Liz Davies

Year of Call: 1994(former solicitor, admitted 1989)

"She is known for her tireless commitment to her clients and her astonishing breadth of knowledge and depth of understanding of the law."

Chambers UK 2019

"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 2016

"Always great to work with, she works really hard for clients and gets great results... willing to support you in difficult circumstances if you need some urgent or immediate advice."

Chambers UK 2018

"Meticulous, calm and compelling; encyclopaedic knowledge presented in plain English."

Legal 500 2019


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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Liz Davies 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.

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.

Housing Law


Liz is ranked as a "Star Individual" in social housing by Chambers UK 2019 and as a leading junior in social housing (Tier 1) by the Legal 500 2019.

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, 5th ed, 2018).

Her practice is in public law issues: she appears in the Administrative Court and homelessness appeals in the County Court. She is currently instructed as the housing specialist as part of a team of counsel representing survivors and bereaved families in the Grenfell Tower Fire Inquiry.

Notable Cases

R (Hoyte) v Southwark LBC [2016] 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 [2013] EWCA Civ 3722 (Admin): the issue of legitimate expectation within a local housing authority's allocation scheme.

Holt v Reading Borough Council [2013] 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 [2013] 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 [2009] UKHL 36, [2009] 1 WLR 1506, HL: Women's refuges are not reasonable to continue to occupy and therefore women occupying refuge accommodation are homeless.

Ahad v Tower Hamlets LBC [2008] EWCA Civ 606, CA

R (Kilby) v Basildon DC; [2007] EWCA Civ 479 [2007] H.L.R. 39, CA: (variation of terms of secure tenancies).

R (Conville) v Richmond upon Thames LBC [2006] 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.

Al-Ameri v Kensington & Chelsea RLBC [2004] 4UKHL 4, [2004] 2 AC 159, [2004] HLR 20: accommodation provided by NASS does not constitute residence of own choice for purposes of local connection.

Sheffield City Council v Smart [2002] EWCA Civ 04 [2002] HLR 34: human rights defences in possession actions for non-secure tenancies.

Ingle v Scarborough Borough Council [2002] EWCA Civ 290 [2002] HLR 36: home loss payments for secure tenants.

Kacar v London Borough of Enfield [2001] 33 HLR 64 CA: scope of inquiries in homeless applications.

Warsame v London Borough of Hounslow [1999] 32 HLR 335 CA: jurisdiction of County Court to hear appeals against decisions discharging homelessness duties.

First Instance Cases

A list of Liz Davies' first instance cases is available here.

Contact Liz

Administrative and Public Law


Liz practices in administrative and public cases which involve housing or community care issues.

Notable Cases

R (Hoyte) v Southwark LBC [2016] 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 [2013] EWCA Civ 3722 (Admin): the issue of legitimate expectation within a local housing authority's allocation scheme.

Contact Liz

Court of Protection

Liz accepts instructions to appear in the Court of Protection and has provided training and written case updates on capacity, deprivation of liberty and other Court of Protection issues.

Contact Liz


Liz is a qualified mediator. Further details can be found on the Garden Court Chambers Mediation website.

Contact Liz

Pro Bono Work

Liz is on the panel for the Bar Pro Bono Unit.

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Liz started her professional life as a solicitor at TV Edwards, working in Tower Hamlets and Hackney. She developed a specialism in housing law as a solicitor. She came to the Bar in 1994.

She is a well-known labour movement and peace activist. She was a Labour councillor in Islington between 1990 and 1998 and chaired the council's women's committee. She regularly writes and speaks on issues involving civil liberties, social justice, anti-war and anti-racism campaigns.

Liz is honorary Vice-President of the Haldane Society.

Liz is also appointed to the Equality and Human Rights Commission's preferred Panel of Counsel (Panel A).


Housing Allocation and Homelessness: Law and Practice, co-author with HHJ Jan Luba QC, Connor Johnston and Tessa Buchanan (LexisNexis, 2018, 5th edition). A description and reviews are available here.

Contributor to Housing Law Handbook (Cottle et al, Law Society, 2009)

The Homelessness Act 2002: Special Bulletin (Jordans, 2002) co-author with Jan Luba QC.

Regular contributor to housing law journals and to the Socialist Lawyer (Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers)

Through the Looking Glass: a dissenter inside New Labour (Verso, 2001)

Regular columnist for the Morning Star newspaper and contributor to Red Pepper magazine.

Training and Seminars

Liz regularly speaks at conferences and training events, principally on aspects of homelessness or allocation of social housing law, but also on other areas of housing law.

Her keynote speech to Housing Law Practitioners Association, delivered on 12 December 2018, is available on our website.

