"Considered to be the leading set for tenants work outside of London."

Chambers and Partners 

"...its ethos is firmly focused on helping tenants and this dedication shines through"

Chambers and Partners 

"...social housing talent"

Chambers and Partners 

members of the housing team

Chambers has developed one of the leading teams of specialist housing law practitioners outside of London and enjoys an excellent reputation amongst practitioners in this field.

Members of the team have been involved in some of the most important cases in this field in the appellate courts in recent years - most notably Manchester City Council v Pinnock [2010] UKSC 45. They are however just as dedicated to the kind of casework which does not make the law reports, but which nonetheless has a real and significant effect on the life of their individual clients.

Members of the team are committed to publicly-funded work representing tenants' rights, homeless people and other occupiers. Areas of practice include security of tenure (public and private), defending possession proceedings for all occupiers including mortgagors and squatters, judicial review (especially homelessness) and Housing Act appeals, representing victims of unlawful eviction, harassment or racial harassment, injunction and committal proceedings, disrepair including Environmental Protection Act proceedings along with particular experience in niche areas such as homelessness , housing benefits and other housing-related administrative law cases (especially community care), squatters' rights including adverse possession claims, Disability Discrimination Act, travellers and Mobile Homes cases, nuisance and other EPA proceedings. They are also able to offer an emergency service for applicants requiring urgent interim relief including out of court hours applications to the duty judge. Clients are often vulnerable, whether as a result of disability, addiction, age or homelessness; often speak little or no English; and often have significant mental health problems.

Members of the team are regularly instructed in cases involving Anti Social Behaviour Orders ( ASBOs ) in the Magistrates' Court and County Court and have appeared in leading cases in this field including R v Manchester Crown Court ex parte McCann [2002] UKHL 39. Members regularly defend clients who have been served with closure notices under the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003 .

The housing team are particularly aware of the many overlaps between housing and other areas of law and in order to fulfill their distinct objective to offer a complete and comprehensive service to tenants , they can offer specialist expertise in community care, welfare rights and mental health law as well as on immigration-related housing matters including asylum support. Members of the housing team are experts in the field of human rights law and regularly employ arguments under the ECHR.

Cases in which members of the team have been involved are regularly reported in journals such as Legal Action and Housing Law Reports.

Members of the housing team have active links with tenant focused groups and are co-ordinators of NWHLPA (North West Housing Law Practitioners Association). They regularly contribute articles and case reports to publications such as Legal Action and NearlyLegal and frequently lecture and give seminars at a range of legal training events nationwide including the HLPA Annual conference, for Shelter and numerous Housing Law Practitioners Groups.


"Garden Court North is considered to be the leading set for tenants work outside of London ...." (Chambers & Partners 2009) more

"For tenants' work, there really isn't another set to touch Garden Court North in the North West. As one source phrased it, 'its ethos is firmly focused on helping tenants and this dedication shines through' ." (Chambers & Partners 2008, p1687) more

"Outside London, there are very few concentrations of social housing talent but Garden Court North can claim to represent one of them. Based in Manchester, ...it has been active for the past decade. Its team of seven is active across the sector, handling such matters as tenants' rights, the defence of possession proceedings, Housing Act appeals and squatters' rights." (Chambers & Partners 2007, p1511)

Members of the housing team are also recommended in Legal 500 2008 and 2007.

Reported cases

Click here to see details of reported cases.


The housing team delivers regular seminars to instructing solicitors on developing areas of law and are keen to ensure that practitioners are kept abreast of developments.

click here to see details of our housing law seminars archive

Housing Law Bulletin

The GCN housing team provides a regular Housing Law Bulletin .

A strong team

The housing team work as a strong team offering continuity of service, support and confidence to their instructing solicitors and this is highly valued. They offer a modern and informal approach and wherever possible are happy to take preliminary telephone calls in relation to potential instructions. All members of the team are able to offer excellent empathy with lay clients, especially with difficult clients or those with mental health issues.

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8.9.16 Hillsborough Law launched

16/8/16 Manchester Peterloo Massacre anniversary - GCN and others challenge UAE Human Rights record

15/8/16 Landlords behaving badly - damages for dispossession

15/8/16 Pete Weatherby QC on renewed critique of IPP sentences

27/7/16 3-Judge Upper Tribunal panel allows Tax Credit Appeals test case

26/7/16 Tribute to Bryan McGuire QC 

20/7/16 Tenants and borrowers subjected to unlawful evictions (defective N325 forms)

8/7/16 LALY16 outstanding achievement award for GCN Hillsborough team

29/6/16 Tom Royston speaking at LAG Housing Law Conference

24/6/16 Certifying asylum and human rights claims as “clearly unfounded”  

17/6/16 GCN immigration team response to MoJ consultation on tribunal fees

GCN sponsors PLP JR North conference 14.7.16 Manchester

Immigration and EU law for housing lawyers - the new Immigration Act, Brexit and more | Housing seminar | 6.7.16

