Gary Lewis

Year of Call:
2010
Practice areas
  • Business and Property
  • Housing
  • Commercial

"Gary Lewis is an exceptional barrister...has a very keen eye for detail and is always 100% prepared for any case...he is a brilliant advocate and very tenacious."

Chambers and Partners (2024)

"He is an exceptional advocate who pays meticulous attention to detail when preparing cases, as is demonstrated by his impeccable record of outcomes at trial."


"He offers clear, robust and technical legal advice and provides superb advocacy."

Chambers and Partners (2022)



Profile

Background:

Prior to joining Chambers in 2012 Gary lectured Law to students at the undergraduate level. He lectured Commercial Law and Corporate Governance at the University of Liverpool and Criminal Law and Legal Skills at Edge Hill University.

Gary has since developed an extensive and busy court and paper practice with a particular emphasis on housing litigation with cases ranging from the County Court to a number of successful, un-led appearances in the Court of Appeal. In doing so, he is predominately instructed by landlords to deal with a wide range of housing matters including possession; trespass; succession; disrepair; anti-social behavior injunctions and committals. His successes in this area have caused for him to be recognised as “up and coming” by Chambers & Partners.

Alongside his housing practice, Gary has also maintained a busy Business and Property practice from which he receives regular instructions on general property litigation; TOLATA applications; personal and corporate insolvency; partnerships; contractual disputes; interference with goods; insurance law and agency. Gary has also developed a practice dealing with complex contempt of court matters and committal applications beyond those usually associated with his housing practice. Those matters have ranged from the enforcement of commercial and planning injunctions to applications for permission to commence committal proceedings founded on allegations of perjury.

Gary is known for his approachable manner and is more than happy to discuss cases informally prior to instruction. 


Appointments

  • Attorney General panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown (Panel C).


Scholarships / Awards:

  • Lord Denning Scholarship (Lincoln's Inn)

  • Bar Course Accreditation for highest overall score in Civil Litigation (Manchester Metropolitan University)

  • Elizabeth James Scholarship for highest overall Law LLB score (University of Liverpool)

  • Shelford Scholarship (Lincoln's Inn)

  • Hardwick Entrance Award (Lincoln's Inn) 

Areas of practice:

Chancery, Commercial and Housing


Seminars:

During his time with Chambers’ Housing Department, Gary has provided, and continues to provide, a wide range of seminars and training to both solicitors and housing associations on a range of issues both in-house and externally including, among others, the Equality Act 2010; the Localism Act 2011; the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018

Interests:

Gary is a keen sportsman with a particular obsession with football – playing, spectating and even co-founding the "Cobden House Cup"; a quarterly match played between Chambers members and clerks. Away from sport Gary prides himself on his skills in the kitchen.


Testimonial Quotes

Featured in Business Today as being in the Top 10 influential social housing lawyers in the North (2023).

Ranked - Band 2 for Social Housing - Legal 500 - 2024

Gary Lewis is a talented junior receiving instructions on behalf of landlords and tenants in a range of social housing matters. Possession proceedings, homelessness cases and disrepair claims are among his areas of expertise.

Strengths

"Gary Lewis has a very keen eye for detail and is always 100% prepared for any case. His drafting is first-class and he is extremely approachable."

"Gary Lewis is an exceptional barrister and has in-depth knowledge of all social housing areas."

"Gary Lewis is a brilliant advocate and very tenacious. He gives good, practical advice and has a vast knowledge of his specialist area."

- Chambers and Partners - UK Bar 2024

Gary Lewis is a talented junior receiving instructions on behalf of landlords and tenants in a range of social housing matters. Possession proceedings, homelessness cases and disrepair claims are among his areas of expertise."He is very thorough and practical in his approach, handles our clients extremely well and has a sound understanding of the challenges we face in the sector within which we work.""Gary is a formidable advocate, and his acute awareness of all matters housing is nothing short of impressive. You would rather have him with you than against you.""Gary's advice is always clear and helpful, and he regularly achieves excellent outcomes at trial. He is also really friendly and approachable and makes clients feel at ease even with complicated matters."

