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.
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.
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 cases which involve housing or community care issues.
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.
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.