- Property Team Leader
- Called: 1992
"He always gives excellent advice on tricky housing matters and gets straight to the issues." "He is incredibly approachable and hell bent on getting the best results. He will fight fiercely for the client."
Chambers & Partners 2020
Stephen specialises in Property Law, with particular expertise in the field of Social Housing and is Chambers’ Practice Team Leader for Property and Housing. Stephen was appointed as a part-time judge of the First Tier Tribunal, Property Chamber in January 2019.
He is recommended in the latest editions of both Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500, the editors of which say:
- “He provides very clear and consistent advice”
- “He is especially praised for his technical understanding of complex areas of housing law, such as disability discrimination”
- “My clients ask for Stephen because he gets excellent results, and he is an expert on particularly ground-breaking areas”
Stephen acts predominantly for landlords and owner-occupiers, but welcomes instructions from tenants and lessees.
He has a broad property practice, with expertise in:
- Public Law and Judicial review of local authority decisions (homelessness)
- Disability discrimination
- Local Government
- Real property
- Commercial landlord and tenant
Examples of recent work include:
- Advising a London Council on a local lettings policy affecting occupants of temporary accommodation in a proposed large redevelopment scheme
- Representing an owner-occupier at the mediation of a complex rights of way dispute in Cornwall
- Advising a Council on an owner’s application for compensation to the Upper Tribunal following a Compulsory Purchase Order
- Drafting 40 defences, and attending mediation to settle a claim for disrepair by tenants/lessees in 4 tower blocks against their landlord
- Representing a Housing Association in the FTT on an unusual service charge dispute.
“He always gives excellent advice on tricky housing matters and gets straight to the issues.” “He is incredibly approachable and hell bent on getting the best results. He will fight fiercely for the client.”
Chambers & Partners 2020
“An excellent and persuasive advocate whose preparation is incredibly thorough. He can be relied upon to provide practical and commercial advice, and also to fight the client’s case as robustly as possible when required.”
Chambers & Partners 2019
“He has a fantastic legal brain. He will often find discrete points or angles in a case that may have passed others by.” “His advocacy is excellent and he’s particularly formidable in disrepair claims.”
Chambers & Partners 2018
“Sound practical advice which comes with a thorough knowledge of the law.” His knowledge of court procedures is second to none.”
Chambers & Partners 2017
“He brings common sense to knotty problems.” “He can make the most complicated case seem like a first instance possession hearing.”
Chambers & Partners 2016
“Known for advising local authority and registered provider landlords on housing matters, including dilapidations claims and cases involving disability discrimination/Equality Act issues.”
The Legal 500 UK 2020
“A clear and knowledgeable advocate with expertise in possession claims.”
The Legal 500 UK 2019
“An excellent advocate, who is very knowledgeable on the law.”
The Legal 500 UK 2017
“His robust approach creates successful results.”
The Legal 500 UK 2016
Christ’s College, Cambridge – MA (Law);
R (M) v Newham LBC  EWHC 327 (Admin); Stephen represented the Council in this Part VII Housing Act 1996 judicial review concerning suitability of accommodation /mandatory relief.
The Queen (on the application of B) v London Borough of Redbridge  EWHC 250 (Admin)
Part VII Housing Act 1996; Suitability of accommodation
Successful defence of a judicial review claim, the Court finding that an applicant has the right to only 1 review of suitability of accommodation.
Tompkins v LB Wandsworth  EWCA Civ 846
Stephen successfully defended an appeal brought by a tenant of temporary housing, who argued in the Court of Appeal that she had been granted an introductory tenancy in circumstances where she signed the wrong tenancy form.
Mohamoud v RBKC; Bushra Saleem v LB Wandsworth  EWCA Civ 780
Part VII Housing Act 1996; Children Act 2004
Stephen successfully defended an appeal brought by a tenant of temporary housing, who sought to invoke the best interests of her children as a paramount consideration as a defence to a lawful notice to quit served following a finding of intentional homelessness.
Lane v RB Kensington & Chelsea  All ER (D) 233 (Apr), QBD
Equality Act/Article 8 ECHR
Stephen acted for the Council in a High Court appeal against the refusal of an injunction sought by an applicant with severe OCD.
IAM Group Plc v Chowdrey  EWCA Civ 505
An “extremely well presented” and “skilfully advanced” appeal by Stephen. The issue before the Court was whether the adverse possessor reasonably believed the land belonged to him so as to satisfy the ‘third condition’ in Schedule 6 of the Land Registration Act 2002.
London Borough of Lewisham v Malcolm  3 WLR 269, HL
Stephen was instructed as junior Counsel for the successful local authority in this important House of Lords decision, which concerned the challenge by a disabled tenant to his landlord’s unqualified right to possession on the grounds of disability. The decision has had far-reaching implications, impacting on the fields of employment, education, and goods/services law.
Church Commissioners for England v. Meya  HLR 4, CA
Residential landlord and tenant
The case concerned the validity of a s.21 Notice under the Housing Act 1988. Despite the attractiveness of Stephen’s “powerful argument” (per Ward LJ) for symmetry between the common law and statute, the Court of Appeal preferred an alternative construction of the Act.
R (Bibi) v. Camden LBC  HLR 1
Part VI Housing Act 1996
Stephen successfully challenged the decision of the local authority not to provide 3 bedroomed accommodation in circumstances where a joint residence order had been made.
London Borough of Newham v. Jones  EWCA Civ. 1779
Housing Act injunctions
The case concerned bail when on remand within s.152 Housing Act 1996 proceedings
R (B) v LB Camden (6.5.15), Nugee J
Part VI Housing Act 1996
Stephen successfully acted for the local authority on a judicial review claim of a decision than an applicant did not qualify for 1 bedroom accommodation, in circumstances where the applicant alleged that his use of a mobility scooter gave him a permanent need for medical equipment for use at home
Stephen frequently represents lay clients at ADR
Articles on the Equality Act entitled “Complete renovation or papering over the cracks?”
“The turning of the tide?” (Property Law Journal).
Co-author of legal chapter to RICS book ‘Diagnosing Damp’.
Contributor to 2010 College of Law DVD on overage claims.
Stephen is a member of SHLA