Social housing: tenant in London

Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP

Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP is ‘one of the best firms out there for social housing work‘ acting for tenants. The ‘excellent firm‘ with its ‘strong team and excellent partners‘ provides ‘experience in all types of social housing litigation‘, such as possession claims, tenancy deposit disputes, fire safety remediation works, licensing issues as well as group litigation. Practice head Andrew Brookes has a ‘wealth of knowledge and experience in housing litigation‘ and ‘is excellent when it comes to negotiating settlements in disrepair cases‘. Giles Peaker is hugely experienced in cases concerning homelessness, possession and property guardians and ‘is absolutely at the top of his game‘. Complex disrepair group claims are frequently handled by Sara Stephens, who is noted for her ‘excellent client care‘, and Timothy Waitt provides ‘clear and concise‘ advice when prosecuting and defending criminal cases dealing with housing conditions, among others.

Responsables de la pratique:

Andrew Brookes

Autres avocats clés:

Giles Peaker; Timothy Waitt; Sara Stephens; Eleanor Solomon

Les références

‘They are an excellent firm, with Giles Peaker showing the way as someone who is absolutely at the top of his game.’

One of the best firms out there for social housing work. They have a depth of knowledge that is difficult to find elsewhere. They have a strong team and excellent partners providing experience in all types of social housing litigation.’

‘Giles Peaker is one of the leading housing lawyers in the field. He has unrivalled knowledge when it comes to housing law. He is a joy to work with because he knows so much. Sara Stephens is great to work with. She is clever and practical when it comes to advising clients. She provides excellent client care and I would recommend her to friends or colleagues. Andrew Brookes is another partner who has a wealth of knowledge and experience in housing litigation. He is excellent when it comes to negotiating settlements in disrepair cases.’

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised tenants of the Paragon, a social housing block where residents were suddenly told to leave because of fire safety concerns.
  • Advised tenants of Macintosh Court, a sheltered housing scheme which is also a listed building, on extensive disrepair and nuisance.
  • Advised shared ownership leaseholders of Bank Court on claims against their social landlord for numerous defects, including under the Defective Premises Act.

Bindmans LLP

Bindmans LLP has ‘a really strong social housing practice‘ with an ‘amazingly broad‘ service offering that includes advice on disputes regarding disrepair, possession matters, breaches of covenants by social landlords and fire safety issues. A speciality of the unit are complex claims and injunctions involving capacity issues where the team utilizes its ‘exceptional, broader, public law practice‘ ‘to great effect for vulnerable clients‘. The team continues to be heavily involved in the Grenfell Tower inquiry acting for a large number of victims, with ‘excellent‘ practice head Paul Ridge leading on these cases. Senior housing practitioner Christian Hansen has ‘extensive housing experience‘ and acts for tenants and leaseholders in large group claims against social landlords, such as multi-party fire safety claims, while associate Will Whitaker has a focus on mental capacity issues in the scope of housing and community law matters.

Responsables de la pratique:

Paul Ridge

Autres avocats clés:

Christian Hansen; Will Whitaker

Les références

‘Good range of expertise across the welfare field (community care, housing, benefits, general human rights).’

‘Christian Hansen – extensive housing experience, bright and committed.’

‘They are amazingly broad – from working for the Grenfell survivors through to Rent Act 1977 work and via all manner of public law housing work (e.g. allocations judicial review work) there is nothing they can’t do.’

Deighton Pierce Glynn

Stand-out firmDeighton Pierce Glynn handles all contentious housing cases, such as possession, disrepair and unlawful evictions as well as judicial review claims and High Court service charge disputes. The unit has a specialisation in housing litigation on behalf of migrants and is ‘one of less than a handful of firms‘ that has a niche specialisation in working with the travelling community on housing matters, in particular regarding lawful caravan site provision, and ‘has an excellent reputation amongst traveller communities and the NGOs that work with them‘. Managing partner Polly Glynn is the firm’s specialist for homelessness and destitution matters and ‘very knowledgeableSue Willman focuses on representing migrants and asylum seekers in housing cases. ‘OutstandingRebecca Bahar and ‘exceptionalSasha Rozansky jointly head the practice, which clients note for the ‘exemplary work ethic‘ and ‘absolute commitment to justice‘.

