“Dedicated junior with a reputation for taking on challenging and legally complex social housing work. His practice typically concerns homelessness and allocation cases for tenants with mental health issues or specialist community care needs.”
“Very intelligent. Broad and thorough understanding of the law.”
“Highly intellectual, extremely helpful, always up to the challenge.”
Chambers UK Bar Guide
Tim Baldwin is ranked in Chambers UK for social housing and is identified as a leading junior in the Legal 500 for social housing, civil liberties and planning. Tim is known for his fierce commitment to representing vulnerable, marginalised and disadvantaged clients. Solicitors have said of Tim that “He finds novel arguments in difficult cases to achieve results for the clients. This is what he’s good at – not just getting results, but getting the right outcome for his clients.” “He is tactically aware, thorough, hardworking and approachable.”, as “an expert in social welfare”, a “real asset” and “A talented barrister and valuable team member.” Tim is also known for his “calm demeanour, sound judgement and excellent written work” and for quick engagement with lay clients which puts them at ease and gives them confidence in his advice and representation.
Tim is highly regarded for his public and administrative law practice which includes:
Housing, community care and social welfare
- Housing cases where the tenant has mental health issues and specialist community care needs or in complex cases involving welfare benefits
- Complex cases concerning social care for adults or children
- Representation of vulnerable tenants in local authority possession proceedings
- Tenant claims against local authorities and landlords, especially for disrepair and unlawful eviction
- Homelessness and allocation of social housing
- Asylum support and care provision for migrants
- Advice and representation in cases involving persons who lack capacity in all jurisdictions
Court of Protection and DOLS
- Considerable experience specialising in Court of Protection proceedings concerning health and welfare decisions, accommodation and DOLS issues for applicants and all respondents, including emergency applications
- Recent cases have concerned disputes over residence, contact and care together with DOLS and court authorisation of deprivation of liberty including damages claims for false imprisonment
Civil liberties, human rights and inquests
- Representing patients at Mental Health Review Tribunals, in judicial review claims and unlawful detention claims
- Inquests for families of patients who have died in detention, particularly those subject to detention for psychiatric care, or with learning disability
- Representation for prisoners and others detained by the state in addition to inquests concerning deaths in custody
- Planning, particularly representing Gypsies and Travellers
- Environmental cases, disputes over land use, “fracking” and mineral extraction
General administrative and public law
- Claims for judicial review in the High Court and Upper Tribunal
- Commercial judicial review and judicial review of regulatory bodies
- Ombudsman cases
He has appeared in a number of reported cases in the Court of Appeal, High Court, Upper Tribunal, as well as significant inquests.
A selection of notable recent cases
London Borough of Islington v Dyer  EWCA Civ 150: Court of Appeal defines what constitutes a valid notice pursuant to s. 128 Housing Act 1996 to determine an introductory tenancy. The transcript has been made available.
R (on the application of JG by his litigation friend the Official Solicitor) v Bristol City Council (Defendant) and Secretary of State for the Home Department (Interested Party) CO/1241/2016 (unreported) 11 August 2016: A successful judicial review challenge to an age assessment of an unaccompanied minor from abroad. To learn more click here.
R v Aitchison  EWCA Crim 739: Represented the appellant in a successful appeal in the Court of Appeal quashing a sentence of Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) and substituting it for a hospital order with restriction post Vowles. The transcript of the judgment has been made available.
R (Hakima Alemi) v Westminster City Council  EWHC 1765 (Admin): was led by Jan Luba QC for the Claimant where the Defendant council’s allocation scheme for social housing was declared unlawful and quashed in that it suspended the ability of a homeless family to bid for social housing. The transcript has been made available. This case has also been reported in Inside Housing, the BBC , the Independent, the Local Government Lawyer and in local news in West End Extra. With the Labour Party calling on the Council to rethink its entire housing policy as a result.
