UK Supreme Court exterior. Image courtesy of Press Office Supreme Court. Nicholas Nicol
UK Supreme Court exterior. Image courtesy of Press Office Supreme Court. Nicholas Nicol


I have appeared in a number of reported court cases which you can see below, for some of which I have written briefings.

Cherry v LB Tower Hamlets

Recorder Hollington QC; Central London County Court; 11 January 2018; unreported but transcript available
In a statutory homelessness appeal on whether a homeless applicant was vulnerable and so in priority need, NowMedical applied the wrong test of “unable to cope” rather than whether the homeless person is “less able than an ordinary person to cope with homelessness”. NowMedical's psychiatrist, Dr James Wilson, has been an expert rather than a treating psychiatrist since 2012 which puts him at a disadvantage relative to a practising psychiatrist. The only reasonable conclusion was that the appellant was vulnerable and so in priority need so the decision was varied to state that.

Bank of Ireland v Shah and Dubash

[2015] EWCA Civ 1018

Failure to give notice of an application for a transfer from the county court to the High Court or to serve the transfer order did not render the order a nullity (Craig v Kanssen [1943] KB 256 distinguished). Sentence for committal reduced from 10 months to immediate release, taking into account the judge's failure to enquire about representation or invite mitigation (Brown v LB Haringey [2015] EWCA Civ 483 applied).

LB Islington v Uddin

[2015] EWCA Civ 369; [2015] HLR 28

The mere fact that rising damp is caused by an inherent defect does not of itself absolve the landlord from liability.

Solihull MBC v Hickin

[2012] UKSC 39; [2012] 1 WLR 2295

A non-occupying joint tenant succeeds to a secure tenancy on the death of the other joint tenant by the common law rule of survivorship ahead of anyone entitled to succeed under the Housing Act 1985.

Friendship Care and Housing Association v Begum

[2011] EWCA Civ 1807; [2013] HLR 11

The county court judge had correctly taken the interests of the children into account as a primary consideration in making a possession order against their parents.

Akhtar v Birmingham CC

[2011] EWCA Civ 383; [2011] HLR 28

A local housing authority is not obliged to give reasons for a favourable homelessness review decision or when making an offer of accommodation it considers suitable.

Makisi v Birmingham CC

[2011] EWCA Civ 355; [2011] HLR 27

Homeless applicants have a right to an oral hearing on a review of their case by a local housing authority.

Lynch v Kirby

[2010] EWHC 297 (QB)

Whether a tenancy commenced when the tenant moved in or when housing benefit began.

Birmingham CC v Qasim

[2009] EWCA Civ 1080; [2010] HLR 19

The unlawful nature of an allocation does not void the subsequent grant of a tenancy. The Supreme Court refused Birmingham permission to appeal on the basis that the Court of Appeal’s decision was “plainly right”.

Holmes-Moorhouse v LB Richmond

[2009] UKHL 7; [2009] 1 WLR 413; [2009] HLR 34

Whether children who were the subject of a shared residence order could reasonably be expected to reside with both parents.

LB Islington v Uckac

[2006] EWCA Civ 340; [2006] 1 WLR 1303 (CA)

The Housing Act 1985 provides a complete code for the termination of a secure tenancy so the common law remedy of rescission is not available.

Applied in Croydon LBC v Kalonga [2021] EWCA Civ 77

Muscat v Smith

[2003] EWCA Civ 962; [2003] 1 WLR 2853 (CA)

Following the transfer of a landlord's interest to a new landlord, if the new landlord sues the tenant for rent arrears which arose under the old landlord, the tenant may set off against the claim any counterclaim they had against the old landlord, e.g. for damages for breach of covenant to repair.

R v Social Security Commissioner ex p Chamberlain

(2000) The Times 1 Aug 2000

Commissioner erred in law in failing to grant leave to appeal against a decision upholding termination of Incapacity Benefit.

Gwenter -v- Eastern Group plc

(1995) Legal Action Aug 1995 p.19 (CA) — An interim injunction was correctly issued to oblige the supplier to reconnect the electricity supply of a customer accused of tampering with her meter. As the supply was pursuant to statute, not contract, the availability of such a remedy was in doubt until this case.

Faulkner-v-Yorkshire Electricity plc

(1994) Legal Action Feb 1995 p.23

A widow was not liable for the electricity arrears of her late husband, repudiating the concept of “beneficial user” by which utilities uniquely claimed that anyone who benefited from their supply was liable to pay for it.

Instructing Nik

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