Responsables de la pratique:

Rebecca Bahar; Sasha Rozansky

Autres avocats clés:

Polly Glynn; Sue Willman; Keith Coughtrie

Les références

‘We value DPG because of their expertise, innovative legal approaches, dedication to client care and the skill of their solicitors. They really are a stand-out firm.’

‘Generally I’ve not really come accross anyone at DPG that I haven’t been extremely impressed with. They all have their particular areas of speciality but they all share an absolute commitment to justice, to their clients and have an exemplary work ethic. This goes all the way up the firm (including the admin staff).’

‘The solicitors (including Sasha Rozansky and Rebecca Bahar) are very impressive. The firm’s unique selling point is its first-class reputation in relation to claims for judicial review and in particular its expertise in relation to migrants’ rights. This means that it is one of a small number of go-to firms for the purposes of strategic litigation in relation to social housing and social welfare cases.’

Principaux clients

Crisis (the Homeless Charity)

Migrants Organise

The Unity Project

Hodge Jones & Allen

Hodge Jones & Allen is ‘an industry leader in social housing law‘, representing clients across a broad spectrum of social housing matters, including possession, illegal eviction anti-social behaviour injunctions and disrepair claims, and provides ‘a valued service for legally-aided clients‘. The practice, headed by ‘exceptional lawyerJayesh Kunwardia, has a strong reputation for its work regarding the administrative law aspects of social housing, such as homelessness reviews, claims for judicial review and discrimination matters, and has a niche specialism in advising victims of domestic abuse and trafficking. ‘ExceptionalFarzana Chowdhury and ‘very well-regardedSophie Bell are both experienced in acting for vulnerable tenants and those with additional needs, such as those with capacity issues. Daniel Fitzpatrick has ‘extensive experience‘ in human rights and discrimination matters and is a lead housing solicitor in the Grenfell inquiry.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jayesh Kunwardia

Autres avocats clés:

Daniel Fitzpatrick; Farzana Chowdhury; Sophie Bell

Les références

‘A large team with numerous excellent member and quality across the board. A professional operation with good client care and knowledgable solicitors. A pleasure to work with.’

‘The Social Housing Team at Hodge Jones &Allen have in the last few years grown and developed as one of the strongest firms in Social Housing. They are involved in many of the major Social Housing cases that come before the higher courts and are represented on the Grenfell Inquiry, they now combine tenants rights with a contract to take on discrimination cases in housing. As leaders in the field, they provide great training to their junior solicitors and paralegals who always have an impressive knowledge of all aspects of housing.’

‘As a team they operate in a very organised and efficient way, there is never any question of slippage in terms of directions or making sure if bringing claims that they are on the front foot. Sophie Bell has a great aptitude for representing vulnerable clients.’

Principaux dossiers

  • Represented a number of residents on a widely-publicized challenge to the allocation scheme of a local authority (Lambeth Council) which marked an estate, namely Denby Court for development.
  • Representation of a group of the bereaved, survivors and residents in the ongoing public inquiry into the fire at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017.
  • Successfully represented a client defending an ASB injunction brought by the shared ownership landlord, Rosebery Housing Association, and bringing a counterclaim for disability discrimination, setting a precedent for a top Vento-band damages award for cases of this kind.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Duncan Lewis Solicitors covers a broad range of social housing claims and ‘a high volume of legal aid cases‘ for tenants, including disrepair, homelessness and succession matters. The practice ‘shows strength in depth‘ and has a niche area of expertise in acting for tenants in urgent possession and unlawful eviction cases via the County Court Possession Duty Schemes in London, and has further niche expertise of assisting vulnerable clients through means of Equality Act defences as well as challenges against local authorities by way of judicial review proceedings. ‘Excellent leadersManjinder Kaur Atwal , Dianne Cowie, Bernadette Chikwe and David Head lead the London housing offering and are ‘highly experienced in all areas of housing law‘.

Responsables de la pratique:

Manjinder Kaur Atwal; Dianne Cowie; Bernadette Chikwe; David Head

Les références

‘The social housing team shows strength in depth. From TOLATA-related equitable defences to possession claims to Equality Act 2010 discrimination and right to rent (immigration) defences. There is nothing I have not seen the team tackle with care, diligence and an appropriate understanding of the benefit counsel can bring to the table.’

