strength in homelessness, leasehold and disrepair matters. He regularly acts in publicly funded cases for tenants and also sits as a part-time First-tier Tribunal judge. 
Strengths: "A brave barrister, who is very calm under pressure and unfazed." "Very popular on the tenant side, and deservedly so."

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Band 2

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Jennifer Oscroft
Specialises in defending local housing authorities and social landlords against public law challenges, offering particularly valuable insight into the housing implications of the Public Sector Equality Duty. She frequently appears in highly significant cases, often before the Supreme Court.
Strengths: "She is incredibly thorough, calm and approachable." "Exceptionally well prepared and brilliant with clients."
Recent work: Acting for the London Borough of Lewisham in a homelessness appeal concerning the implications of current immigration rules on a person's right to homelessness assistance.

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Band 2

Five Paper

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Victoria Osler 
Well known for her diverse practice which covers areas such as possession actions and homelessness cases, among others. Routinely handles matters in the High Court and Court of Appeal. She impresses clients with the high quality of her written advice as well as her oral advocacy.
Strengths: "An excellent technical lawyer. I have a huge respect for her mind, she is an amazing legal brain." "She's wonderful with clients, very personable and friendly but also very clear on where the case is at and what needs to be done."

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Band 2

Catherine Rowlands

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Catherine Rowlands
Predominantly advocates on behalf of local authorities and housing associations. She offers expertise across all areas of housing law, including succession disputes, possession claims and unlawful eviction. Interviewees are particularly quick to highlight her tenacity in court. 
Strengths: "A very tough opponent and really fights her corner." "Very quick, very clever. An excellent advocate."
Recent work: Acted for Southwark LBC in an appeal concerning intentional homelessness and domestic violence.

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Band 2

Doughty Street Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Jim Shepherd
Housing and property specialist known for his work on behalf of law centres and vulnerable tenants. He is lauded by market commentators as a personable, sensitive but tenacious advocate.  
Strengths: "Offers all-round solid advice, and is pragmatic and good at negotiation." "A straightforward, no-nonsense advocate. Composed, on top of things, unflappable and charming."
Recent work: Successfully defended a tenant with schizophrenia from eviction proceedings brought on grounds of rent arrears.

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Band 2

Hardwicke

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Laura Tweedy
A "go-to barrister" for many large housing associations. She elicits praise for her deft client-handling and cross-examination skills and makes regular appearances before the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. 
Strengths: "She goes down very well with the clients, knows her stuff and gets the results."
Recent work: Successfully appealed to the Court of Appeal on behalf of the appellant in Haile v the London Borough of Waltham Forest, a homelessness case in the Supreme Court.

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Band 2

Arden Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Toby Vanhegan
Talented junior who is highly thought of for his innovative approach. He is sought after by both landlords and tenants, and demonstrates particular strength in housing cases containing human rights or immigration elements. His sterling practice regularly sees him appearing before the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the ECHR. Strengths: "He knows the law inside out and his cross-examination is a treat to watch." Recent work: Served as junior counsel for both appellants in Mohamoud v Kensington & Chelsea LBC and Saleem v Wandsworth LBC. These were significant test cases to determine whether children's interests must be considered in decisions to repossess accommodation.

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Band 3

Garden Court Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Timothy Baldwin
Dedicated junior with a reputation for taking on challenging and legally complex social housing work. His practice typically concerns homelessness and allocation cases for tenants with mental health issues or specialist community care needs. 
Strengths: "Very intelligent. Broad and thorough understanding of the law." "Highly intellectual, extremely helpful, always up to the challenge."
Recent work: Appeared on behalf of a homeless claimant in a High Court test case, successfully arguing that Westminster City Council's housing allocation scheme was unlawful .

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Band 3

Garden Court Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

John Beckley
Practises a broad range of social housing law, with particular expertise in defending vulnerable clients threatened with possession or accused of antisocial behaviour. He is also well regarded for his work in homelessness appeals and disrepair cases. 
Strengths: "A brilliant barrister, really good with the clients and approachable." "He can formulate an argument very clearly and inspires confidence in others."

