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Paul Hayes

Paul HayesHead of Housing Litigation

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I joined Lewis Silkin in 1992 following a merger with my previous firm Hancock & Willis.

In 1996 I joined the housing and property litigation team and was promoted to Head of Housing Litigation in 2006. Back then I acted for housing associations or Registered Social Landlords or Registered Providers of Social Housing on all housing management issues with, if I'm honest a particular interest in anti-social behavior and what has recently become known as Tenancy Fraud.

More recently and with the explosion of the buy to let market and the private rented sector, I act for all landlords, from RSLs to owners of one flat to PRS landlords and have even advised a Chancellor of the High Court.

I advise and assist clients on all housing and residential management issues from the terms and conditions of tenancy agreements to tenancy deposits, ASB, Data Protection, Equality Act issues, disrepair, enfranchisement, gas safety, Human Rights, HMOs, lease extensions, trespass, succession and much more!

I also deal with a large number of trespass and protestor actions acting recently for retailers in their claims against anti-fur protestors.

Away from work its all about the Hammers – COYI!

Real Estate

I act for landlords. All landlords and according to Legal 500, what I “don’t know about housing is not worth knowing”. I act on contentious – dispute resolution matters, but also regularly on non-contentious issues. Examples of some recent experience are:

  • obtaining possession from travelers of various sites being redeveloped;
  • advising on the terms and conditions of a contractual tenancy of a central London apartment where the annual rent was in the region of £350k;
  • regularly seeking and obtaining ASB injunctions, preventing ASB involving drugs, weapons, assaulting staff, hoarding and noise nuisance;
  • drafting new tenancy agreements and related documents and advising on policies and procedures;
  • seeking and obtaining possession orders for breach of tenancy, ASB, non-occupation and sub-let, disputed succession including claims based on mandatory grounds for possession.

Dispute Resolution

I assist clients with all aspects of dispute resolution, generally property related whether alternative dispute resolution or by issuing proceedings and seeking some relief from the court. Some recent experience includes:

  • various High Court protestor matters, obtaining injunctions to limit protests. For example I act for a number of leading retailers who are the subject of weekly anti-fur demonstrations at their stores. Injunction orders have been obtained to control the protests and balance the retailers’ rights against the protestors’ rights of freedom of expression
  • advising an Energy supplier on its policies and procedures concerning protestors
  • securing possession of a large development site occupied by trespassers
  • enforcement proceedings including charging orders, attachment of earnings orders, third party debt orders, sending the sheriff/bailiff in to recover goods/possessions etc.

Data and Privacy

I regularly advise clients on aspects of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000, including in particular in respect of:

  • covert and overt CCTV
  • non-disclosure provisions and the exemptions
  • subject access requests responding and dealing with the same and what information should be provided particularly where that information contains third party data

Retail, Hospitality & Leisure

I regularly assist and advise clients on the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and related issues such as Human Rights, trespass and nuisance. Examples of some recent experience are:

  • acting for three world famous retailers in separate proceedings who are the subject of weekly anti-fur demonstrations at their stores across England. In both cases protestors had entered stores demonstrating including using loud hailers and carrying placards and banners depicting dead and skinned animals and had caused harassment, alarm and distress to employees and customers. Injunction orders were sought and obtained to limit the protests, to prevent protestors from entering stores and creating exclusion zones around entrances to stores so that members of the public, customers and staff can pass protestors without fear of intimidation
  • advising an energy supplier on its policies and procedures concerning protestors and trespassers
  • assisting a company whose Chief Executive was being harassed by Protestors attending at his home on a regular basis

Awards and Recognition

  • Legal 500 2022 (Property litigation) - ‘Paul Hayes is an outstanding, dedicated and strategic lawyer‘
  • Chambers 2019 Ranked: Social Housing (London)
  • Chambers 2019 - "user-friendly, hard-working and good at managing a case."
  • Chambers 2017 - Ranked - London (Firms), Social Housing
  • Head of housing litigation Paul Hayes frequently handles issues such as anti-social behaviour injunctions, possessions and tenancy fraud. Sources describe him as "very thoughtful and thorough," and add: "He is always willing to work with us, and maintains a good client relationship."
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