‘Manjinder Kaur Atwal is an exceptional housing solicitor. Her knowledge is broad and her responses to questions are swift and equally incisive. The team has good case handling skills.’

‘Bernadette Chikwe runs a large team and is very much in control. If she is uncertain or wants to discuss matters, she does so openly and is responsive to advice given. She is very much focused on getting the best result for her clients. She runs a diverse team and works with a very diverse client group.’

Principaux dossiers

  • Represented the defendant in a possession claim where the claimant sought possession based on Ground 17 of the Housing Act 1988 in respect of the defendant’s premises.
  • Acted for the claimant in Ibrahim v Haringey LBC [2021], a housing possession appeal matter at the High Court and later at the County Court. The client was unlawfully evicted from the property, and urgent steps were undertaken to reinstate him into the property as the defendants did not follow the correct legal procedure.

Hopkin Murray Beskine Solicitors

Hopkin Murray Beskine Solicitors acts for social housing tenants and leaseholders as well as homeless people, refugees, victims of trafficking, disabled children and their families on housing issues, and is further capable of acting for landlords. The team ‘is small but unrivalled in terms of concentrated quality‘ covering a broad range of social housing matters and with particular expertise in housing-related public law challenges and judicial reviews. ‘Stand-out individuals within the social housing worldRebekah Carrier and Lesley Curtis jointly head the team. Carrier is experienced in complex judicial review cases before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, and Curtis has a strong track record of bringing Environmental Protection Act claims in connection with housing conditions. Ann Bevington is ‘clearly a brilliant solicitor‘ with particular experience in public law challenges regarding discrimination in housing allocations schemes.

Responsables de la pratique:

Lesley Curtis; Rebekah Carrier

Autres avocats clés:

Ann Bevington

Les références

‘Hopkin Murray Beskine’s housing team is small but unrivalled in terms of concentrated quality. There are simply no weak links and the team punches far above its size. Their three partners have been involved in an extraordinary proportion of the leading housing and social welfare cases of recent years, including a number of cases in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.’

‘Ann Bevington, Lesley Curtis and Rebekah Carrier are standout individuals within the social housing world, whose reputations are up with the very best. They are extremely able, experienced and thorough, allowing them to go many extra miles for their clients, taking novel points that push the boundaries of the area. This is perhaps most obviously reflected in their involvement in an extraordinary proportion of the leading housing and social welfare cases of recent years.’

‘Ann Bevington and Lesley Curtis are extraordinary solicitors. They are formidable, highly knowledgable, thorough, dedicated and all round exceptional. Although they are brilliant with clients, I would not want to get on the wrong side of them and they fiercely and passionately defend their clients.’

Principaux dossiers

  • Acted in Z & Others v Agudas Israel Housing Association & London Borough of Hackney [2020], a judicial review claim relating to policy of housing association to let homes only to Haredi Jews.
  • Acted in DA v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2019], a discrimination challenge against the government’s flagship “benefit cap” welfare reform policy, which introduced a reduced maximum figure of benefits (including housing benefit) for non-working households, which took effect as a reduction to housing benefit. Acted for several lone parents and their children under the age of two.


Osbornes acts for social housing tenants on disrepair, possession, warrants for eviction, homelessness, anti-social behaviour and illegal evictions claims. The practice is ‘undoubtedly one of the best in the business‘ and has a strong reputation for complex disrepair cases and possession claims against local authorities and housing associations. The team, which is ‘prepared to look at difficult situations‘ and willing to ‘take on cases that do not look promising‘, has a specialism at the intersection with community care law, acting for vulnerable clients that lack capacity in housing matters. Practice head William Ford ‘is a test case lawyer whose practice spans social housing and welfare issues‘ who ‘stands out as an exceptional and highly regarded lawyer in the field’.

