He's a really good advocate, a walking encyclopaedia of housing law.

Overview

Andrew is a housing law specialist who is renowned for his work representing tenants, other occupiers, applicants for housing, and those who are homeless.  His broader practice includes human rights law, public law and discrimination law. Andrew is particularly recognised for his “encyclopaedic” knowledge of housing law, his commitment to the best interests of those he represents, his preparation and the effectiveness of his work.

Andrew is committed to assisting the disadvantaged and those in need of legal assistance. Before joining Chambers, Andrew undertook pro bono employment work with the Free Representation Unit, was a volunteer at the Prisoners’ Advice Service, and was a volunteer at the Louisiana Crisis Assistance Centre, USA working on death row cases and other wrongly detained prisoners. Andrew's work in the USA was praised by Reprieve’s Clive Stafford Smith (see The Young Britons Who Do Time On Death Row -The Times) in the following terms: "Andrew Byles spent several months working alone in a small Louisiana town ...Byles visited all 1,200 prisoners being held on remand in the local jail, to assess the quality (or absence) of their legal representation. He became a local hero when his work resulted in the release of more than 50 people who had been held without trial (and often without seeing a lawyer) longer than the maximum sentence that could have been imposed.

Andrew was shortlisted for the Bar Pro Bono Award 2010 and continues to undertake pro bono work in cases where other funding is not available.

Housing

Andrew has over 12 years’ experience undertaking representation and advisory work for tenants, other occupiers, applicants for housing, and those who are homeless. He is a housing law specialist who covers the full range of housing law work, including:

  • Housing and homelessness related judicial reviews;
  • Homelessness appeals;
  • Appeals against first instance housing decisions;
  • Possession proceedings, including those defendable on human rights, public law, Equality Act grounds, and/or defective notices seeking possession;
  • Housing related discrimination;
  • Housing related procedure (see, for example, Birmingham City Council v Mondhlani [2015] EW Misc B41 (CC) (06 November 2015);
  • Unlawful eviction and harassment;
  • Disrepair;
  • Injunction applications and committal hearings; and
  • Closure orders.

Andrew, who is usually willing to accept housing instructions funded by way of a conditional fee agreement, is experienced in acting on behalf of those with diminished capacity (including through instructions from the Official Solicitor); representing that those with mental health issues; and representing those who are vulnerable, whether as a result of disability, addiction, age or homelessness or who speak little or no English.

Andrew is listed in Chambers and Partners as a notable practitioner in social housing in the North after receiving ‘significant approval from market sources.’

Public law (judicial review)

Andrew specialises in housing and homelessness related judicial reviews for tenants, other occupiers, applicants for housing, and those who are homeless. Examples of his work include challenging the lawfulness of housing allocation schemes and failures on the part of local authorities to accommodate those seeking homelessness assistance.

Discrimination

Andrew specialises in housing related discrimination claims, often acting for disabled tenants and occupants facing eviction or injunction proceedings.

Injunctions and breaches of injunction

Andrew is experienced in defending applications for injunctions and breaches of injunctions.

Memberships

  • Anti-Slavery International;
  • Legal Action Group;
  • Liberty;
  • Howard League for Penal Reform; and
  • Reprieve.

 

Recommendations

Has significant experience of acting on behalf of tenants and other occupiers across a diverse range of housing matters, including possession orders, homelessness appeals and unlawful evictions. He is a particularly skilled representative of vulnerable clients, including the homeless, those with mental health issues and individuals who speak little or no English. Strengths: "Has an excellent knowledge of housing law and his pleadings are prompt and carefully crafted." "An extremely pragmatic and realistic advocate." Recent work: Acted in a case concerning Birmingham City Council's use of High Court Sheriffs to evict secure tenants.Chambers and Partners 2018
Has significant experience of acting on behalf of tenants and other occupiers across a diverse range of housing matters. He is a particularly skilled representative of vulnerable clients, including the homeless, those with mental health issues and individuals who speak little or no English. Strengths: "Very good at articulating his arguments, pragmatic and sensible when it comes to trial." "He will take what might be described as unusual points and run them well. He is very good at managing the clients."Chambers and Partners 2017
Renowned for his work on behalf of tenants. His broader practice includes experience within human rights, public law and equality law. Strengths: "He's a really good advocate, a walking encyclopaedia of housing law."Chamber and Partners 2016
Acts exclusively for social housing tenants and occupiers on matters including those involving antisocial behaviour, nuisance and homelessness. Expertise: "He is the walking, talking dictionary of housing law who never stops working." "Excellent knowledge and then did everything he could above and beyond from the court work."Chambers and Partners 2015
Enters the rankings this year having received significant approval from market sources. He has much experience in acting for tenants and other occupiers in a range of cases, including those involving antisocial behaviour, nuisance and homelessness matters. Expertise: "He's well prepared and a strong advocate both in court and on paper." "He's very approachable and proactive, and has real, practical knowledge."Chambers and Partners 2014

 

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