Latest News

15 members of Garden Court Chambers appointed to Equality and Human Rights Commission Panel of Counsel

Stephanie Harrison QC, Amanda Weston QC, Bethan Harris, Liz Davies, Grace Brown, Timothy Baldwin, Mark Symes, Joanne Cecil, Stephen Marsh, Anthony Vaughan, Shu Shin Luh, Connor Johnston, Gráinne Mellon, Tessa Buchanan and Miranda Butler.

16 May 2019

'Crisis, what crisis?'

Liz Davies of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team gave the keynote speech titled “Crisis, what crisis?” at the Housing Law Practitioner’s Association Annual Conference on 12 December 2018.

19 December 2018

Housing Allocation and Homelessness Law & Practice Fifth edition now published

The textbook was written by His Honour Judge Jan Luba QC, Liz Davies, Connor Johnston and Tessa Buchanan.

15 August 2018

Liz Davies appearance on BBC Radio 4 'Unreliable Evidence'

Liz Davies appeared on BBC Radio 4's 'Unreliable Evidence' programme.

14 September 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

Appeal against Southwark’s decision that woman with auto-immune disorder and depression was not a ‘vulnerable’ homeless person in priority need

Liz Davies of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team represented the appellant.

1 August 2017

'The consequences of wealth before homes': Liz Davies on the implications of the Grenfell Tower tragedy

Liz Davies is a member of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team.

26 July 2017

Proof magazine #3: ‘Life in the Justice Gap: Why legal aid matters’ launch supported by Garden Court Chambers

Garden Court Chambers is proud to sponsor Proof magazine. The third issue of Proof was co-produced by the Justice Gap and the Justice Alliance.

20 July 2017

Immediate housing duties owed to victims of fires

Homelessness duties owed by the local authority to former residents of Grenfell Tower.

16 June 2017

Homelessness Reduction Act 2017: Tackling homelessness early

Liz Davies of Garden Court Chambers writes in June’s edition of Legal Action magazine on the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.

15 June 2017

Garden Court and Stephanie Harrison QC shortlisted for Human Rights and Public Law awards

Garden Court has been shortlisted at the Chambers Bar Awards, whilst Stephanie and our Public Law Team are shortlisted at the Legal 500 Awards.

21 October 2016

Section 204 Housing Act Appeal: local authority was perverse to characterise acceptance whilst seeking review as refusal

Liz Davies of Garden Court Chambers represented the appellant.

8 September 2016

Administrative Court rules that Southwark wrong not to accept new application for homelessness assistance

JH was represented by Liz Davies of the Garden Court Chambers, instructed by Southwark Law Centre.

8 July 2016

Hot off the press – fourth edition of Housing Allocation and Homelessness

The book is co-authored by Liz Davies and Connor Johnston with door tenant and Circuit Judge HHJ Jan Luba QC.

8 June 2016

New report highlights severe housing difficulties facing London’s migrant families

Liz Davies of Garden Court Chambers was legal consultant to the report.

2 December 2015

Chambers UK Bar Guide ranks Garden Court in Band 1

Garden Court Chambers recognised as a leading set for immigration, social housing, civil liberties, police law, Court of Protection, crime and inquests and public inquiries.

30 October 2015

Garden Court Chambers launches new mediation website

To mark the launch of the site, we're offering a discounted rate for our mediation handbook.

26 June 2015

Richard Harvey delivers final declaration at IADL conference

Richard Harvey joined by Garden Court barristers at the International Association of Democratic Lawyers in Brussels.

24 April 2014

Liz Davies and Stephen Cottle announced as Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year 2014 finalists

Liz Davies and Stephen Cottle are finalists in the Legal Aid Barrister of the Year category.

16 April 2014

UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women meets with Garden Court practitioners

Garden Court welcomes Rashida Manjoo to discuss practitioners’ experiences of dealing with victims of violence against women.

2 April 2014

Garden Court Chambers ranked Band 1 in Chambers UK 2014

We are once again delighted to have been ranked as a leading set by Chambers and Partners in the Chambers UK 2014 directory.

31 October 2013

Garden Court Chambers recommended as Top Tier Set in Legal 500 2013

Garden Court Chambers is once again delighted to have been recommended as a Top Tier Set in this year's Legal 500. We are recommended in six areas of law as a set, with 11 silks and 27 junior barristers recognised individually.

25 September 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

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  • LL.B University College London (1985)
  • Former solicitor, qualified 1989

Professional Membership

  • Honorary Vice-President of the Haldane Society
  • Liberty
  • Justice
  • Housing Law Practitioners Association
  • LAG
  • Administrative Law Bar Association

We are top ranked by independent legal directories and consistently win awards

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