The Immigration Act 2016 | Immigration seminar | 1.7.16

GCN to host INQUEST Conference and fundraising quiz 16.6.16

Mark George QC speaking at YLAL North meeting 15.6.16

20/5/16 Joe Markus shortlisted for LALY Legal Aid Newcomer Award

GCN Criminal Law update May 2016

26/4/16 Truth Justice Accountability | Hillsborough 22 Families Press Conference

26/4/16 A landmark day in legal history - Hillsborough Inquests

11/4/16 Recompense for the wrongfully convicted (Nealon)

22/3/16 Supreme Court grants permission in Kiarie

18/3/16 Not guilty verdict for Chetham violin teacher

4/3/16 GCN wins Barristers' Chambers of the Year at MLA 2016

29/2/16 Permission to appeal in relation to adult dependent relative rule

17/3/16 GCN launches new Appeals and Miscarriages of Justice Team

18/2/16 Considering Jogee: Joint Enterprise, Retrospective Effect and Fresh Appeals - Mark George QC and Matt Stanbury

11/2/16 CART-style JR of Upper Tribunal succeeds  

9/2/16 Appeal allowed in "police officer on jury" case after CCRC referral  

8/2/16 Permission granted in best interests (grandchild) immigration appeal

5/2/16 Repeated acquittals in historic cases

3/2/16 Housing allocation scheme - discrimination challenge by Irish Traveller

27/1/16 Bedroom Tax victory

GCN barristers present PLP "How to JR"

Matt Stanbury presents "JR for criminal practitioners"

25/1/16 SSHD failure to apply own policy to Victim of Trafficking

5/1/16 Important statelessness JR (Semeda)

5/1/16 GCN members elected to BHRC Exec Committee

18/12/15 GCN remains totally committed to first class representation through legal aid

17/12/15 Permission granted in trafficking JR

16/12/15 Natalie Wilkins writes in  Family Law

15/12/15 Gary Willock on delay in obtaining Legal Aid

12/12/15 Extension of Workers Registration Scheme 2009 Appeal now listed for Feb 2017

11/12/15 Court of Appeal quashes extended sentence

23/11/15 Sentence reduced (serious health problems and delays)

12/11/15 GCN Housing Bulletin: disrepair and injunctions

3/11/15 Chambers UK Bar Guide ranks GCN in Band 1

Tom Royston speaking at CPAG seminar

30/10/15 Transgender prisoners

26/10/15 Successful out of time sentence appeal

Anti-Slavery Day event

30/9/15 Acquittal in Operation Pallial

28/9/15 Immigration FTT recognizes appellant as Victim of Trafficking (VOT)

24/9/15 Immigration FTT relies on Trafficking JR

17/9/15 Legal 500: Counsel "easy to work with and quickly engage"; Clerks "consistently very helpful"

11/9/15 FGM Protection Order to safeguard 13 year old taken to Sudan

9/9/15 Ben McCormack Court of Protection talk for YLAL North

14/7/15 GCN crime team support Rally to Save Criminal Legal Aid

30/6/15 GCN crime team "It's time we took action"

12/6/15 Mark George QC on IPCC Orgreave report

Kate Stone chairs PLP "Private Law for Public Law Practitioners"

4/6/15 Art 8 defences for Canal and River Trust  

Lucy Mair speaking at "Contemporary Issues in Refugee Law" 7.7.15 (Lancaster)

28/5/15 Lucy Mair discusses Eve Ensler's "Avocado" human trafficking monologue

27/5/15 Lucy Mair on trafficking JR (Free Movement)

13/5/15 Abuse of process argument succeeds

Pete Weatherby QC  at Haldane "Child Sex Abuse Inquiry" Lecture 

Pete Weatherby QC at Prisoners' Advice Service panel discussion

20/4/15 Matt Stanbury on Bad News for Good Character

20/3/15 Sex Offender Notification Reviews Guidance

4/3/15 Joe Markus appointed to EHRC Panel of Counsel

26/2/15 S222 injunction to restrain begging in Leeds City Centre

16/2/15 Extension of Workers Registration Scheme was unlawful

13/2/15 Rory O'Ryan appointed as Deputy Upper Tribunal Judge

27/1/15 Permission granted in homelessness affordability appeal

13/1/15 Kate Stone on Human Rights and Arms Trade Treaty

5/1/15 GCN move to Blackfriars House profiled in M.E.N

15/12/14 Gudanaviciene (exceptional funding)   

10/12/14 Landmark Supreme Court decision on ISP Prisoners

5/12/14 UT decision on Bereavement Benefits and telephone marriage

13/11/14 Permission to appeal granted in benefits case

10/10/14 Pete Weatherby QC wins Legal 500 Regional Silk Award 2014

3/10/14 Clerks  "first class " in Legal 500 2014