Liz is a social housing silk ranked in Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500. She acts as a consultant to Crisis and has represented Shelter and Housing Law Practitioner's Association pro bono in interventions.
She specialises in all aspects of housing law, with a particular expertise in homelessness and allocation of social housing. She also practises in areas of community care and Children Act cases, particularly where accommodation might be an issue.
Comments on Liz in professional directories, besides those quoted above, include "She is one of the most outstanding, highly regarded and dedicated barristers in the country...She has an infectious passion for social justice and always goes the extra mile for clients." Chambers UK Bar Guide.
She is committed to acting for the homeless, and for tenants and other occupiers, and has a tenacious and practical approach to conducting her cases. She accepts instructions to appear in the Court of Protection and is also a qualified mediator.
Liz was a finalist for the Legal Aid Barrister of the Year Award 2014.
Liz is a new King's Counsel, appointed in 2022. As a junior barrister, she was ranked as a "Star Individual" in social housing by Chambers UK and as a leading individual in social housing (Tier 1) by the Legal 500.
She has undertaken social housing practice as a solicitor and as a barrister since 1989. She is a specialist in all aspects of social housing law and recognised as a leading authority in homelessness law and the allocation of social housing. She is the co-author of Housing Allocation and Homelessness (Luba, Davies, Johnston & Buchanan, LexisNexis, 6th ed, 2022).
Her practice is in public law issues: she appears in the Administrative Court and Court of Appeal. She was instructed as the housing specialist as part of a team of counsel representing survivors and bereaved families in the Grenfell Tower Fire Inquiry Phase 1. She is currently instructed to represent Southall Black Sisters in Module 2 of the Covid-19 Inquiry.
She acts as a consultant to the homelessness charity Crisis, and assisted in drafting the Homelessness Reduction Act 2018, amendments to the Domestic Abuse Bill relating to homelessness and Crisis’ draft legislation Homelessness and the Prevention of Homelessness (Covid-19 Response) Bill. Liz has also given evidence to the House of Commons Housing Communities and Local Government Select Committee on homelessness and the effect of Covid 19.
Past notable cases can be viewed below. Click here to see a list of recent notable cases.
Khan v Mehmood  EWCA Civ 791
Liz represented Housing Law Practitioners’ Association, with Marina Sergides, pro bono. The Court of Appeal held that the 10% uplift on general damages, as set out by the Court of Appeal in Simmons v Castle, applied to general damages for breach of repairing covenant.
When considering whether accommodation broke the chain of causation from an earlier finding that an applicant had become homeless intentionally, the question for a local housing authority is one of fact and degree, taking into account all relevant circumstances. The fact that accommodation may have been overcrowded is a relevant, but not a determinative, factor. The previous Court of Appeal decision of Doka v Southwark LBC, which had referred to an assessment of the relative precariousness of accommodation, was no more than a description of the factual context in that case. Liz led Nick Bano for the appellant.
Holt v Reading Borough Council  EWCA Civ 641, CA: a judge was entitled to make an order for possession setting out the conditions under which the local housing authority should secure alternative accommodation.
Johnson & others v Old  EWCA Civ 415, CA: On the correct construction of a tenancy agreement, a payment made by the tenant at the start of the tenancy pursuant to a requirement in the agreement to pay the first six months' rent in advance was not a tenancy deposit required to paid into a deposit protection scheme, but was the advance payment of rent.
Ali v Birmingham City Council, Moran v Manchester City Council  UKHL 36,  1 WLR 1506, HL: Women's refuges are not reasonable to continue to occupy and therefore women occupying refuge accommodation are homeless.
R (Conville) v Richmond upon Thames LBC  EWCA Civ 718: local housing authorities may not take into account their own resources when deciding what period would give intentionally homeless families a "reasonable opportunity" of finding their own accommodation.
Kacar v London Borough of Enfield  33 HLR 64 CA: scope of inquiries in homeless applications.
First Instance Cases
A list of Liz Davies' first instance cases is available here.
Liz practices in administrative and public law cases which involve housing or community care issues.
R (Ncube) v Westminster City Council  EWHC 578 (Admin)
Liz represented Shelter pro bono, as interveners, leading Adrian Berry and Connor Johnston. The Court held that councils can lawfully provide emergency accommodation to rough sleepers who are not eligible for assistance under Part 7 Housing Act 1996, using their powers at s.138 Local Government Act 1972 and/or s.2B National Health Service Act 2006. Shelter’s evidence and legal submissions showed how the government’s guidance on ‘Everyone In’ was being haphazardly interpreted and the devastating impact on those left without help.
R (Hoyte) v Southwark LBC  EWHC 1665 (Admin): when a local housing authority is required to accept fresh application for homelessness assistance on the basis of "new facts".
R (Alansi) v Newham LBC  EWCA Civ 3722 (Admin): the issue of legitimate expectation within a local housing authority's allocation scheme.
Liz is a qualified mediator. Further details can be found on the Garden Court Chambers Mediation website.