Sonia is personable and approachable. She is a calm and flexible advocate.


Sonia Birdee is a specialist in challenging discrimination arising in the context of housing and claimant led actions. She has acted to safeguard the rights of tenants and those seeking housing across the full spectrum of housing law for over 15 years

Sonia acts for claimants in discrimination actions across most aspects of the Equality Act 2010.

She acts in judicial review proceedings and proceedings raising public law and human rights issues.  She acts for claimants in claims against the police.

Sonia undertakes publicly funded work and CFA work and was appointed to the Equality Human Rights Commission panel of preferred counsel in 2019.

Sonia is ranked as a Tier 2 Leading Junior for Social housing by The Legal 500 and in Band 2 for Social housing by Chambers and Partners.

Sonia read jurisprudence at Wadham College, Oxford and completed the bar vocational course at the University of the West of England.

Housing & Homelessness

Sonia is an experienced and well-respected housing practitioner with over 15 years’ experience. She represents tenants and homeless applicants across the full range of housing law and appears at all levels from county court to High Court and from first instance to appeal.

Sonia has a multi-disciplinary practice which includes community care and discrimination, areas which frequently overlap with her housing practice.  She has particular expertise in cases involving the Equality Act 2010 and was appointed to the EHRC panel in 2019. She is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor.

Sonia presented a session about disability discrimination in Housing law at the 2017 JUSTICE conference. She regularly provides housing law training.

Sonia is ranked as a Tier 2 Leading Junior by The Legal 500 and in Band 2 by Chambers and Partners.


Sonia represents claimants who have experienced discrimination in breach of the Equality Act 2010 and her practice includes all of the protected characteristics and all duties, save for employment, within that Act.

Sonia has expertise in dealing with discrimination in a housing law context and has extensive experience in dealing with mental health in the context of disability and the overlap with community care.

Sonia was on the management committee of the Discrimination Law Association, Manchester branch between 2017 and 2019.

Sonia is on the Equality Human Rights Commission panel of preferred counsel

Examples of Sonia’s work include:

  • X v Pub Y (2021) – A group of Irish Travellers were refused entry into a pub on the grounds of their ethnicity.  Claim for direct race discrimination is ongoing;
  • X v Airline Y (2020) – Airline contacted police on landing to deal with passenger who removed face mask after developing breathing difficulties connected with cystic fibrosis;
  • X v University of Y: Settlement in a case between a profoundly deaf student and her University about reasonable adjustments;
  • X v Holiday company Y: Settlement in a case between a Gypsy family and a large holiday company about the refusal to provide a holiday on the grounds of race; and
  • X(by his litigation friend Y) v Shop Z: Settlement in a case between a child and a large store about disability discrimination following attempts to prevent the child from using his wheelchair in the store.

Public law

Sonia represents applicants in judicial review proceedings most commonly in community care.  She has extensive experience of dealing more broadly with public law arguments in a housing law context.

Civil actions against the police & public authorities

Sonia is instructed to represent claimants in all aspects of claims against the police. In trials, she is able to draw on her experience as a criminal defence advocate when she developed an expertise in cross examination of police officers.

Examples of Sonia’s work include:

  • X v Chief Constable of Y Constabulary: Settlement in a claim for damages for unlawful arrest and detention and assault arising out of unlawful stop and searches and arrest without proper grounds for involvement in an offence committed by a sole offender; and
  • X v Chief Constable of Y Constabulary: Settlement in claim for damages arising out of unlawful arrest and detention wherein Claimant was seriously injured during arrest after scuffle with arresting officer resulted in Claimant falling down an embankment. Resultant injuries caused permanent scarring.

Community care & mental health

Sonia acts in community care cases particularly where they overlap with housing law.

Privacy Notice

Sonia’s Privacy Notice may be viewed by clicking here.


Sonia is personable and approachable. She is a calm and flexible advocate.Chambers and Partners 2023
Sonia's advice is forthright, practical and solutions focused.Chambers and Partners 2023
'Able to assimilate large quantities of material, and get to the key issues. Realistic, reasonable advocate.'The Legal 500, 2022
Sonia was very good at relating to the family in a particularly sensitive case.


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