Emma Godfrey

Call: 1995

Emma is a civil and public law practitioner with particular specialisms in housing, local government and property law. She undertakes advocacy, drafting and advisory work for a wide range of clients, including local authorities, public and private sector landlords and tenants, companies and individuals. She has experience of appearing in courts and tribunals at all levels, from the FTT and county court to the House of Lords.

Emma is recommended as a leading junior for social housing in Legal 500 (ranked consistently since 2015) and Chambers and Partners (ranked consistently since 2018).

She has been co-author of Tolley’s Claims to the Possession of Land since 2000.

She is able to accept direct access instructions within her areas of specialism.

If you would like more information about Emma’s practice, please contact her clerks or call +44 (0)20 7405 6114.


Areas of expertise


Emma is recommended in Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 as a leading junior in social housing. She has considerable experience in all areas of housing work, including:

Public Law and Local Government

Emma regularly acts in judicial review claims with a particular emphasis on housing, community care and the provision of support under Part III Children Act 1989. She also appears in cases concerning disputed age assessments.


Emma has been co-author of Tolley’s “Claims to the Possession of Land” (5th Edn) for over 20 years. Her practice encompasses all areas of residential and commercial landlord and tenant litigation including:

Emma also undertakes cases concerning adverse possession, mortgages and the priority of interests in land, rights of way, and TLATA claims.

Cases of Interest

(Court of Appeal; assessment of affordability of accommodation for the purposes of determining whether an applicant for assistance under Part VII Housing Act 1996 had become homeless intentionally)

(Admin Court; claim for damages under Human Rights Act 1998 in respect of accommodation provided under s.17 Children Act 1989)

(Admin Court; whether a local housing authority which receives a local connection referral under s.200 HA 1996 can rely on a prior discharge of duty towards the applicant)

(Admin Court; appeal by way of case stated relating to the revocation of a driving licence on medical grounds)

(Court of Appeal; the construction and application of r.8(2) Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Review Procedures) Regulations 1999)

(Court of Appeal; discharge of duty under s.193(5) HA 1996)

(Admin Court; judicial review of priority awarded under local authority’s allocation scheme)

(Court of Appeal)

(House of Lords; whether a joint secure tenant can “release” her interest to the other joint tenant, thereby avoiding the restrictions on assignment in s.91 HA 1985)


Emma is co-author of Tolley’s Claims to the Possession of Land (5th Edition), a highly regarded loose-leaf practitioner text.

Emma has also co-written of a series of practice notes on homelessness for Practical Law. Emma regularly delivers seminars to solicitors, landlords and local authority officers.

Professional Memberships


MA (Mathematics) (Oxon)

Dip Law (with Distinction)

Cert HE (History) (London)

Lincoln’s Inn CPE Award and Sir Thomas More bursary

Privacy Notice

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