Responsables de la pratique:

William Ford

Autres avocats clés:

Edward Taylor; Alex McMahon

Les références

‘As a legal aid practice their instructions are always full and precise. If a short deadline comes up on an urgent case, solicitors are active in collaborating to ensure it can be met. There’s a real sense of team ethic. It’s clear that internal communication and case recording are strong because if a solicitor handling a case is away the person covering is fully up to speed, has the necessary documents available to them and nothing falls through the cracks.’

‘It is clear the firm put the interests of the client first at all times. The associates have a thorough knowledge of the area of law, communicate effectively and are incredibly easy to work with. Will Ford recently took over a case from a departing colleague and was immediately on top of all the issues in a fact-heavy case; he is always available to speak to and in a case against a hard-to-manage litigant in person he was excellent.’

‘From the very first moment, I was aware and grateful to have been put in touch with Osbornes. From helping to receive legal aid which was vital, the expertise, advice, leaving no stone unturned right from the first minute until the very last, I would most certainly recommend every single time.’

Burke Niazi Solicitors & Advocates

Burke Niazi Solicitors & Advocates covers all areas of housing law, acting for social housing clients on matters including possession, unlawful evictions and disrepair as well as administrative and public law challenges, and is noted for its ‘strong expertise in mental health and in representing vulnerable clients‘. Each of its practitioners has a further specialisation alongside social housing law, such as in mental health and capacity issues, which they ‘use to enhance their housing practise‘. ‘Exceptionally knowledgable and thoroughKeith Clarke and ‘very experiencedMichael Barrett head the practice and provide ‘excellent client care‘.

Responsables de la pratique:

Keith Clarke; Michael Barrett

Autres avocats clés:

William Ako

Les références

‘Burke Niazi has a small but excellent housing team that is committed to achieving the best results for the most vulnerable clients. In my experience, the team has not shied away from difficult cases and individuals use the expertise they have in adjacent areas (particularly mental health) to enhance their housing practise.’

‘Keith Clarke deserves special mention. He is exceptionally knowledgable and thorough.’

‘Really excellent team with high level of experience and expertise, in particular in relation to cases involving the complex areas of mental health, and capacity as well as community care.’

Edwards Duthie Shamash

Edwards Duthie Shamash  ‘provides an exemplary service to all of its clients in defending possession claims, homelessness and challenges to allocation of social housing and disrepair‘. The practitioners have further ‘expertise across a range of adjacent areas, including community care, mental health and Court of Protection‘, meaning that the team is ‘well-placed to assist vulnerable clients with complex cases‘. ‘Very experienced and committedJames Harrison heads the team and is ‘able to deal with cases at all levels of court‘ with ‘no fears in bringing ground-breaking cases‘. Simon Mullings left the firm.

Responsables de la pratique:

James Harrison

Les références

‘Excellent firm committed and caring and a valued part of the local community.’

‘Edwards Duthie Shamash’s housing team are of a very good standard. The firm has expertise across a range of adjacent areas (including community care, mental health and Court of Protection) which means that they are well-placed to assist vulnerable clients with complex cases, raising a range of issues.’

‘James Harrison is experienced, calm and a very safe pair of hands to handle difficult cases.’

GT Stewart Limited

The ‘excellent‘ social housing team at GT Stewart Limited advises tenants on any type of social housing claim, including disrepair, anti-social behaviour, illegal evictions and service charge disputes, and frequently works closely with charities on housing matters. ‘Incredibly efficient litigatorClaire Wiles is experienced in acting for clients that lack capacity and James Garvey acts predominantly for leaseholders. Sarah Mossop has a specialism in disrepair claims and works ‘extremely hard to get the best outcome‘ for clients. Clients appreciate that the members of the team ‘are willing to go the extra mile‘ for them.

Responsables de la pratique:

Claire Wiles; James Garvey

Autres avocats clés:

Sarah Mossop; Michael McCrone; Denise Phillips; Susan Gronbach; Simeon Wilmore

Les références

‘I primarily dealt with Sarah Mossop: extremely knowledgeable and professional. Sarah was very efficient and worked extremely hard to get the best outcome. I felt she was prepared to try any approach, from conference meetings to reading recent case law and seeking advice from an expert barrister on one particular aspect of the case which clearly gave an advantage in further negotiations.’

