Stephanie was called to the Bar in 2004. She is a highly experienced barrister who represents and advises on all aspects of housing, commercial landlord and tenant and property law, acting in cases in the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) and the County Court, up to and including the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. She acts for both landlords and tenants; local authorities and residents. She is recommended as a leading junior by both Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 for Social Housing where she is described as a “brilliant advocate” who "has excellent attention to detail and an eye for finding novel ways of developing the law” and “demonstrates prowess across all areas of landlord and tenant law, including residential and commercial possession matters”.
As well as being a former Assistant Deputy Editor of the Encyclopaedia of Housing Law, Stephanie is author of A Practical Guide to Unlawful Eviction and Harassment, now in its second edition (2020), Law Brief Publishing, and has written several articles on legal developments in the field of Housing and Local Government Law. She attended round-table meetings with the (then) Housing Minister, Mark Prisk, in 2012 concerning leasehold reform and has trained extensively on this and other cutting-edge developments Landlord and Tenant Law.
Property & Housing
Stephanie has experience advising and representing in disputes under the Electronic Communications Code (particularly rights of access over land and the installation and/or removal of telecommunications equipment). She has also advised and represented local authorities and private individuals in cases concerning disputes over freehold and leasehold land (both residential and commercial) as well as adverse possession and encroachment. Stephanie has experience in all aspects of housing, including leasehold disputes (construction of covenant, service charge recovery, appointment of managers, enfranchisement, right to manage, lease extensions), possession proceedings, the right to buy, shared ownership, housing fraud, disrepair/dilapidations and unlawful eviction/harassment. She has written extensively about, and provided training in, these areas. Stephanie also regularly appears in the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) in respect of complex residential leasehold matters including challenges to Borough-wide qualifying long-term agreements and high-value contracts for works to housing stock.
Stephanie routinely represents and advises both local authorities and applicants in homelessness matters including s.204 appeals and applications to the High Court for judicial review of refusals to accept applications and provide accommodation under ss.188(1) and (3).
Stephanie has frequently advised on and acted in HMO enforcement matters for local authorities, including policy development, appearing in the Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court for breach of licence requirements and management regulations and in the Tribunal in relation to appeals against Civil Penalty Notices.
Stephanie also has experience of prosecuting breach of bye-laws (successfully appearing in the Crown Court on appeal) and representing local authorities at coroner’s inquests.
Public & Administrative
Stephanie’s practice regularly involves administrative and public law issues. Her appearances in the Court of Appeal in Durdana, Wilson and Haque (see below) concerned the interrelationship between the public-sector equality duty under s.149, Equality Act 2010 (in the context of disability) and local authority housing and homelessness functions. She has acted frequently for both local authorities and tenants in possession proceedings raising equality and human rights defences. Stephanie has extensive experience advising and representing local authorities in cases involving anti-social and criminal behaviour. She has been instructed in claims to obtain and enforce injunctions against gang members, drag racers, noisy neighbours and violent partners amongst others as well as advise on the use of public spaces protection orders to control nuisance. She has also advised and represented local authorities procuring contracts for works to their Borough-wide housing stock. Stephanie also advises and represents local authorities in cases involving the Care Act 2014 and the Children Acts 1989 and 2004 and has experience advising on policy regarding the recovery of care fees. She appeared on behalf of a local authority at a coronial inquest into the death of one of its tenant from carbon monoxide poisoning. She has very recently appeared before the First-tier Tribunal (Social Entitlement Chamber) regarding a challenge to the method for calculating housing benefit where rent-free weeks apply. The outcome is of considerable importance to benefit authorities across England and Wales.
Commercial & Chancery
Stephanie acts for private individuals in cases concerning inheritance disputes, trusts of the family home, and mortgage disputes including LPA receivership. She has recently advised a local authority on secured debt enforcement procedures including the impact of insolvency.
Planning & Environment
Stephanie is author of the annotations to Part VI, Localism Act 2011. She accepts instructions in relation to the crossover between Housing, Property and Planning Law including nuisance, waste and planning and environmental considerations relevant to adverse possession and encroachment.
Early in her career, Stephanie was periodically seconded to a large local authority to advise and represent on all aspects of anti-social behaviour. She regularly acts for local authorities in relation to obtaining and enforcing injunctions preventing nuisance and annoyance and possession proceedings. She has expertise in the new legislative scheme under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and regularly provides training on the powers available to local authorities and the police.
Stephanie accepts instructions directly from organisations, companies and members of the public. She frequently acts in leasehold disputes on such a basis.
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