- Chambers and Partners - UK Bar 2023

Gary is personable, approachable and a really safe pair of hands. He is an exceptional advocate who pays meticulous attention to detail when preparing cases, as is demonstrated by his impeccable record of outcomes at trial. He makes client’s feel at ease with his straightforward, no-nonsense approach and is also flexible and accommodating, often providing urgent advice and support at short notice.

- Legal 500 - 2023

Talented junior receiving instructions on behalf of landlords and tenants in a range of social housing matters. Possession proceedings, homelessness cases and disrepair claims are among his areas of expertise.
Strengths: "He offers clear, robust and technical legal advice and provides superb advocacy."
Recent work: Acted for Onward Homes as it sought an order for possession against a tenant of one of its properties. The individual had been involved in serious criminality having fraudulently claimed close to £750,000 in benefits

- Chambers and Partners - UK Bar 2022

Gary is tenacious, approachable and his advocacy skills are exceptional. He secures outstanding outcomes at trial and has remarkable depth of knowledge.

- Legal 500 - 2022

Talented junior receiving instructions on behalf of landlords and tenants in a range of social housing matters. Possession proceedings, homelessness cases and disrepair claims are among his areas of expertise.

Strengths: "He is intellectually able and a popular choice in this practice area." "He is a star in the making." "He is very practical and down to earth, as well as knowledgeable."

- Chambers and Partners - UK Bar 2021

Talented junior receiving instructions on behalf of landlords and tenants in a range of social housing matters. Possession proceedings, homelessness cases and disrepair claims are among his areas of expertise.
Strengths: "A tenacious advocate and intellectually able." "He will not give up on any case and has a keen attention to detail."

- Chambers and Partners - UK Bar 2020

“Gary’s technical knowledge of landlord and tenant law is excellent and is combined with a very astute tactical approach to cases that makes him an extremely good choice when acting either for landlords or tenants. He prepares thoroughly and advises carefully and gets results – often against the odds, not least through robust cross-examination. When I have instructed Gary, I have always felt that he is fully invested in the case and, needless to say, clients rate him highly. He is approachable and responsive and strongly recommended.” - Philip Walsh – (Partner) Clifford Johnston & Co Solicitors


"I have been instructing Gary, mainly on Housing matters but also on more general civil litigation, since he was called.  I have always found his work to be impeccable and of the highest standard.  He is extremely thorough and always goes above and beyond to assist.  He is very approachable, open and straightforward to communicate with and works flexibly to the clients requirements.  He always makes himself available to respond quickly in a crisis, providing  urgent and robust advice which is invaluable.  I would (and do) heartily recommend him to anyone" - Anthony Hesford - Anchor Housing Trust


“I have had the pleasure of instructing Gary across a wide range of commercial matters from County Court to Court of Appeal. His easy and affable manner is a boon in open Court. It is rare to find Counsel as good with paperwork as on their feet. Deadlines are always met and he acts with a professionalism that defies his relatively young age. A pleasure to instruct.”Paul Lever - Coupe Bradbury


“The Housing Team at MSB Solicitors (formerly Knox Ellis Solicitors) have instructed Gary for many years. He is always personable, articulate and meticulous in his preparation. Gary is someone you want in your corner and offers pragmatic solutions to get the best possible outcomes and is a tenacious and gritty advocate when the case requires it. Quite simply, you know your case and you clients are in safe hands with Gary.”

- Louise Murphy (Head of Social Housing) – MSB Solicitors


“From start to finish Gary handles instructions proactively, creatively and with an excellent eye for detail. He is a robust advocate and exceptionally thorough in his cross-examination. It is rare to find Counsel with such confidence, passion and empathetic intelligence. His supportive and personable nature makes him a firm favourite amongst our client departments.”

- Ria Stevens (Solicitor - Advocate) – Torus62 Limited


“I have had the pleasure of working with Gary on a number of cases. He is accessible, approachable and extremely personable whilst maintaining a high standard of professionalism at all times. He is well versed in all areas of Housing Law and his performance as an advocate is outstanding, always achieving a fantastic result for my clients. His preparation of a case and knowledge of the same is always clear as is his attention to detail in his paperwork. He is quickly able to identify key issues and potential weakness and give very practical advice on any matters he is asked to advise on. He is everything you would want in your Counsel of choice and I would positively recommend Gary to anyone considering instructing him.”

