David Renton

Year of Call: 2008

"David has an analytical mind and a logical approach to cases. He has expertise in disrepair claims."

Legal 500, 2024 (Housing)

"He has a good bedside manner with clients, and explains complex legal issues in a user-friendly fashion."

Legal 500, 2024 (Employment)

"David is a brilliant and formidable advocate. He is able to identify and persuasively argue the strong point, while responding in a measured way to challenging aspects of a case."

Legal 500, 2023

"Willing to go the extra mile for the client and argue complex legal points."

Legal 500, 2022 (Employment)

"Great attention to detail and appreciation of the nuances of each individual and case."

Legal 500, 2021 (Employment)

"Very competent and knowledgeable as well as very committed."

Legal 500, 2020


To get in touch:​ Or you can contact the relevant​ Practice Team Clerks directly and they will be happy to assist with your enquiry.

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David Renton specialises in housing, discrimination and employment law. He acts for vulnerable tenants in disrepair possession hearings, and for employees, principally in cases of ordinary or trade union discrimination.



David represents claimants in all strands of employment discrimination claims in the Tribunal and EAT, including in lengthy, complex and high value cases, and in non-employment discrimination claims in the civil courts.

He represents vulnerable tenants in discrimination claims, principally disability discrimination claims, but also claims related to gender, sexual orientation and gender reassignment.

He also represents claimants in claims of discrimination in goods and services.

Notable Cases

McCafferty v Miah, Bow County Court, September 2016
Damages of £6,750 for discriminatory refusal to serve autistic child with service dog. This case was reported on by the Evening Standard, Daily Mail, Irish Post.

May v Secretary of State for Transport
Whether a disabled person is protected where the diagnosis of a condition is unclear but there is medical evidence of adverse impact on their ability to carry our normal activities.

Small v Barking and Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust
Operation of burden of proof where a court finds facts which could require a non-discriminatory explanation.

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Employment and Discrimination Law


David represents claimants in all strands of discrimination claim at the Tribunal and EAT, including in lengthy, complex and high value cases, and in non-employment discrimination claims in the civil courts.

He particularly specialises in cases involving discrimination against trade unionists or discrimination on grounds of immigration status.

David Renton has represented a council worker sacked for comments about Zionism who won back his job. An order for Stan Keable’s reinstatement was upheld after a tribunal judge in London ruled he was unfairly dismissed from his role. The case was reported in the Guardian

Notable Cases

Past notable cases can be viewed below. Click here to see a list of recent notable cases.

Smith v United Kingdom
The ECHR considered whether a blacklisted construction worker who had no protection in ordinary UK employment law (IRLR [2015] 467) but who had later succeeded in a (settled) breach of contract case in the High Court had been deprived of an effective domestic remedy. This case was reported on by the Guardian and Mirror.

Ssekisonge v Barts Health NHS Trust
David represented the Appellant in a case concerning the extent of the duties an employer owes to an employee in an SOSR dismissal (for immigration-related identity concerns) and whether this is a higher duty than in a misconduct dismissal.

Ayoola v St Christopher Fellowship
Whether costs order can be made without an assessment of whether the work done was reasonably payable.

Conway v Community Options Ltd
Whether the same test applies in striking out discrimination and ordinary unfair dismissal claims.

Ross v Eddie Stobart Ltd
Reported in Lawtel updates, whether Road Transport Workers are protected against dismissal for refusing to work in excess of 48-hour working week.

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Housing Law


David acts for tenants and mortgagors in possession hearings, mainly where possession is defended on Equality Act, human rights or public law grounds.

David is also regularly instructed in disrepair cases in the county court and magistrates' courts, carrying out work under both legal aid and no-win-no-fee agreements.

He also appears in homelessness appeals under section 204 of the Housing Act 1996, in occupation orders, and in related cases involving an overlap of housing and family law.

Notable Cases

Past notable cases can be viewed below. Click here to see a list of recent notable cases.

Benchlevel Properties Ltd v B, Wandsworth County Court
Disrepair damages settled for £15,000 at the door of court.

P v Eaglepeak Ltd, Ornbach and Lok, Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court
Disrepair damages awarded of 50% of rent for no heating, intermittent hot water, decayed plaster in one room rising to 90% when boiler failed altogether. Total damages £30,800.

Ryan v Hackney, Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court
Compensation agreed at £9,500 (51% rent) for 2.5 years of water penetration in one bedroom and cracking in the other.