R (AM) v London Borough of Havering and London Borough of Tower Hamlets  EWHC 1004 (Admin): was led by Jan Luba QC for the Claimant where the Defendant Councils’ actions were declared unlawful following successful judicial review application by a homeless family. It was ruled that the local authority responsible for assessing the needs of children in these cases should be the borough in which the family were actually living, and the local authority responsible for providing housing whilst an assessment of the children’s needs takes place, should be the authority that had placed them there. The transcript has been made available. This case has also been reported in Inside Housing, Evening Standard, and Family Law. The appeal by Havering and Tower Hamlets was dismissed at an oral hearing by the Court of Appeal on 17 November 2015 as having become academic with costs awarded to the Claimant see Legal Action Magazine February 2016 page 45 for the report.
Buckinghamshire County Council (Appellant) v Kingston Upon Thames Royal London Borough Council (Respondent) & (1) SL (By her litigation friend the Official Solicitor) (2) National Society for Epilepsy (3) Secretary of State for Health (Interested Parties)  EWCA Civ 457: was led by Stephen Knafler QC. The Court of Appeal held, on dismissing Buckinghamshire’s appeal, that a local authority, in moving a person whose care it had funded into supported housing in another local authority’s area following a needs assessment had been under no duty to consult the other local authority. The transcript has been made available.
Inquest touching on the death of Robert Edwards (Suffolk Coroner, 2013): For more information, please see the INQUEST press release.
Inquest touching on the death of Brian Quaintmere (Southwark Coroner, 2015): Critical decision of failures concerning death while in psychiatric care.
Inquest touching on the death of Matthew Westgarth (Doncaster Coroner, 2016): Critical narrative decision in respect of NHS failures in discharge from psychiatric hospital without a care plan.
Inquest touching on the death of Brian Hull (Liverpool Coroner, 2016): Inquest of death in HMP Walton reported in Liverpool Echo, BBC and on failures identified in PPO report reported in Liverpool Echo.
Tim is an editor of the Community Care Law Reports.
He has co-authored a number of articles in Landlord and Tenant Review and Legal Action on evictions and the Localism Act 2011. He co-authored the Housing Act 2004: A Practical Guide, 2005.
Tim is a monthly a contributor to the Garden Court Social Welfare Law website.
Tim provides seminars and bespoke training to solicitors on the Mental Capacity Act 2005 including Deprivation of Liberty, Care Act 2014, mental health law, treatment in the NHS, community care, welfare benefits and equality, prison law and Judicial Review. Tim was an invited speaker at the following conferences with the Public Law Project “How to Make the Perfect Complaint 2012: Complaints and Remedies” and “Public Law & Judicial Review North 2012: Challenges to Justice” in Manchester and listen to the podcast here. In 2013 at “Public Law and the Tribunals” and read Tim’s conference paper here. In 2015, with Felicity Williams, at “Private Law for Public Law Practitioners” concerning Ombudsman remedies. In 2015 Tim gave a webinar master class on reform of Judicial Review.
Tim advised MIND as to amendments to the Bill leading to the Care Act 2014 on changes introduced in the House of Lords to section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983 and on proposed safeguarding provisions when passing through Parliament.
Tim is also an elected member of the Housing Law Practitioners Association executive.
Tim is also a member of the INQUEST Lawyers’ Group Steering Committee.
Tim is registered as a pupil supervisor with the Bar Council.
Tim is a case reviewer for the Bar Pro Bono Unit.
Before starting practice Tim was a research assistant in the Public Law Team at the Law Commission where he worked on reform of housing and local authority law. Also he worked as a part-time lecturer at King’s College London and the University of Westminster Law Schools. Tim worked as an administrator and researcher at the Public Law Project prior to his legal education and training. Prior to his legal career Tim trained and worked as a scientist specialising in molecular biology and brain development. Tim was a Hardwicke, Thomas More and Cassell scholar of Lincoln’s Inn.
Tim was born and brought up in Herefordshire with a love of grassroots football and is an avid supporter of Hereford United (now FC) and is convinced the Ronnie Radford goal is the greatest ever scored. He is also known for his strong commitment to teamwork and for wry sense of humour as he has often said he is disappointed that his Senior Clerks at Garden Court Chambers have no real interest in the skill and grace of football as they all seem to support West Ham.