Robert Brown

Call: 2008

Robert was called to the Bar in 2008. He joined Selborne Chambers in 2018 after developing a practice in the areas of landlord and tenant, property, housing and public law. He has appeared in the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal/ First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber), Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber), county courts, High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, and advised on a wide range of issues.

He is a co-author of Quiet Enjoyment: Protection from Rogue Landlords, 8th edition (LAG, 2017) and Judicial Review Proceedings: A Practitioner’s Guide, 3rd edition (LAG, 2013). He has been an editor of the Housing Law Reports and contributor to Arden & Partington on Housing Law (Sweet & Maxwell).

Robert has been recommended for property litigation and social housing in the Legal 500 and has also been recommended in Chambers and Partners. Recent editions have described him as “Very good on difficult points of law and also very approachable” and a “highly knowledgeable junior, who is not afraid of making a challenging argument”. They have also said that he “Provides very intelligent, comprehensive advice and is very good on strategy” and that he “is very bright, thoughtful and has a considered approach.”

He was appointed a Deputy District Judge in 2019 sitting in the Midlands Circuit.

Robert accepts Public Access instructions in appropriate cases.

  • Landlord & Tenant

    Robert regularly acts for and advises private landlords, local authorities, housing associations and tenants. He has acted in complex forfeiture cases and has also advised and represented both landlords and tenants in relation to business tenancies.

    He has appeared in the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal/ First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) and in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber)in cases concerning enfranchisement, the right to manage, service charges, consultation requirements, variation of leases and the appointment of a manager. He also regularly advises on these matters and other leasehold issues, such as the application of the Leasehold Property (Repairs Act) 1938, and provides training on a wide range of similar topics. He has recently been involved in a case raising issues of unjust enrichment, good faith change of position, and limitation in relation to leasehold matters.

    Robert also works on a wide range of issues that can come up in the context of landlord and tenant disputes, such as a recent claim for delivery up of documents based on breach of express and implied terms in a management agreement, as well as acting for a freeholder in a case concerning the dormant company regime under Companies Act 2006 and alleged ultra vires acts.

    Robert advises and acts on behalf of both landlords and tenants on all aspects of housing law, including possession claims, injunctions to restrain anti-social behaviour, disrepair, harassment, unlawful eviction and homelessness. He has recently assisted a local housing authority with their implementation of new systems following the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 and has drafted new occupancy agreements for another local authority.

    Other recent work in this area includes advising on requirements in relation to gas safety certificates and energy performance certificates for rented residential properties and acting in a claim for damages for fraudulent misrepresentation which had led to the grant of a tenancy.

  • Real Property

    Robert has experience of a wide range of property law matters, including adverse possession, boundary disputes, mortgages, orders for sale, trusts of land, easements, and inheritance disputes.

    Recent cases that he has been involved in have concerned issues such as parking easements, right to light and the Waldram method, the interpretation and enforceability of restrictive covenants, registration of a right of way, bridging loans, trespass, as well as related matters concerning company law, agency, and estoppel by convention.

    He has recently advised the freeholder of the common parts of a large development with regard to their Memorandum and Articles of Association, restrictive covenants and freehold land, as well as advising a joint freeholder on Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.

    Robert has also advised on a case relating to a right to park, where it was alleged that a declaration and injunction were obtained by fraud.

    His mortgage-related work includes acting for a bridging loan lender in a case where the validity of the loan agreement is disputed and issues are raised concerning regulated mortgage contracts and data protection legislation.


  • Notable Cases

    Howell v Hughes Court of Appeal, July 2021

    (bankruptcy; reasonableness of refusing an offer)

    Aviva Investors Ground Rent GP Ltd v Williams [2021] EWCA Civ 27; [2021] 1 WLR 2061

    (service charges; apportionment; tribunal jurisdiction)

    Prempeh v Lakhany [2020] EWCA Civ 1422; [2021] 1 WLR 1055

    (notice requirements; possession procedure)

    Laskar v Prescot Management Co Ltd [2020] UKUT 241 (LC)

    (tribunal procedure; costs)

    Notting Hill Finance Ltd v Sheikh [2019] EWCA Civ 1337; [2019] 4 WLR 146

    (possession claims; approach to appeals)

    Howell v Hughes [2019] EWHC 1559 (Ch); [2019] BPIR 1211

    (whether to stay execution of bankruptcy order pending appeal)

    Piper v South Bucks DC [2018] EWCA Civ 1616; [2019] PTSR 279

    (homelessness; reviews; principle of legality)

    Santos-Albert v Ochi [2018] EWHC 1277 (Ch); [2018] 4 WLR 88

    (charging orders; slip rule)

    Parissis v Blair Court St John’s Wood (Management) Ltd Central London County Court, October 2017

    (Quistclose trust; unjust enrichment; limitation)

    Jetha v Basildon Court Residents Co Ltd [2017] UKUT 58 (LC)

    (estoppel by convention)

    Evans v Kensington & Chelsea RLBC [2016] EWCA Civ 653

    (homelessness; interpretation of statutory guidance)

    Haile v Waltham Forest LBC [2015] UKSC 34; [2015] AC 1471

    (homelessness; statutory interpretation)

    Clarke v Birmingham CC, Court of Appeal, October 2014

    (construction of contract; trespass)

    R (Alansi) v Newham LBC [2014] EWCA Civ 786

    (allocations; legitimate expectation)

    R (Greenwich Community Law Centre) v Greenwich LBC [2012] EWCA Civ 496; [2012] EqLR 572

    (public sector equality duty; legal advice services)

    R (Greenwich Community Law Centre) v Greenwich LBC [2011] EWHC 3463 (Admin); (2012) 156(1) SJLB 31

    (public sector equality duty; tendering; procurement; legal advice services)

    Hounslow LBC v Powell [2011] UKSC 8; [2011] 2 AC 186

    (homelessness; housing; art.8, ECHR; Human Rights Act 1998)

  • Recommendations

    Recommended for Social Housing in Chambers & Partners 2018:

    “Very thorough and knows the areas in a lot of detail. You can instruct him and feel confident he will do a fine job.”

    “Very good on difficult points of law and also very approachable.”

    Recommended for Social Housing in Chambers & Partners 2017:

    “He is an impressive junior who has appeared in courts at all levels”

    “Strengths: ‘When handling more complex cases, he projects a real air of confidence and gives the best possible advice.’ ‘Completely on top of the law and a calm, careful advocate.’”

    Recommended for Social Housing in Chambers & Partners 2016:

    “Noted for his intellectual rigour and his personable approach.”

    “He’s exceptionally bright and extremely able.”

    Recommended for Property Litigation and for Social Housing in Legal 500 2017

    “He is very bright, thoughtful and has a considered approach.”

    Recommended for Social Housing in Legal 500 2016

    Recommended for Social Housing in Legal 500 2015:

    “He gets results time and time again.”

    Recommended for Social Housing in Chambers & Partners 2015:

    “a junior who ‘punches above his call year.’

    Expertise: ‘He is quick on his feet and passionate about his public work.’ ‘He’s commercially astute and considers the final objective.’”

    Recommended for Social Housing in Chambers & Partners 2014:

    “He is considered a go-to junior with instructing solicitors underscoring client care skills: ‘He really understands their objective and legal position.’

    Expertise: ‘He’s terribly knowledgeable about housing policy and legislation.’”

  • Chambers and Partners 2022
  • Legal 500 2022