- Victoria Slater (Senior Associate) – Knights plc



“Gary Lewis is a highly intelligent and tenacious litigator. He grasps issues quickly and provides advice in a clear and simple manner. Gary is approachable and an extremely safe pair of hands.”

- Alexandra Goldrein (Solicitor) - Irwin Mitchell LLP

Notable Cases

Housing

 - Dalton -v- Forhousing Limited (Unreported, Manchester County Court,19 June 2023) - Gary represented the successful landlord-defendant in one of the first trials of its kind to consider the application of the unfitness for human habitation provisions during which the parties' experts attended trial for cross-examination. The judgment can be found via the following link:

dalton_-v-_forhousing_judgment__002_.pdf

City West Housing Trust -v- Lindsey Massey & Vincent Roberts -v- Manchester& District Housing Association [2016] EWCA Civ 704 – Gary represented the successful tenants at all stages of the litigation (including both in the Court of Appeal and on paper in the Supreme Court) in cases which concerned the interpretation of the test for suspending possession orders as set out in Sandwell v Hensley [2007] EWCA Civ 1425. In doing so, Gary was the first advocate before Vos LJ to have persuaded him to grant permission in a renewed oral application where he had refused permission on the papers. Further, Gary was co-responsible for drafting the notice of objection and written submissions which were considered by the Supreme Court in dismissing the proposed appeal from the Court of Appeal. The judgment can be found via the following link: 

Smith -v- Contour Homes (Unreported, Manchester C

city_west_-v-_massey_judgment__002_.pdf

ounty Court,12 May 2016) - Gary represented the successful landlord-respondent in one of the first cases of its kind to consider and apply the Supreme Court guidance in Ackerman-Livingstone -v- Aster Communities [2015] UKSC 15 in a residential landlord and tenant context. The judgment can be found via the following link: 

Smith_-v-_contour_homes_judgment.pdf;

-Zeeshan & Zeeshan v Mahmood (27th October 2017, Manchester County Court) - Gary represented the Claimants following an unlawful eviction and secured findings of dishonesty and a judgment in the sum of £36,250. The case note can be found via the following link:

https://nearlylegal.co.uk/2017/10/deposits-lies-unlawful-evictions/

- Represented the Respondent in a 3-day public inquiry concerning the compulsory purchase of a property in Salford which gave rise to issues under the Equality Act 2010

- Represented the successful landlord in resisting allegations of unlawfulness to an urgent anti-social behaviour injunction granted during the COVID-19 pandemic and involving complex issues arising under emergency legislation under the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020.

- Onward Homes -v- McGill (Unreported, St Helens County Court, 25 September 2020) - almost immediately following the lifting of the stay on possession proceedings imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gary represented the landlord at trial and secured an outright possession order in a claim arising out of the serious criminality of a joint tenant at the centre of what is widely reported to be one of the country's biggest ever benefit fraud cases at nearly three-quarters of a million pounds. The news article concerning the collateral criminal proceedings can be found via the following link:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-49151801


Chancery

-Stockport MBC v Alexander & Others (8th August 2023, HHJ Bird, Manchester High Court, Kings Bench Division) - Gary represented the successful Defendant following a two-day contempt trial before the DCJ of Manchester, HHJ Bird. The committal application sought an order for immediate imprisonment alleging the breach of a mandatory planning injunction granted under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Although breach was admitted, Gary persuaded the Court that the contempt was not made out to the criminal standard based upon a defence of impossibility and the fact that a document required to be submitted to comply with the injunction did not exist as at the date fixed for compliance.

