Landmark Chambers

Social Housing Department

London (Bar)
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Landmark Chambers acts in a broad range of social housing cases. Its skilled barristers frequently advise housing providers and local authorities, as well as individual tenants, on housing management and development cases. The team particularly excels for its sound advice in housing cases involving elements of public law.

Client service: "The clerks are responsive and friendly." Jay Fullilove is the chief clerk.

Justin Bates
Distinguished by the depth of his experience acting for social landlords, tenants and long leaseholders in particular. He routinely appears in cases, both for and against local authorities, concerning landlord licensing schemes. Bates is increasingly active in policy work, and recently assisted the Labour Housing Team in drafting the Homelessness Reduction Bill. As a further contribution to this sector, he also acts as deputy general editor of the Encyclopedia of Housing Law and Practice. He also continues to be part of the team acting for some of the families in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
Strengths: "A fantastic lawyer who is an encyclopaedic source of knowledge and has been instrumental in many cases of housing law." "He is incredibly enthusiastic and he has a real passion for the sector." "On leasehold matters he is absolutely excellent – his knowledge is formidable."
Recent work: Acted for The Anchor Trust in a case concerning whether or not a form of service charge clause used by social landlords is capable of being challenged in the First-tier Tribunal.

Leon Glenister
A notable junior 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. Glenister is noted for his strong advocacy in cases regarding housing management. He is also recognised for his strengths in possession and injunction proceedings.
Strengths: "He provides comprehensive responses to questions and is able to provide guidance and assurance that is presented in a way the client can understand."
Recent work: Acted for the Royal Borough of Greenwich in possession proceedings in which it was argued that the tenant had ceased to reside at a property.

Richard Drabble QC
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: "He is so experienced, and the court loves him and listens to anything he has got to say because he is so persuasive."
Recent work: Acted for the appellants in a challenge to the second version of the benefits cap argued in the Supreme Court.

Stephen Knafler QC
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. Knafler is also sought after for his impressive policy practice, which sees him advising regulators and local authorities, among others. He also regularly advises local authorities on asylum seekers' access to accommodation.
Strengths: "He has great ideas and always gives fresh impetus to a case, and he is so easy to work with." "His writing and advice are excellent and he performs well in court."
Recent work: Appeared before the High Court in a case concerning whether a failed asylum seeker, who is also a former relevant child, is entitled to local authority accommodation.

Zia Bhaloo QC
A leading silk for property and commercial real estate, whose social housing practice primarily involves high-value planning and development issues, as well as landlord and tenant disputes. She is also an ADR accredited mediator. Bhaloo regularly acts for registered social landlords in the Chancery Court.
Strengths: "Rated for her advice on high-level social housing development."