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Nick Bano

Year of Call: 2013

"A rising star in housing law”

Chambers & Partners 2020

"Clients feel that Nick is really fighting their corner"

Chambers & Partners 2019

"Gives very detailed advice and leaves no stone unturned"

Chambers & Partners 2019

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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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Nick specialises in representing homeless people, residential occupiers, and destitute & migrant households in both public law and private law disputes.

Nick has particular expertise in cases where equality rights and social entitlement overlap.  He has been involved in bringing some of the significant recent challenges in this area.

Chambers & Partners recommends him as an ‘up and coming’ talent in the social housing field, saying ”his thriving practice takes in homelessness appeals, disrepair claims and possession proceedings, among others”.

Housing Law

Overview

Nick’s practice covers all aspects of housing law.  He has a great deal of experience in homelessness cases, as well as possession claims that turn on equality rights and complex public law issues. He has a particular interest in technical defences to section 21 claims

For the first few years of his practice Nick specialized in criminal defence work, which makes him an excellent trial advocate.

Chambers and Partners recognises Nick as a leading junior in this field.

Notable Cases

Public law challenges and jurisdiction

James v Hertsmere (to be heard by the Court of Appeal on 17th March 2020)
Nick argued that a homelessness decision had been made ultra vires because the official who had contracted-out the council’s homelessness functions had not been authorised to grant the contract under the council’s scheme of delegation.  The County Court held that the error had been retrospectively ratified by the leader of the council.  The appeal to the Court of Appeal concerns wide-ranging issues of local government law, administrative law principles and the County Court’s jurisdiction under the Housing Act 1996.

Serving notices on the Public Trustee

Gateway v Begum (to be heard by the Court of Appeal in 2020)
A claim for possession was dismissed following a trial because the landlord had been too late in serving a copy of the notice to quit on the Public Trustee.  The appeal, which raises a point of general public importance, was transferred to the Court of Appeal.

Discrimination challenges in homelessness cases

Adesotu v Lewisham [2019] 1 WLR 5637, CA
Nick sought to raise (apparently for the first time) a discrimination challenge in a statutory homelessness appeal.  The County Court’s decision to strike out the challenge led to a Court of Appeal case concerning the nature of the courts’ jurisdictions under the Housing Act 1996 and Equality Act 2010.  The Equality and Human Rights Commission intervened.  Nick was led in the Court of Appeal by Liz Davies.

The PSED as a defence to possession claims

Forward v Aldwyck [2019] HLR 47, CA
During the trial of a possession claim Nick established during cross-examination that the landlord had breached its PSED.  The court nonetheless ordered possession, and that decision was upheld on appeal to the High Court.  On the second appeal the Court of Appeal considered the nature of the PSED as a public law ‘process’ duty and approved the High Court’s judgment in L&Q v Patrick [2019] EWHC 1263, which was another case in which Nick had appeared for the disabled tenant.

Suitability, temporary accommodation & children’s rights

Anon v Lewisham (2018), Central London County Court
A homelessness appeal challenging the suitability of temporary accommodation.  The County Court accepted that there is no separate category of ‘temporary’ accommodation where the ‘main housing duty’ is owed.  The appeal succeeded on the ground that the council had failed to consider the impact on the children of their very long and difficult journey to school (commentary here).

Vulnerability and NowMedical

Thomas v Lambeth (Legal Action November 2017)
In a decision that a homeless person was not sufficiently ‘vulnerable’, the council had been wrong to rely on and adopt the approach of NowMedical.  The medical adviser had based their decision on the absence of any more serious symptoms, instead of engaging with the applicant’s actual condition.  The case has been cited in a number of newspaper articles about the adequacy of NowMedical’s reports.

Company landlords signing documents

Bali v Manaquel (Legal action June 2016)
On appeal to a circuit judge, Nick successfully argued the novel point that a company landlord was required to comply with section 44 of the Companies Act 2006 when signing company documents – which included the certificate required under the tenancy deposit protection regulations. As the certificate had not been properly signed and counter-signed the tenant had a valid defence.

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Administrative and Public Law

Overview

Nick has considerable experience of appearing in judicial review claims against local authorities and government departments, as well as in public law challenges in housing matters in the County Court. 

