The Northern Housing Conference: Housing law update, homelessness and the role of the law

North West Housing Law Practitioners Group invites you to attend their annual conference on Wednesday 19th September 2018 between 9.30am and 4.30pm, which will again deliver a day of authoritative updates and commentary from a range of leading practitioners experienced in housing law.


9.30 to 10am Registration 
10.00 to 10.45am Housing law: a view from the bench – His Honour Judge Bird

HHJ Bird is the Designated Civil Judge and Senior Circuit Judge at Manchester Civil and Family Justice Centre. Judge Bird was called to the Bar in 1991 and was a member of Kings’ Chambers. He was appointed as a recorder in 2008, a circuit judge in 2011 and a specialist circuit judge in 2013.

Judge Bird will provide a judicial perspective of the challenges the judiciary faces when dealing with housing cases. This will be an invaluable insight into the thought processes of a judge determining a housing case and will be helpful to anyone who attends court to represent a party in a case involving housing law.

10.45 to 11.30am The law surrounding houses in multiple occupation – Alice Richardson

Alice Richardson is a barrister specialising in housing, property and public law. She has a particular interest in cases involving discrimination, human rights and public law/judicial review. Alice also undertakes regulatory work in the housing, property and local government sectors. She has particular experience advising on licensing schemes under the Housing Act 2004. In March 2018 Alice was appointed to the Attorney General’s Regional Panel of Counsel and is regularly instructed by the Government Legal Department.

11.30 to 11.45am Morning break
11.45 to 12.45pm Housing law update, including the early days of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 in practice – John Gallagher

John Gallagher qualified as a solicitor in 1976, has worked at Shelter since 1995 and is now the principal solicitor at Shelter’s Legal Services Team. He has been involved in many leading cases, including interventions on behalf of Shelter, and he advises on policy issues. He was named Housing Lawyer of the Year at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards in 2014 and has been renamed by Jan Luba QC as the Housing Lawyer of the Decade. John is a contributor to LAG’s Defending Possession Proceedings.

12.45 to 1.45pm Lunch

1.45 to 2.30pm

Absolute possession orders and how to avoid them – James Stark

James Stark is a barrister at Garden Court North Chambers who specialises in all aspects of housing law. James was counsel for Mr Pinnock in the leading case of Manchester City Council v Pinnock and has considerable experience of successfully defending cases brought against those with no security of tenure. He was a finalist at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards in 2018.

2.30 to 3.15pm The Homes (Fitness for Habitation) Bill – Giles Peaker

Giles Peaker is a housing and public law solicitor and partner at Anthony Gold Solicitors. He is the editor of the “Nearly Legal: Housing Law News and Comment” website and the former chair of the Housing Law Practitioners Association. Giles was named Housing Lawyer of the Year at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards in 2018.

3.15 to 3.30pm Afternoon break
3.30 to 4.15pm Panel session
4.15 to 4.30pm Discussion/questions

Cost (inclusive of refreshments and lunch)

£100 for solicitors and barristers.

£50 for not for profit sector.


To book places at the conference, please complete and return this Booking Form to the address in the form. Alternatively, you can return the form, marked for attention of Ben Taylor, by email to or by fax to 0161 2573239 and pay on the day.


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When: 19 Sep 2018
Where: The Harwood Room, The Harwood Room, Barnes Wallace Building, The University of Manchester, Sackville Street Campus, Manchester, M1 4JA
Start time: 09:30
End time: 16:30

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