‘We found Michael McCrone and Sarah Mossop had expert knowledge specific to our case and fully understood the issues and complexities it entailed, whilst being able to fully explain the legal implications to us as clients, throughout the duration of the case, at all stages.’

‘Simeon Wilmore is not only experienced; he is also a very creative and engaged social housing lawyer. That means he can not only handle complex cases of great importance to his clients, but also unusual cases, where a fresh or different perspective on the law is required in order to achieve a result for the tenant.’

Russell-Cooke LLP

Russell-Cooke LLP is adept at representing individual clients in claims against local authorities and social landlords relating to disrepair, possession, allocation, judicial review challenges, leasehold disputes and homelessness appeals. Jason Hunter is the head of the housing and property litigation team, which includes Graham French, who is active in the Grenfell inquiry where he analyses, processes and challenges expert evidence. ‘Exceptional social housing lawyerCaroline Brosnan, ‘excellentJodie Green and ‘exceptionally professionalMatilda Rubens have a focus on legal aid work where they frequently act for homeless applicants and vulnerable clients.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jason Hunter

Autres avocats clés:

Graham French; Caroline Brosnan; Matilda Rubens; Jodie Green

Les références

‘A uniquely young and determined housing team with excellent knowledge and client focus.’

‘Caroline Brosnan and Jodie Green are two of the best lawyers I have worked with.’

‘Excellent team. One of the things that makes this team stand out is in the access that the team has to expertise in property law, including complex trust arrangements or proprietary estoppels. Therefore, when social housing cases raise those issues, there is the expertise in house to deal with them.’

Principaux dossiers

  • Successful section 204 appeal against a decision that Waltham Forest could discharge their full housing duty to the client and his family with an out of borough placement in Stoke on Trent.
  • Advised a tenant facing eviction under ground 13 because of dispute over the extent of the adaptations to the property.
  • Assisted a vulnerable tenant facing injunction proceedings which were issued prematurely and to bring a counterclaim for racial discrimination.

TV Edwards Solicitors LLP

TV Edwards Solicitors LLP ‘provides an excellent service to its clients in possession, discrimination and homelessness matters‘ and combines the social housing expertise with further areas of expertise, such as community care and court of protection work, so as to offer ‘a high quality “holistic” service‘ to clients. The practice is headed by ‘true long standing legal aid warriorJacky Starling and ‘highly respect and gifted housing lawyerKatie Brown. Starling is particularly experienced in defending possession proceedings, and Brown has particular expertise in defending clients facing eviction due to benefit issues. Jenny Hunt departed in March 2022.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jacky Starling; Katie Brown

Les références

‘This firm is able to offer exceptional expertise in cases which overlap housing, community care, mental capacity and related areas.’

‘TV Edwards has a number of offices, and consistently good solicitors across the board. They are thorough, committed, and always willing to run innovative points of law.’

‘The social housing team at TV Edwards are absolutely brilliant. Meticulous, highly capable, and with excellent levels of client care, they inspire confidence and are a pleasure to work with.’

Miles & Partners LLP

Miles & Partners LLP covers a range of social housing matters and is particularly adept at challenging local authority decisions on homeless duties and getting them overturned.  The team, headed by ‘very highly-regardedLou Crisfield, has wide range of expertise ‘across a range of areas, including family law, community care and mental health‘ enabling it to advise ‘on a range of interconnected issues‘. ‘BrilliantRajea Sultana, who is ‘an unsung legend in the field, who provides some of the best representations for her clients on homelessness cases‘ made partner in 2021.

Responsables de la pratique:

Lou Crisfield

Autres avocats clés:

Rajea Sultana

Les références

‘Lou Cristfield is amazing. She is a pleasure to work with as she prepares a case fully. Rajea Sultana is also brilliant. She works tirelessly for clients. She is funny which is a massive attribute in a difficult area of work. I always recommend her and Lou whenever someone is looking for a safe pair of hands.’

‘Lou Crisfield is one of the very best housing lawyers in social housing, and one of the best to work with.’

‘Miles & Partners has a small but dedicated team, which is one of the go-to firms in East London for individuals with housing law issues. The firm’s wider expertise across a range of areas, including family law, community care and mental health, means they are able to consider clients’ situations in the round and advise them on a range of inter-connected issues that might arise.’