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Edward Fitzpatrick

  • Call: 1990
Ed Fitzpatrick
"Has excellent knowledge and displays great judgement on cases. He's a very calm and clear advocate in court who is particularly good with vulnerable clients."

Chambers UK, 2019

"An excellent all-rounder; exceptional written work and strong court advocacy."

Legal 500, 2019

Practice

Edward is a specialist Housing Practitioner with a particular interest in Homelessness Appeals; Public Law challenges and cases involving Human Rights issues. He is ranked for Social Housing in both the Legal 500 2015 in Tier 1 and Chambers UK Bar Guide 2017 in Band 1.

Undertaking the full range of housing work on behalf of tenants/applicants he covers:

  • Homelessness appeals
  • Judicial review challenges
  • Allocations
  • Unlawful evictions
  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Disrepair – tenancies and leases
  • Security of tenure
  • Possession
  • Succession
  • Revival of tenancies
  • Homelessness cases: full panoply of challenges that can be made from eligibility to discharge of duty
  • EPA prosecutions
  • Prosecutions on behalf of Tenancy Relations Officers
  • Business tenancies
  • Boundary disputes
  • Relief from forfeiture

Judicial Review: challenges as to Allocation schemes; provision of emergency accommodation; acceptance of applications.

Edward appears in substantial trials and appeals in the county court, as well as taking cases before the higher courts. Allied to Housing Work Edward undertakes Community Care cases normally involving challenges to prevent destitution. He has conducted Local Authority prosecutions against landlords for offences under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.

Edward seeks to provide effective representations for applicants/tenants in all spheres of housing and related work adopting a measured and pragmatic approach. Very much a trial Counsel able to marshal complex cases that require careful preparation and vigorous advocacy. Having cut his teeth on criminal trials in the crown court well versed in dealing with factual disputes as well as refined legal argument.

Prepared to deal with cases that fall outside the mainstream in terms of this area; recently successfully acted in a professional negligence claim where the claim rested on a failure by the solicitor to serve the correct notice. Also acted in a case involving serious psychiatric injury as a result of harassment and unlawful eviction.

Training

Edward regularly holds seminars on all aspects of housing law and related subjects. Prepared to provide in house training for solicitor’s at their offices on requested topics. Always prepared to advise at any stage of litigation to ensure that cases are well prepared and issues are fully set out in advance of trial. Committed member of the Housing Law Practitioners’ Association conducting lectures and seminars for the association.

Background

Before coming to the Bar Edward worked for four years in the voluntary sector, roles included: Welfare Rights Adviser for Gingerbread Northern Ireland; Acting Manager for Belfast Housing Aid; providing specialist advice on Benefit and Housing matters; representing applicants at Social Security Tribunals and Rent Registration Tribunals; campaigning on benefit issues; taking test cases to establish tenant’s rights for NI rent protected tenancies.

Edward then worked as a Housing Officer with a small Housing Association in London dealing with all aspects of housing management from allocations to disrepair problems; this provided some insight into the problems that can be faced by Social Landlords balancing demands for scarce accommodation.

Recommendations

“Has excellent knowledge and displays great judgement on cases. He’s a very calm and clear advocate in court who is particularly good with vulnerable clients.” “His written work is always exceptional and he is very good at presenting his client’s case in court. His ability to analyse a case is phenomenal.”
Chambers UK 2019

An excellent all-rounder; exceptional written work and strong court advocacy.”
Legal 500 2019

“Very dedicated and conscientious, he is interested in pushing the law further to see how far it can be pushed to benefit our client groups.” “He is passionate and extremely knowledgeable about homelessness and public law.”
Chambers UK 2018

“An excellent, helpful barrister.”
Legal 500 2017

“Has a very calm manner and tends to put agitated clients at ease by explaining things in a clear, concise way.” “Very good in court, realistic and pragmatic. He has tenacity measured with realism.”
Chambers UK 2017

Brave and willing to run unusual points of law.”
Legal 500 2016

“He is easily accessible, meticulous with his case preparation and has excellent advocacy and client care skills.” “He is a very affable barrister who has a broad ranging knowledge of the field and successfully steers clients to the best outcomes.”
Chambers UK 2016

“A very good communicator of his ideas.”
Legal 500 2015

“He will fight the client’s corner until we are blown out of the water.” “He is a robust advocate for vulnerable clients.” “Meticulous with his case preparation, he offers excellent advocacy and great client care skills.”
Chambers UK 2015

“Good on his feet and willing to deal with difficult clients.”
Legal 500 2014

“Civil and eloquent … commended for being particularly clever.” “He’s really taking up the mantle in social housing”
Chambers UK 2014

“An assured advocate who is always well prepared”
Legal 500 2013

“Has a “wealth of knowledge” and is always “willing to advise and share his expertise on any matter.” He “is of great assistance when things seem to be at their worst,” said one solicitor, and is “known for producing great results.” Sources note that he is particularly suited to difficult cases that require real attention to detail.”
Chambers UK 2013

“Cool and collected and very good with clients, who always like him”
Chambers UK 2012

Notable Cases

Paragon Community Housing v Neville Legal Action July 2017 p40  Appeal  in respect of refusal by District Judge to allow Equality Act arguments to be raised under s15 and section 35 at the warrant stage, appeal allowed court held that there was no short cut to assessment under the Act.