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Band 3

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Wayne Beglan
Routinely undertakes housing work on behalf of local authorities and registered providers. He offers notable expertise across the areas of planning, regeneration and procurement. He has considerable experience appearing before the High Court and appellate courts.
Strengths: "Brilliant paperwork. He drafts letters which close down complex queries and result in the other side's lawyers waving the white flag."
Recent work: Represented Ealing in R (on the application of HA) v Ealing London Borough Council, a landmark case concerning the scope of residence requirements that councils are able to include in their allocation schemes.

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Band 3

Morayo Fagborun Bennett

Hardwicke

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Morayo Fagborun Bennett
Handles a wide range of social housing matters, with a particular emphasis on homelessness and disrepair cases. Her esteemed work in the area is complemented by her substantial property practice.
Strengths: "She's excellent, incredibly thorough."
Recent work: Successfully obtained an outright possession order for East Thames Homes against a disabled assured tenant who had let out parts of the property to lodgers.

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Band 3

Ely Place Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Sally Blackmore of Ely Place Chambers
Represents landlords and tenants in all areas of social housing law, with particular expertise in dilapidation matters and cases involving public law and human rights issues.
Strengths: "She's very thorough and cares about the cases she takes on, leaving no stone unturned."

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Band 3

Garden Court Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

James Bowen
Experienced social housing specialist who is praised for his calm and confident manner when dealing with clients. His practice comprises all aspects of antisocial behaviour, possession, unlawful eviction and homelessness. 
Strengths: "Clearly very experienced and puts clients at ease." "A very strong housing lawyer."

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Band 3

Arden Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Robert Brown
Praised for his relaxed and confident court manner. He is an impressive junior who has appeared in courts at all levels, and has experience of handling both multi-track and fast-track cases.
Strengths: "When handling more complex cases, he projects a real air of confidence and gives the best possible advice." "Completely on top of the law and a calm, careful advocate."
Recent work: Successfully acted on behalf of the respondent local authority in Evans v Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, an appeal against a ruling that a claimant had made herself intentionally homeless due to antisocial behaviour.

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Band 3

Five Paper

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Joanna Brownhill
A property barrister with significant experience acting for both landlords and tenants in social housing cases. She has a thorough knowledge of leasehold matters and service charge disputes; she also sits as a part-time judge in the First-tier Tribunal.
Strengths: "Technically excellent and a pleasure to deal with." "A very robust advocate, highly knowledgeable and very approachable."
Recent work: Successfully obtained an outright possession order against a joint tenant in a sheltered persons' scheme.

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Band 3

Garden Court Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Justine Compton
Up-and-coming housing junior with specialist knowledge of Traveller law. In addition to her advocacy, she routinely writes and lectures on various aspects of social housing legislation. 
Strengths: "Justine's excellent. I find her very good on disrepair cases. She's very clear, does good tables and is a good advocate as well." "She's very sympathetic to the client; they really like her."
Recent work: Successfully defeated the City of Westminster in an appeal concerning whether the client was intentionally homeless having left her husband who had caused her psychological harm. 

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Band 3

Field Court Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Adrian Davis of Field Court Chambers
Advocates at all levels of court and tribunal on behalf of landlords, tenants and homeless applicants. He is highly experienced in possession claims and homelessness appeals. 
Strengths: "An excellent barrister and a first choice for dealing with difficult housing cases. He can quickly make sense of, and advise on, complex issues."
Recent work: Represented the defendant in a possession claim brought on grounds of rent arrears, and in a counterclaim for compensation due to the claimant's failure to protect her tenancy deposit.

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Band 3

Five Paper

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Jane Hodgson 
Routinely handles a broad range of housing, landlord and tenant cases, encompassing areas such as unlawful eviction, succession rights and antisocial behaviour.
Strengths: "An excellent social housing barrister and a tough advocate." "Sensible, very effective and not someone to be brow-beaten."
Recent work: Represented London Borough of Redbridge in a homelessness appeal.