Notable Cases

Discrimination against survivors of domestic violence

R (FB) v Camden 
A judicial review claim challenging the way in which Camden Council accommodates homeless women who have fled domestic violence.  Nick successfully obtained interim relief, and a two-day hearing is listed in March 2020 (Women’s Aid Federation of England are intervening).  Nick is being led by Stephanie Harrison QC.

Interim relief - procedure

R (Nolson) v Stevenage
The Court of Appeal is due to consider the correct procedure for renewing an application for interim relief in the Administrative Court after a refusal of interim relief on the papers.  The hearing is listed on 12th March 2020.

Public law principles in County Court claims

TM v Metropolitan [2020] EWHC 311
Following the recent decisions in Forward v Aldwyck and L&Q v Patrick (cases in which Nick appeared), the High Court reviewed the principles applicable to public law defences in housing possession claims.  TM concerned the correct approach to section 31(2A) of the Senior Courts Act where the court has identified a breach of the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Retrospective ratification of ultra vires acts

James v Hertsmere Borough Council
The Court of Appeal is due to hear this appeal in March 2020.  Nick appeared at first instance in a case that where the local authority had failed to properly contract-out its functions because the contract was granted by an official who was not entitled, under the scheme of delegation, to do so.  The court at first instance held that the ultra vires act had been retrospectively ratified by the leader of the council just a few days before the hearing.

Successful challenge to an NRPF policy

R (AA) v Essex; R (CO) v Essex (2019)
Two simultaneous challenges to Essex Council’s ‘no recourse to public funds’ policy on the grounds that it made no provision for Zambrano carers, imposed unlawful residence criteria and provided unlawfully low rates of subsistence. The claims were settled (after the Administrative Court granted interim relief and permission) when Essex withdrew its policy.

Interim relief against two public bodies

R (FA) v Redbridge & SSHD [2018] EWHC 2189 (Admin)
Nick succeeded in two contested interim relief applications concerning the application of section 122 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (whether the local authority had reasonable grounds for believing that the Home Office could be required to provide asylum support).  At the second hearing, interim relief was ordered against both the local authority and the Home Office.

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Community Care Law

Overview

Nick is frequently involved in bringing claims relating to children’s rights and adult social care. He has an excellent grasp of the eligibility criteria and substantive rights under the Children Act and Care Act, as well as a strong tactical insight into local authority decision making.

Notable Cases

Section 17 and credibility

R (AA) v Southwark
In October 2019 the Administrative Court heard another challenge in the ‘culture of disbelief’ line of cases (where local authorities decide that the family has failed to prove the negative of its destitution).  The court’s reserved judgment is awaited.

Discontinuing support

R (SS) v Greenwich (2019)
Nick successfully obtained interim relief on the papers for a destitute family that had been sleeping in a disability mobility vehicle.  The case raised the unsettled question of whether (or in what circumstances) a local authority may stop providing section 17 support while the family remains in need. Edis J said that the claim “may raise some complex legal issues”.  Permission for judicial review was later granted.

Successful challenge to an NRPF policy

R (AA) v Essex; R (CO) v Essex (2019)
Two simultaneous challenges to Essex Council’s ‘no recourse to public funds’ policy on the grounds that it made no provision for Zambrano carers, imposed unlawful residence criteria and provided unlawfully low rates of subsistence. The claims were settled (after the Administrative Court granted interim relief and permission) when Essex withdrew its policy.

Interim relief against two public bodies

R (FA) v Redbridge & SSHD [2018] EWHC 2189 (Admin)
Nick succeeded in two contested interim relief applications concerning the application of section 122 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (whether the local authority had reasonable grounds for believing that the Home Office could be required to provide asylum support).  At the second hearing, interim relief was ordered against both the local authority and the Home Office.

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Background

Before becoming a barrister Nick worked in the advice sector (he was a caseworker at a number of law centres).

Nick also had a number of roles in the international sphere. He worked at the UN’s International Labour Organization in Geneva, the Yugoslavia tribunal in The Hague, and the International Centre for Trade Union Rights (a labour rights NGO).

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Professional Membership

Housing Law Practitioners Association

Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers (vice-chair)

International Centre for Trade Union Rights

Legal Sector Workers United

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