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Lou Crisfield, Miles & Partners Solicitors, London

Lou Crisfield

Partner

Languages:

English

Recent and notable cases

Expertise and experience

Lou is a partner and an experienced caseworker, specialising in social welfare housing law, public law and community care law. She represents clients in courts at all levels including the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

Lou represents adults and families who are homeless, facing eviction or in a dispute with their landlord. She also represents vulnerable adults and children in respect of their rights to services under community care law.

The types of cases that Lou has been involved in include:

  • homelessness applications under Part VII Housing Act 96 including county court appeals and judicial review;
  • applications by families with no recourse to public funds for housing and assistance under s17 Children Act 1989;
  • applications by vulnerable adults with no recourse to public funds for housing and assistance under community care law;
  • defending tenants in possession proceedings;
  • bringing claims for works and damages for disrepair;
  • representing tenants in tenancy deposit disputes;
  • housing allocation disputes and challenges to decisions including judicial review;
  • applications for asylum support; and
  • representing children and care leavers who are seeking housing and support from their local authorities.

Lou has been a trainer for the homeless charity Shelter since 2004. She has also written and delivered training for HLPA (Housing Law Practitioners Association). Her training has included courses on:

  • housing rights and domestic abuse;
  • homeless children and the Children Act 1989;
  • the Care Act 2014;
  • homelessness;
  • disrepair;
  • security of tenure; and
  • young people’s housing rights.

In 2016, Lou was awarded Social Welfare Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year by the Legal Aid Practitioners Group.

Legal 500

Lou Crisfield is recognised in the 2023 Legal 500 as a ‘very highly-regarded’ ‘recommended lawyer’ with a wide range of expertise ‘across a range of areas, including family law, community care and mental health’ enabling her to advise ‘on a range of interconnected issues’. She also received these testimonials:

‘Lou Crisfield is one of the very best housing lawyers in social housing, and one of the best to work with.’

‘Lou Crisfield is amazing. She is a pleasure to work with as she prepares a case fully. I always recommend her and Rajea whenever someone is looking for a safe pair of hands.’

Chambers UK

Lou is ranked in Band 2 in the Chambers UK 2023 Guide. It describes

how she is ‘well known for her strength in social housing law, while also offering complementary expertise in public and community care law. She advises on homelessness applications as well as possession proceedings and housing allocation disputes.

Clients and referees have described her strengths as:

  • She explains to client the options and strategies with a high degree of detail. She carefully explains all possible outcomes so that the client is best informed before making a choice.”
  • “Lou Crisfield is brilliant and very passionate about what she does.”’
  • “She is very good with vulnerable clients, diligent and tenacious.”

 

1995 - 1997
Housing and welfare benefits worker for MIND
1997 - 2012
Caseworker for Tower Hamlets Law Centre
2004
Trainer for Shelter
2012
Joined Miles & Partners
2016
Awarded Social Welfare Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year by Legal Aid Practitioners Group
2020-2023
Ranked in Chambers & Partners UK
2021
Became Partner

Approach and ethos

I am committed to legal aid and to free access to justice.  I see legal remedies as one of a range of practical tools that can be used to obtain good outcomes for clients in housing / social welfare need. The law is rarely the only answer, and I try to work in collaboration with the client and other agencies who are taking other vital steps to address the problem (for example with help claiming benefits, accessing services, advocating with social services).

What clients say

Accolades, accreditations and memberships