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Band 3

Garden Court Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Connor Johnston 
Recognised housing and homelessness specialist with a growing reputation for technically complex possession cases and judicial review. He won the 2015 Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year award for his commitment to publicly funded social housing work.
Strengths: "Provides thorough, clear advice and acts quickly when it's needed." "Clients love him. He's very approachable and understands all the legal issues with ease."
Recent work: Represented a young mother in a complex homelessness appeal concerning the eligibility for homelessness assistance with regard to Article 8 of the ECHR.

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Band 3

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

David Lintott
Known particularly for his expertise in homelessness matters, he regularly makes successful presentations before the Court of Appeal. He is habitually instructed on behalf of local authorities, among his broader client base.
Strengths: "He will always give a practical answer and show you the way forward."
Recent work: Successfully appeared on behalf of the London Borough of Croydon in a major eligibility case before the Court of Appeal. The case concerned the compliance of English housing and homelessness regulations with EU law.

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Band 3

Stephanie Lovegrove

Arden Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Stephanie Smith
Regularly instructed on behalf of local authorities and is well respected for her adroit handling of complex leasehold disputes. She demonstrates prowess across all areas of landlord and tenant law, including residential and commercial possession matters and homelessness appeals.
Strengths: "Great all-rounder, she'll pick up anything and do a very good job with it." "Absolutely excellent: clients and solicitors love her alike."
Recent work: Served as junior counsel in BCC v Norma Wilson, a homelessness appeal concerning the scope of inquiries in light of the Equality Act 2010.

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Band 3

Arden Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Sam Madge-Wyld
Regularly acts on behalf of both tenants and landlords in a wide range of social housing disputes, and has particular experience of appearing in judicial reviews. Market commentators consider him to be "very technically able," while his considerable knowledge of immigration law complements his highly thought-of practice.
Strengths: "He understands the brief, masters it quickly and comes up with reasonable proposals for the client's position." "Thoroughly reliable, quick thinking and good on his feet. He's not caught out by anything in court and is completely on top of the law."
Recent work: Successfully appeared before the First-tier Tribunal on behalf of the leaseholders of St Saviour's Estate. It was decided that considerable costs from major works across several estates were not recoverable by Southwark LBC as some of the works carried out were improvements and not repairs. 

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Band 3

Hardwicke

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Alison Meacher 
A specialist in housing work which crosses over with Court of Protection, mental capacity and other social welfare matters. She habitually acts on behalf of local authorities, registered providers and vulnerable tenants.
Strengths: "Great for Court of Protection and housing-related work, she's robust and clear thinking."
Recent work: Represented the defendant tenant in Moat Homes v Bastow, a case concerning an application for possession and an application for an Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction with respect to the tenant.

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Band 3

Arden Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Emily Orme
Well known for her adept representation of clients across the public and private sectors, including social landlords, local authorities, tenants and the homeless. Her impressive breadth of expertise encompasses areas such as business tenancies, antisocial behaviour, disrepair and possession claims and housing benefits.
Strengths: "I admire her attention to detail and how swiftly she is able to find solutions to even the most complicated cases. She is very experienced and knowledgeable and has a sharp mind. She is also very good with clients."
Recent work: Acted for the local authority in Islington LBC v Elugbadebo. This was a claim for possession on the basis of no right to succeed to the tenancy due to the continuity of occupation having been broken by the deceased tenant's two-month absence from the property prior to their death.

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Band 3

Arden Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Ian Peacock 
Well known for his work appearing unled on behalf of Westminster Council in multiple cases concerning housing allocation schemes, homelessness and outer-borough placements. He has significant experience of appearing in key housing cases at the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. 
Strengths: "He is extremely thorough, thoughtful, and he puts the client's case across well." 
Recent work: Acted as sole counsel for Westminster in R (Alemi) v Westminster City Council.

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Band 3

Doughty Street Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Stephen Reeder
A specialist in homelessness and social housing allocation cases concerning vulnerability and intentionality issues, particularly with regard to mental health. As such, he is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor on behalf of litigants lacking capacity. 
Strengths: "Universally liked by clients and opponents." "Great opponent to have, very measured and clear."

