EXPERTISE

Peter specialises in disrepair, acting for public and private landlords, and leading the fight against the blight of opportunistic CFA disrepair claims sweeping the country. As well as fighting dozens of disrepair trials each year, he is an expert at defences, applications to strike-out cases and/or experts, allocation hearings, adverse & wasted costs orders, injunctions, trials, appeals, etc.

Peter has always worked solely in housing and anti-social behaviour matters. He spent his working life before coming to the bar in housing, one way or another – as voluntary campaigner, research assistant to Government regeneration studies, local authority housing & regeneration manager, and as national research manager for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Peter enjoys speaking at housing law conferences, doing national and local, in-house training (court skills, latest legislation, disrepair, etc), and is a confident mediator (CEDR).

His advice, drafting, and other written work is quick, accurate, and effective in person, on paper, and in court. He is always accessible to clients, welcomes clients’ direct queries and requests, and is happy to give formal or informal frank, pragmatic and tactical advice from before a case is started and while it develops. He is happy to travel, and accept instructions throughout the North-West, North-East, Yorkshire, East Midlands, Lincolnshire, North Wales and, if asked, well beyond.

As well as excelling on substantive law, he is also good on points of civil procedure, evidence, costs, and other aspects of running and winning cases, effectively and economically, getting costs (including wasted costs) against opponents wherever justified.

Housing Law

Residential Possession

Peter deals with all aspects of Residential Possession, including:

  • All residential tenancies or licences
  • Discretionary and mandatory grounds
  • Tenancy fraud
  • Trespassers
  • Public Law Defences, including Human Rights/Proportionality & Equality Act
  • Cases involving tenants lacking mental capacity
  • Hoarding
  • Tenancy breach

Disrepair

Peter deals with all aspects of disrepair, acting on behalf of social landlords (and, albeit less frequently, private sector tenants and landlords) and lessees/lessors, including:

  • Strong, thorough, quick, and effective defences to claims and counterclaims, with quick, reliable advice on merits and quantum
  • Strike-outs (of remedies, experts and cases), allocations, injunctions & and other tactical defence responses
  • Experienced at fighting on paper and in court for public landlords against CFA and other claims-handler cases
  • The new Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018

Anti-Social Behaviour

  • All aspects of the 2014 Act, Parts 1 to 6, including everything to do with injunctions & committals, absolute grounds, Premises Closure orders (houses, flats, legal high shops, brothels, hostels, hotels, etc)
  • Gang Injunctions
  • Protection from Harassment Act 1977
  • Statutory Nuisance (EPA 1990) prosecutions

Additional Areas

  • Injunctions & Committals in relation to tenancy breach (eg, access for repairs, works, gas, electric, hoarding)
  • HMO and selective licensing prosecutions and appeals
  • Unlawful Eviction (for landlord or tenant), including emergency injunctions
  • Right to Buy
  • Vexatious Litigants and other persistent nuisances
  • Succession
  • Leases & Forfeiture, incl applying/opposing relief from forfeiture
  • Mediation
  • Unfair Tenancy Terms and the Consumer Rights Act 2015

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Peter can accept instructions directly from non-solicitors, through Direct Access.

He advises public landlords on tenancy agreements, particularly in relation to unfair tenancy terms.

  • member of Middle Temple Scholarships and Awards Committee
  • member of Lord Neuberger’s Entry to the Bar Committee (Bar Council)
  • member of Derek Woods QC’s Review of Pupillage Committee (Bar Standards Board)
  • received two major Middle Temple scholarships and passed the Bar Vocational Course with “Outstanding” (Manchester, 2003)

Clerking team

Paul McNab

Civil & Criminal Silks' Clerk (Leeds)

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0113 3235 955

Lead Civil Clerk

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0191 245 9589

Lead Employment Clerk & Civil Clerk

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0191 300 9359

Civil Clerk

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0191 245 9556

Clerk (Middlesbrough)

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01642 247 569
  • "He is well organised, methodical and excellent on his feet. He is the go-to barrister for defending housing disrepair claims." "Peter is very efficient and meticulous and pays great attention to detail"

    Chambers & Partners 2022

  • "Highly experienced in both defending and bringing possession claims"

    Legal 500 2021

  • "Covers a wide range of housing cases across the Northern Circuit and further afield. He attracts a wealth of praise for his tenacious approach and skilful handling of clients and witnesses. He is regularly instructed in complex possession claims and anti-social behaviour matters"."He is totally committed to his clients." Social Housing"

    Chambers & Partners 2021

  • "He drafts complex pleadings with tremendous accuracy and a quick turnaround." "He will always fight hard for his clients' interests"

    Chambers & Partners 2020

Fast track trial win against CFA-funded tenant, with costs paid to the social landlord by the CFA solicitor.

Represented the interests of a supported housing scheme run by a national housing association, in a 3-day, Article 2 inquest into the death of a tenant. Involved examination of actions taken by NHS and Probation regarding the diagnosis and treatment of drug-related mental illness.

Injunction, then Possession Order successfully gained in order to remove borderline capacity elderly tenant and mentally ill daughter living in catastrophic squalor from hoarded, neglected and disastrously unhygienic house.

Possession successfully granted after 5-day trial against tenant for abandonment and suspected RTB scam.

Defeated CFA-funded disrepair claim. After 3 successful hearings, the local authority was granted over £10,000 wasted costs against Cobleys solicitor.

Outright possession against secure tenant following long-term unlawful tampering with district heating system.

Successful possession action against young woman in homelessness hostel – involved determining that exclusive right to occupy was neither tenancy nor non-excluded licence.

Civil Restraint Order against housing association’s long-term vexatious complainant tenant.

Long-running case, acting for very vulnerable man who was initially wrongfully imprisoned without representation for alleged breach of anti-social injunction. Successfully resolved in partnership with many other agencies.

Anti-social and criminal secure tenant. Got outright possession at trial, beat tenant’s appeal, defeated tenant’s application to suspend, defeated tenant’s 2nd appeal. Recovered costs for landlord against Legal Aid Agency, twice.

Re-defining the judge’s use of discretion to suspend possession order, particularly when tenant gives dishonest evidence and relies on “landlord inspection” conditions (eg following cannabis farm).

Acted for applicant local authority against 4 defendants to gain Gang-related Violence Injunctions and numerous convictions and custody for breaches.

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