Dispute Resolution and Public Law Powerhouse

4-5 Gray’s Inn Square Chambers is delighted to announce that is has 32 individual rankings across 11 different practice areas in the latest Legal 500 directory. The rankings include mention of 3 members who focus their practice on the Midlands Circuit: Jonathan Manning, Ian Peacock and Annabel Heath.

Over the last 3 decades, we have worked, in a specialist capacity, for local authorities, housing providers, and solicitors, across the Midlands. 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square has a long-established Birmingham base which provides great opportunities for our members and allows us to enhance the service we provide for our Midlands-based clients.

We have maintained our rankings across the board in Local Government (including rating law), dispute resolution > mediators, Elections, Planning, Administrative and Human Rights, Property Litigation, Inquests and Inquiries. We maintain our position as a top tier ranked set in Social Housing. We have also added set ranking in Sport, Shipping, Court of Protection Community Care, and Professional Disciplinary and Regulatory Law. Our members continue to act in some of the defining cases in Local Government, Property Litigation, Inquests and Inquiries, Social Housing, and homelessness law.

In the last year, members have appeared in assorted courts and tribunals, including several appearances in the Court of Appeal, High Court and Supreme Court. Our specialist barristers are supported by our top ranked dispute resolution mediators, who are consistently ranked in the Legal 500 directories. The dispute resolution team is headed up by Colin Manning who is featured in this years Hall of Fame. Colin is in good company with fellow mediators in Chambers; Stephen Barker and Patrick Taylor.

Jonathan Manning
Jonathan Manning is a founder member of 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square and specialises in local government, housing and public law. He has, for many years, been recommended by Legal 500 in the fields of social housing and local government work. Jonathan, together with his colleagues, runs an annual conference in Birmingham, bringing together expert speakers to cover all aspects of homelessness law, including the latest case law updates and insights. Jonathan often acts in cases with a human rights crossover and has dealt with a broad range of notable cases in the Midlands circuit, including the largest gang injunction claim ever brought (Supreme Court March 2023).

Jonathan’s work also includes other gang cases, HMO licence conditions, Art 6 and the standard of proof for civil injunctions (both in the Court of Appeal), judicial review of a landlord licensing scheme, mobile homes possession claims, the redevelopment and disposal of Part II housing stock and other public authority buildings, and a housing benefit appeal to the Upper Tribunal concerning the FTT’s refusal to recognise a representative.

“Jonathan is very experienced and a very good advocate. He presents a case intelligently, clearly and confidently. “ Legal 500

Ian Peacock
Ian specialises in all areas of social housing law with a particular focus on homelessness, housing allocations and public law. He is one of the go-to counsel for Birmingham City Council and alongside Jonathan Manning runs the annual 4-5 Homelessness Conference in Birmingham.

Ian has acted for and advised a number of local authorities in cases involving a wide range of issues. As well as housing cases, he has acted in cases concerning social care, education, data protection.

Ian has appeared in public law cases both in a housing context and in other contexts, including cases relating to education, social care and the firefighters’ pension scheme. Due to the nature of his practice, Ian has a thorough knowledge of the Equality Act 2010 and the Human Rights Act 1998.

“Very clear and thorough advice in which I have complete confidence, highly knowledgeable. Always willing to deal with very urgent matters and to provide urgent advice. Always thoroughly prepared for hearings, even at short notice.” Legal 500

Annabel Heath
Annabel has developed a busy housing, homelessness and public law practice and is very active in the Midlands. She was involved in the first case where the applicant was homeless and transgender. As a former solicitor at an international law firm, Annabel brings a wealth of experience in commercial property disputes and housing litigation.

“Annabel is a dedicated barrister, impressively knowledgeable and a strong advocate. Her written work and spoken advocacy is always thoroughly prepared and excellently researched.’ Legal 500

Senior Clerk, Emily Martin comments:
“4-5 has a long-established and ever-expanding presence in the Midlands. It fantastic that our members are being recognised for their work in this area. We have particular strengths in social housing and homelessness law as well as planning and public law. Our annual conference in Birmingham covers all the latest updates in Homelessness Law and is always well attended. Our offices in Snow Hill have allowed us to extend the services we are able to offer, and we are committed to extending our offering over the next year. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our clients and contacts for their feedback, which has made these results possible. I am extremely proud of our dedicated members and the practice management team which supports them.”