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Justin Bates

Call: 2003
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Practice Summary

Justin’s practice covers all aspects of housing, property and local government law.  He is the Deputy General Editor of the Encyclopaedia of Housing Law and is the author or co-author of a number of other books and annotated statutes.

In recent years, he has given evidence on housing law reform to the All Parliamentary Committees on both Legal Aid and the Private Rented Sector; the Welsh Assembly on the Renting Homes (Wales) Act; and the House of Lords on housing and the Equality Act 2010. He co-drafted the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 for Karen Buck MP and continues to provide legislative and policy support to the Shadow housing team. He has appeared on various BBC news and current affairs programmes discussing housing law. In 2019/20, he worked on the Right to Manage reform proposals produced by the Law Commission.

Justin is also one of a small number of barristers appointed to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Panel Counsel in 2019. He is an active supporter of Advocate (the Bar Pro Bono Unit) and, in 2020, was nominated for the “Pro Bono Junior of the Year” award.


Justin is recommended for property and housing law in both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500. He is a “Star Individual” in the present edition of Chambers & Partners and has been since 2016. He is a leading junior in the Legal 500 and has been since 2011. He is the Deputy General Editor of the Encyclopedia of Housing Law, the co-author of Leasehold Disputes and various other works. He is has written legislation, given evidence to Parliament and the Welsh Assembly and worked with the Law Commission on the leasehold reform programme.

He is particularly familiar with the work of the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal/First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) and has appeared in a number of reported Lands Tribunal/Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) and Court of Appeal cases concerning leasehold disputes, including most of the major Right to Manage cases.


Justin has acted in Supreme Court cases for both occupiers and landlords in major human rights cases. He recently gave evidence to the House of Lords Committee on the Equality Act 2010 and regularly appears in the High Court on Housing Act 2004 judicial review challenges. He is also regularly instructed in relation to judicial review claims against the Upper Tribunal. His public law work usually overlaps with property law.


Co-author – Homelessness and Allocations (12th edition, as he has been since the 10th edition)

Co-author – Halsbury’s Laws of England (Volume 69, Local Government)

Co-author – Leasehold Disputes

Contributor – Arden & Partington on Housing Law

Contributor – Local Government, Constitutional and Administrative Law (Sweet & Maxwell, 2nd edition, 2008)

Deputy General Editor – Encyclopaedia of Housing Law

Various Current Law statutes, including Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013, Mortgage Repossession (Protection of Tenants, etc) Act 2010, Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 and Greater London Authority Act 2007


Chambers & Partners 2022 – “He is very much in demand, extremely friendly, a good speaker and he can convey complex concepts. He is well received by clients.” “His advocacy is a model of incisive concision.”; “He is recognised as being one of the go-to people if you have a difficult case and he is a genuine enthusiast for the law.” “Justin is extremely experienced. I doubt there is any barrister who knows more about leasehold issues. He is extremely clear in his advice to clients.”

Legal 500 2022 –”Justin is a brilliant advocate. He manages to simplify complex legal arguments to a level which the lay client can follow. He really is a QC in the making.”; “Knowledge of the field and the law is second to none. Very quick to appraise a potential case, strengths and weaknesses. Not afraid to argue a novel point of law. Advice is eminently clear and considered. Gains the confidence of clients instantly.”

Chambers & Partners 2021 “He is a brilliant advocate and manages to simplify complex legal arguments to a level which the lay client can follow. He is very knowledgeable and committed to doing the best for his client.” “Clients are very fond of him and like using him.” “Simply excellent.” “Very solid on service charges.”

Chambers & Partners 2020 – “A fantastic lawyer who is an encyclopaedic source of knowledge and has been instrumental in many cases of housing law.” “He is incredibly enthusiastic and he has a real passion for the sector.” “On leasehold matters he is absolutely excellent – his knowledge is formidable.” “He is a walking encyclopaedia. He knows the law inside out and always has the answer.”

Chambers & Partners 2019 – “The go-to person for anything relating to leasehold and shared ownership disputes.” “Has fantastic technical knowledge.” “Wonderfully clear-headed and persuasive in service charge disputes.” “He really pushes the boundaries and goes the extra mile.”

Chambers & Partners 2018 – “Distinguished by the depth of his experience… his knowledge of the law is second to none.” He is a “walking encyclopaedia of service charge and leasehold law”.

Chambers & Partners 2017There is “no one better for service charge disputes”, He is “… technically and academically one of the leading barristers in the trade” and is “absolutely on top of the law and always willing to try inventive approaches”.

Chambers & Partners 2016 – Justin “impresses through his sheer depth of knowledge on landlord and tenant matters and demonstrates real enthusiasm for his subject matters, which is entirely captivating. The manner in which he expresses his advice allows and enables his audience to not only engage with him, but also to access and understand what is being said.” “If you want someone to fight your client’s corner, it’s him. He is incredibly articulate.” “There is nothing about housing and property law he doesn’t know.”

Chambers & Partners 2015 – Justin has a “genuine interest in the development of the law”; he is “noted for his expertise in human rights issues” and is “widely recognised as one of the best of his generation.”

Chambers & Partners 2014 – “He is extremely quick, bright and able – for tricky points of law, he’s superb.” He has “…an unrivalled level of knowledge and expertise on anything to do with service charges… [and] brings real energy and drive – he’s unstoppable!”

Chambers & Partners 2013 – “like a terrier” once he gets a brief, and “handles a large amount of work for someone of his call” he “astounds clients with the detail of his knowledge and with his very clear and concise advice”

Chambers & Partners 2012 – “Clever, very user-friendly and so quick in his advice”.

Chambers & Partners 2011 – “Incredibly enthusiastic and passionate about this area of law and is able to provide a new twist to old problems.” Peers respect his fearless approach and personable nature, and all agree that his is “definitely going places at the Bar”.

Chambers & Partners 2010 –  “Professional, expert and easily approachable”.

Chambers & Partners 2009 – An “expert” on LVT proceedings.

Legal 500, 2020 – “He is a walking encyclopedia on residential landlord and tenant law.” And “‘Justin is a QC in the making. The move to Landmark is great for him and he continues to be leagues ahead of his contemporaries. Clever, easy to deal with and gives confident advice. He is realistic – a really good blend.”

Legal 500, 2019 A go-to junior before he becomes a QC, which he inevitably will be. “and A walking, talking encyclopaedia of landlord and tenant law.”

Legal 500, 2018 – ‘A great blend of enthusiasm, humanity and ability; truly exceptional”; His knowledge of residential landlord and tenant matters is second to none.

Legal 500, 2017 – “…a superbly knowledgeable, imaginative and creative lawyer who is at the forefront of the sector [and] who is very much liked by clients”.

Legal 500, 2016 – “A walking encyclopaedia of housing law” with “the ability to always get the Tribunal panel on side”.

Legal 500 2015 – described as “knowledgeable” with “impressive” subject knowledge.

Legal 500 2014 – described as an “effective, measured and clear advocate” and “…encyclopaedic without being nerdy”.

Legal 500 2013 – described as “outstanding” and “one of the best of his generation”

Legal 500 2011 & 2012 – Leading Junior (Property)


  • BA (Oxon); LL.M (Toronto)
  • Pupil supervisor

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