Woods v Westminster City Council Legal Action  April 2014 p24  Homelessness appeal re section 191 dealing with a situation where the applicant had surrendered her tenancy whilst in custody and whether this not the conviction was the effective cause of her homelessness.

Faulkner v City of Westminster Legal Action June 2014 p38  a challenge as to “priority” need where issue raised as to procedural fairness in dealing with the medical evidence presented and recent deterioration in applicants condition.

Harrow LBC v Qazi HL (junior counsel); this was the first case where the House of Lords considered whether Article 8 could be raised to provide an impediment to a possession claim against a former secure tenant in the county court : 2004 1 AC 983; 2003 UKHL 43; [2003] 3 W.L.R. 792

Chishimba v Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea 25/3/13 CA (junior counsel) successful appeal involving challenges with respect “causation” and “whether reasonable to continue to occupy accommodation”. Court of Appeal invited to review a number of cases on both topics in reaching their decision.

R (on the application of Ariemuguvbe) v Islington LBC [2010] HLR 14 CA Challenge with under Part VI Housing Act 1996 with regard to the application of the Council’s allocation policy in terms of size of accommodation to be made available to a household including illegal overstayers; definition of “household” under the policy.

London Borough of Dagenham v Bakare B5/2011/1802 CA. Permission ganted by the Court of Appeal (28/11/11) to challenge the making of an outright possession order in circumstances where the tenants son ( no longer living at the property ) was the perpetrator of anti social behaviour in the area; issues re proportinaliy and extent to which the viability of a suspended possession order has to be addressed.

Haringey v Theobald, Legal Action September 2011, possession claim sucessfully defeated by challenging a historical alleged previous succession/assignmet to the Defendant’s brother. Issue raised as to the requirements of an equitable assignment.

Boyle v Musso, Legal Action March 2011, appeared for the Claimant in a damages claim based on violent unlawful eviction total award of £19,000 for general damges with £2,000 for aggravated damages.

Photis v Shamas, Legal Action January 2011, appeared for Claimant, contested disrepair claim where Judge found levels of diminution in rental value increased over the period of the tenancy and awarded significant damages.

Mondeh v Southwark LBC appeared for the Appellant, Legal Action November 2010. Homelessness Appeal where the family had fled from private rented accommodation alleging harassment and were found to be intentionally homeless for not staying where they were until the Landlord evicted them. Council dismissed their account as to the threats made that caused them to leave. The decision was quashed due to procedural unfairness with respect to selective findings made following interview, and a failure to consider and apply part of the code of guidance (para 8.32).

Kendall v City of Westminster appeared for the Appellant, Legal Action Nov 2009; successful appeal dealing with the extent to which the code of guidance dealing with “temporary aberration” could apply to an addiction over a period of months in a case involving a decision that the Appellant was “intentionally homeless”.

Batten v Toynbee Housing Association Ltd: 29/6/09; CC/2008/PTA/0728 appeared for the Appellant on appeal to the High Court with respect to the extent to which relevant factors had to be taken into account in the exercise of the courts discretion to make a possession order.

Opoku v McClelland CA 2009/0078; appeared for the Appellant in a test case which eventually settled, involving an issue as to whether an equitable assignment was possible under section 91 Housing Act 195.

Simms v Islington LBC [2008] EWCA Civ 1083; Times Dec 3, 2008 homelessness case concerning priority need, concerning the extent to which the Authority were required to consider and address medical evidence in a review decision.

Sesay v Islington LBC (September 2008) Legal Action 25 homelessness priority need case where court quashed decision as reviewing officer had applied the wrong tests in assessing vulnerability. Making a comparison under the Periera guidance with others who had experienced trauma rather than an ordinary homeless person.

Shala v Birmingham City Council CA 2008 HLR 8; guidance provided by the court as to consideration of medical evidence in homelessness priority need cases, and the use of medical advisers.

Osmani v Camden LBC CA 2005 HLR 22; homelessness; priority need restatement of Pereira guidance.

R (on application of Griffin) v Southwark LBC [2005] HLR 12 repeat applications homelessness.

R v Harrow DC ex p Bono 2002 1WLR 2475; housing benefit case article 6 challenge with regard to the independence of the panel.

John Lewis Plc v Coyne [2000] UKEAT 581 best working test for dishonesty in the workplace.

Post Office v Foley; HSBC v Madden CA (2001) 1 All ER 550 guidance given on issue of reasonable investigation before dismissal; dismissal as a reasonable response.

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