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Marina Sergides

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Marina Sergides
"A very passionate advocate" who "offers clear and concise advice that is excellent."

Chambers UK, 2019

"Uncanny ability to empathise with her clients, while maintaining fierce advocacy."

Legal 500, 2019

Chambers UK 2019

“A very passionate advocate” who “offers clear and concise advice that is excellent.”

Legal 500 2019

“Uncanny ability to empathise with her clients, while maintaining fierce advocacy.”

Chambers UK 2018

“A passionate advocate in court,” who “puts her head down and works hard. She knows her subject backwards.”

Legal 500 2017

“A very passionate advocate, who is also confident and assured.” 

Chambers UK 2017

“In court she’s just a great advocate, she really fights the client’s corner.” “She will take on unusual and challenging cases, and I like her approach with clients.”

Legal 500 2016

Calm, patient and focused with vulnerable clients.

Chambers UK 2016

“She’s brilliant when you need a fighter – and you often do in housing! She’s a very determined advocate.” “She’s very good when dealing with vulnerable clients and a very thorough practitioner.”

Legal 500 2015

“She handles difficult clients well.”

Chambers UK 2015

“Excellent with clients and very sympathetic.” “She is impressive on her feet and gets to grips with arguments quickly.”

Legal 500 2014

“Frequently instructed by the Official Solicitor on community care matters.”

Chambers UK 2014

“A really decent opponent,” according to peers, Marina Sergides has a practice that covers a variety of housing matters. She’s also particularly focused on cases involving the Court of Protection or mental health matters. “Popular with clients and someone with excellent advocacy skills.” She “has a great understanding of how a case develops – she’s tactically astute.”

Chambers UK 2013

“…the “very tenacious” and “truly exceptional” Marina Sergides, a lawyer who is “very knowledgeable about housing law” and who has a “great eye for detail.” Sources say that she has “proved time and time again that she is a gifted lawyer.” A “dynamic and powerful communicator,” Sergides has a particular specialism in possession proceedings”.

Practice

Marina Sergides joined Garden Court Chambers as a housing and immigration pupil in 2002 and became a tenant in the same year. She is a practitioner specialising in housing, social security, prison law and inquests.

Housing Law

Marina specialises in all aspects of social housing law. She has extensive experience in nuisance possession proceedings, s204 homelessness appeals, unlawful eviction and harassment claims, disrepair claims, judicial reviews, human rights, public law defences, disability discrimination and cross over ASBO proceedings in the magistrates and county courts. In particular, Marina has worked extensively in cases involving tenants with mental health problems, where capacity has been in issue, and where the Official Solicitor has been instructed. Marina has represented tenants before the Social Security Tribunal and before the Social Security Commissioner.

In December 2010 Marina was part of an Advocats San Frontier and Haldane delegation that visited Palestine and the Occupied Territories on a fact finding mission: “Enforcing Housnig Rights: the case of Sheikh Jarrah“.

Marina is recommended for housing law in Chambers UK 2016.

Marina is also sits on Islington Law Centre’s Management Committee and the Housing Law Practitioners Association conference steering group

Inquest Law

Marina has also represented bereaved families in inquests arising from deaths at work, whilst in the care of the state and where health and safety regulations have been breached. In 2010, Marina acted on behalf of the family of Darwin Kealey at the inquest into his death at HMP Wormwood Scrubs. There were eight interested parties at the inquest, which heard evidence about a catalogue of systemic failures by the police, Serco and the Prison Service. The jury returned a narrative verdict, identifying a range of missed opportunities and failures that occurred during his detention.

Prison Law

Marina has represented prisoners before independent adjudicators and parole boards and has advised in judicial review challenges. Marina recently acted on behalf of a lifer in a Parole Board hearing alongside a Special Advocate, in what was only the third such case of its type. In December 2006 Marina was co-editor of the Prison Booklet produced for the post Mubarak Inquiry Conference. It was provided for the 500 prison officials, Prison Governors and MPs that were amongst the attendees.

Notable Cases

Housing

Aslam v Ali, 10 June 2009, LAG December 2009

Mr Aslam lived with his wife and eight children in a four bedroom house that suffered from substantial disrepair. The Court awarded damages at 50% of the rental value for the period 2003 to 2006 and at 33.3% of the rental value for the peiod 2006 to 2009.

Gargett, R (on the application of) v London Borough of Lambeth [2008] EWHC 663 (Admin)
The Court considered whether a claimant can be entitled to a discretionary housing payment if they are in receipt of maximum housing benefit and council tax benefit.
Gargett, R (on the application of) v London Borough of Lambeth [2008] EWCA Civ 1450 (18 December 2008)
Gargett, R (on the application of) v London Borough of Lambeth [2008] EWHC 663 (Admin) (08 April 2008)

Ferguson v Jones, Birmingham County Court, Legal Action December 2008
Damages for disrepair were awarded at £2700 p.a. pursuant to s.11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

UKSSCSC CH_318_2005
Successful in arguing that a narrow boat with no permanent mooring was held to be within the meaning of “dwelling”.
[2005] UKSSCSC CH_318_2005 (10 June 2005)

R v London Borough of Southwark
Ogunlowo, Camberwell Magistrate Court, Legal Action December 2004

[2004] UKSSCSC CH_4574_2003
The case considered whether there was a breach of Article 14 when read in conjunction with either article 8 or Article 1 of Protocol 1 in the provision of housing benefit for those residing in bail hostels. The Commissioner held that there was.

Inquests

Inquest touching upon the death of Billy Coulson, 15 April 2011

HMP Chelmsford were crticised over the death of a teenager remand prisoner. Eighteen year old Billy Coulson hanged himself in his cell at the prison in September 2008. The prison failed to recognise his suicide risk.

Inquest touching upon the death of James Connolly, 25 January 2011

Death of a vulnerable 23 year old man with mental health problems and who was being treated in the heathcare wing.

Inquest touching upon the death of Kirpal Rahel, 22 July 2010
Death in a secure mental health institution as a result of inappropriate administration of Olanzapine.

Inquest into the death of Stewart Klincke, June 2008
Stewart Klincke, 55, died after being overcome by carbon dioxide fumes in a room at the Scottish Courage brewery, on January 22, 2006. The Jury gave a narrative verdict, finding that Mr Klincke would not have died if the valve was in its original state.

Publications, Training and Memberships

Marina contributed to the Law Society Handbook on Housing Law 2009. Marina contributed to the annual Legal Action Disrepair Roundups in December 2004, 2005 and 2006. She is also a regular contributor to Socialist Lawyer, the magazine of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers.

Marina has provided training to the Housing Law Practitioners Association and regularly provides training at the Garden Court Seminars on a wide range of housing and civil law topics. She recently spoke at the Garden Court Judicial Review Conference and currently provides training for Community Legal Advice Centres.

Marina is a member of the Housing Law Practitioners Association, Inquest Lawyers Group, Haldane, Lobby for Cyprus, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and the Haldane Society. Marina was also a member of Pupillage and Training Committee from 2002 until 2008 and was convenor in 2007 – 2008.

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