-Deb-Nath v Das(4th October 2022, HHJ Gosnell, Leeds County Court) -Gary represented the successful Defendant in resisting an application for permission to pursue a committal application following a finding of fundamental dishonesty at trial. The application was dismissed on technical grounds and as not being in the public interest in the circumstances where the insurer did not have sufficient subrogation rights to issue an application in the name of the insured and where there had been non-compliance with the requirements of CPR Part 81 when issuing the application. The judgment can be found on Westlaw and via the following link:

deb-nath_-v-_das_approved_transcript_of_judgment.pdf

- Acted for claimant homeowners throughout long-running, multi-track boundary dispute proceedings. Gary secured favourable declaratory relief, damages and a costs order following a settlement meeting less than a month before a 4-day trial listing

- Represented the estate in its successful opposition to an application for permission to issue a claim out of time under Section 4 of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 in circumstances where there had been a 4-month delay

- Appeared as a junior in a 10-day trial in the High Court concerning allegations of fraud in the execution of a trust deed

- Represented Defendants in complex multi-track proceedings in which the Claimant sought to set aside the transfer of a property on the grounds of mistake, non-est factum and duress. Despite being listed for 4 days, Gary was successful in having the claim dismissed following half a day cross-examining the Claimant

- Represented the Defendant in a complex 4-day mortgage possession case concerning the application of the "unfair relationship" provisions and evidential issues between the parties spanning over 20 years

- Represented the Applicant in obtaining a worldwide freezing inunction in the High Court arising out allegations of undue influence and the transfer of significant assets in Pakistan

- Secured a six-figure settlement with enforceable security for a mortgagee the day before a 3-day trial listing in multi-track proceedings where the enforceability of the mortgage was in issue due to, amongst other things, alleged regulation under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation. 


Commercial

- As part of his Attorney General Panel work, Gary has represented the Secretary of State for Business and Trade in a number of notable cases arising out of directors securing COVID-19 bounce-back loans on fraudulent bases. These include securing four conjoined winding-up orders on public interest grounds and a 9 year disqualification order in High Court proceedings.

Nambiar v Solitair Limited [2002] EWCA Civ 1135, [2021] EWHC 49 (Comm) – Gary was instructed by the appellant first in respect of sentencing in the High Court and later on paper and in person as an unled junior in the Court of Appeal. The complex case concerned, in part, committal proceedings and a finding of contempt of court in respect of an interim injunction granted in the Circuit Commercial Court as a result of allegations of breach of fiduciary duties, the misuse of confidential information and the misappropriation of funds. The judgments can be found via the following links: https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Comm/2021/49.html / https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2022/1135.html

- Christiana Properties Limited -v- Annauth [2017] EWCA Civ 1070 – Gary represented the successful appellant on appeal in the Court of Appeal in a case which concerned the construction of a compromise agreement relating to the repayment of rent arrears arising out of a commercial lease between the appellant-landlord, the respondent-tenant and a third party guarantor. The judgment can be found via the following link: christiana_properties_limited_-v-_annauth_[2017]_ewca_civ_1070.pdf

- Acted for a commercial estate agent in a multi-day trial before HHJ Beech in a case concerning the enforceability of a sole selling rights agreement entered into in respect of a multimillion pound business sale which included, amongst other things, allegations of mistake and misrepresentation. Gary secured a six figure settlement for his client after the third day of trial despite both liability and quantum initially being disputed in full

- Gary was led by Stephen Cogley QC in the High Court before His Honour Judge Hodge QC and was successful in securing the dismissal of a winding-up petition in the sum of over £400,000 arising out of a complex dispute concerning allegations of unlawful eviction and breach of fiduciary duty by an alleged co-venturer.

- Represented the Applicant-liquidator in obtaining a freezing injunction and a search and seizure order arising out of litigation in the High Court concerning the alleged transfer of intellectual property rights

- Represented the Applicant-liquidator in director misfeasance proceedings against three directors in the High Court. Gary was successful in opposing an application for relief from sanction by one of the Respondent-directors in circumstances where a disclosure deadline had been missed by 1 day

- Represented the Respondent-director in director disqualification proceedings listed for 5-days in the High Court


- Represented the successful commercial landlord in multi-day, six-figure rent recovery proceedings defended in reliance upon rent suspension provisions within the lease alongside arguments of estoppel and surrender by operation of law


Qualifications

Bar Course: Very Competent

Degree: University of Liverpool Law 
LLB (Hons) (First Class)




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