Mcloughlin v Tower Hamlets
Disrepair damages of £21,700, being 5 years 7 months at 40% of rent, where windows were rotten and water penetration had caused a gas pipe to leak.

Espute v Lambeth LBC
Disrepair settlement of £13,000 for heavy mould in three rooms and some mould in three others.

Addo v Sehmi
David represented a tenant who was awarded £8,100 damages for disrepair (water penetration), being 3/5 of rent for a 15 month period.

Sun Street Properties Ltd v Persons Unknown
David represented occupiers ("the Bank of Ideas") who failed in an article 10 defence to a possession claim, but were granted permission to appeal and non-enforcement, and eventually settled the case two months after their occupation had begun.

Woldeab v London Borough of Southwark
Successful challenge of finding that homeless person was not vulnerable where LA's own medical officer had advised further enquiries.


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Notable Cases & News

David Renton's new book 'Discrimination in Housing Law' (LAG) out today

David Renton of the Garden Court Housing and Employment & Discrimination Law Teams has authored 'Discrimination in Housing Law', published by Legal Action Group (LAG).

11 March 2024

Housing Law Handbook: A Practical Guide (Law Society, 2nd edition)

Edited by Stephen Cottle. Contributors: Tim Baldwin, Adrian Berry, Tessa Buchanan, Sophie Caseley, Justine Compton, Sebastian Elgueta, Ed Fitzpatrick, Kevin Gannon, Adrian Marshall Williams, David Renton, Desmond Rutledge and Marina Sergides.

27 August 2020

Garden Court Housing Team responds to Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government consultation on 'A new deal for renters'

The Garden Court Housing Team welcomes the government’s proposal to abolish no fault evictions (based on s.21 Housing Act 1988).

15 October 2019

Employment tribunal upholds sex discrimination claim

David Renton of the Garden Court Chambers Employment Team appeared in the case of Amy Arnold v UK Power Networks (Operations) Ltd.

6 November 2017

The Garden Court Chambers Housing Team respond to the consultation of Terms of Reference of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry has called for responses to the consultation of Terms of Reference.

3 August 2017

Autistic child wins disability discrimination claim against shopkeeper who refused to serve him

The child was represented by David Renton of Garden Court Chambers and Rheian Davies of DH Law Ltd.

30 September 2016

Forty-year employee wins unfair dismissal claim against BT

Trevor Edwards was represented by David Renton of Garden Court Chambers.

17 December 2015

UK government joins Court of Appeal test case as intervener

David Renton is representing Mr. Dave Smith

5 February 2015

David Renton acting in Employment Appeal Tribunal case on blacklisting

David Renton is currently appearing in the EAT hearing into blacklisting by Carillion (JM) Ltd – previously John Mowlem Ltd.

11 October 2013

Anti Squatting Law

160 lawyers signed a letter to the Guardian pointing out that the criminal trespass offence (s 144) was introduced on the basis of misinformation. The offence which deals with squatting in a residential building was introduced into the Legal Aid, Sentenci

27 March 2013

All related news


Before being called to the bar, David was an author and historian and subsequently an official of the academics' and lecturers' union UCU specialising in equality law. He now represents clients who are vulnerable, whether through illness, disability or addiction, and has been on the EHRC's panel of approved counsel.



Discrimination in Housing Law (LAG, 2024)

Jobs and Homes (LAG, 2021)

Justice Deferred: a critical guide to the Coalition's employment tribunal reforms (IER, 2020).

Struck out: Why Employment Tribunals fail workers and what can be done (Pluto, 2012).

Articles and book chapters

Conspiring to unlawfully evict, Landlord and Tenant Review 19(1) (2015)

The employment tribunal system at the crossroads, in N. Busby et al., Access to justice in employment disputes: surveying the terrain (London: Institute of Employment Rights).

David has also written on employment law for New Law Journal. Before practising, he was an editor of an annual practitioners' guide to employment law.

Against the Law: Why Justice Requires Fewer Laws and a Smaller State

Training and Seminars

David has addressed employment law courses organised by the Equity, the GMB, RMT, UCU, Unison and Unite trade unions, and events organised by the GFTU, IER, ILS and WEA.

He has given training for housing solicitors on how to bring disrepair claims and on how to bring and defend injunctions.


  • MA (Oxon)
  • PhD
  • CPE
  • Gray's Inn Prince of Wales scholar

Professional Membership

  • The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers

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