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Band 3

Field Court Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Sarah Salmon of Field Court Chambers
Well versed across all aspects of landlord and tenant law, with particular expertise in antisocial behaviour cases. She is widely praised for her advocacy skills and highly respected for her leading commentary on housing law and judicial review proceedings. Her complementary acumen in public law matters buttresses her enviable practice.
Strengths: "She's an excellent advocate: unfazed, likes a complex case, likes a challenge." "Very able, she's very good with clients, manages cases well and is a very solid advocate."
Recent work: Assisted Tai Ceredigion, a Welsh non-profit housing association, with its successful possession of a property under the Housing Act 1988. The case centred on the defendant's persistent harassment towards the association and its staff.

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Band 3

Garden Court Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Marina Sergides 
A "persistent and tenacious" advocate with a broad social housing practice, encompassing areas such as homelessness, unlawful eviction and disrepair. She offers enviable experience in possession claims, particularly as they relate to Article 8 and public law.
Strengths: "In court she's just a great advocate, she really fights the client's corner." "She will take on unusual and challenging cases, and I like her approach with clients."
Recent work: Defended a vulnerable tenant with serious mental health problems who faced eviction on the basis of antisocial behaviour.

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Band 3

1 Pump Court

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Patricia Tueje of 1 Pump Court 
A dedicated and experienced housing and community care lawyer. Her record for defending tenants and applicants in difficult possession claims and homelessness appeals is held in high esteem by her peers.
Strengths: "Very good with clients and excellent at cross-examination."

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Up and Coming

Five Paper

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Brynmor Adams Talented up-and-coming junior who is particularly well known for his adroit handling of social housing cases that contain property and public law elements. He offers significant experience in Environmental Protection Act prosecutions. Strengths: "His ability to read a document and pull it apart is way beyond his years." "He achieves fantastic results and offers incredibly sound advice." Recent work: Acted for Notting Hill Housing Trust in a tenancy fraud case brought against a tenant whose brother was living in the property illegally.

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Up and Coming

Arden Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Clare Cullen
Up-and-coming junior with considerable experience in the space, covering areas such as possession claims, homeless applications and antisocial behaviour injunctions. She routinely acts for both public and private clients, including tenants, social landlords and local authorities.
Strengths: "She has a lot of experience, very thorough. You can always rely on her to be thoroughly prepared for a hearing."
Recent work: Acted for one of the tenants in Shah v Folkes and Green, a claim for possession and counterclaim for an award under the Housing Act 2004. The cased centred on the alleged failure to serve prescribed information on a "relevant person."

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Up and Coming

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Leon Glenister of Landmark Chambers
A rising star with a wide-ranging public and property law practice. He is frequently instructed by local authorities, housing associations and tenants on cases concerning human rights and equality issues. 
Strengths: "His submissions are fantastic and his advocacy skills are brilliant."
Recent work: Represented a secure tenant in a successful challenge to Lambeth Council's plans to demolish and regenerate the Cressingham Gardens Estate.

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Up and Coming

Doughty Street Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Sarah Steinhardt
Effective, up-and-coming advocate with pronounced expertise in mental capacity and Equality Act issues in the context of social housing. She regularly handles disability discrimination matters in relation to the 'bedroom tax' as part of her diverse practice. 
Strengths: "A rising star, able to think outside the box, who is quick on her feet, covers all bases and never loses sight of the prize." "Very knowledgeable. She will always look for an innovative argument and push the client's case." 
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in two linked judicial reviews regarding the London Borough of Brent's failure to provide suitable accommodation.

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Up and Coming

Serjeants' Inn Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Anna Tkaczynska of Serjeants' Inn Chambers 
Routinely represents landlords and tenants in possession proceedings and disrepair claims. Market commentators laud her deft handling of cases involving particularly difficult clients.
Strengths: "Really efficient, on the ball, bright and pleasant to deal with." "Her legal knowledge is fantastically in-depth, and she's extremely dedicated to this area of law."
Recent work: Acted for Leicester City Council in a trial for possession on the grounds of antisocial and criminal behaviour committed by the defendant and his family.

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A

Direct access enables barristers to be instructed without the involvement (and financial cost) of an intermediary such as a solicitor. It comes in two forms: licensed access and public access. More information can be found here.