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Housing Conditions Update – In person event

February 27 @ 18:00 - 19:00


Awaab’s Law – The future?

Matthew Lake examines the key points of the consultation.

Three Good Things – small blessings for social landlords facing housing conditions claims.

Richard Dewsbery considers three topics dealt with in short form which may reduce the risks of a costly claim.

1. Should the claim be stayed?  What the defendant needs to think about in order to make a successful stay application to allow the parties to explore ADR.

2. Allocation to track – why it is important, how to get the best results, and some common pitfalls in this “numbers game”.

3. Knocking out the expert – how to use the pre-action protocol to challenge the claimant’s choice of expert.

Join our speakers

Matthew Lake
Matthew is a specialist property litigator acting for Local Authorities and Registered Providers of Social Housing in relation to all manner of tenancy management issues.

Matthew has developed a particular specialism in defending housing conditions claims and prides himself on offering as robust a defence as possible in every case.  Having previously represented tenants at his former firm in all manner of disputes against landlords, and having been that firm’s Housing Legal Aid Supervisor, this provides him with a tactical advantage when defending claims as he can anticipate the arguments which will be raised by a tenant’s solicitor and the manner in which they may be susceptible to challenge, at the outset of a case. Since joining Weightmans in 2010 Matthew has acted solely for landlords.

Richard Dewsbery
Richard was called to the Bar in 1992. Practicing from St Ives Chambers for over 20 years, he took a break from practice in 2015 to work in-house at a large Housing Association, heading up a legal team comprising four other qualified lawyers plus paralegals and support staff. He has now returned to practice in order to offer his expertise more widely.

With over thirty years of experience, Richard has an extensive knowledge of social housing and practises exclusively in this field. His clients are mainly large institutional landlords (including councils and Housing Associations). Richard’s caseload includes discretionary and mandatory possession claims, injunctions and committals, and housing conditions cases (under both section 11 and fitness for human habitation legislation).

Richard has a particularly wide and technical knowledge of social housing; he was a pioneer in the field of antisocial behaviour orders and injunctions. Uniquely amongst practitioners at the Bar, Richard has a keen understanding of the different competing pressures and interests that corporate clients are acting under, gained from his years working in-house.

In particular, Richard has a wealth of experience advising on and defending housing conditions claims brought against landlords by their tenants, whether at an early stage under the pre-action protocol or in court. This includes private prosecutions under section 82 of the EPA brought against landlords by their tenants – whether advising at an early stage or providing representation at trial.

Dorota Pawlowski – Session Chair

Dorota started her housing career at Birmingham City Council before moving into private practice. She is a Partner at Trowers and Hamlins LLP in Birmingham, where she advises on all aspects of housing management.


Housing Conditions Update

Housing Conditions Update

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February 27
18:00 - 19:00


Weightmans LLP
103 Colmore Row
Birmingham, B3 3AG United Kingdom
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