Joshua Swirsky acts for a wide range of clients, including local authorities, companies, insurers and individuals. His practice is divided equally between advocacy and advisory work. In addition to the three main areas listed above, he does some insolvency, employment and personal injury work.

Joshua is also an accredited mediator with experience of conducting mediations in a wide range of disputes.

If you would like any further information regarding Joshua Swirsky’s practice, please contact his clerks or call +44 (0)20 7405 6114.

Public law & local government

Joshua undertakes judicial reviews and other proceedings in the field of adult social care and arising out of property related issues. The former includes all aspects of the provision of services, Care Act 2014 (including the recovery of fees) age assessments (including the admissibility of dental and medical evidence) and Court of Protection proceedings, in cases involving both welfare and property/affairs. The latter includes business rates, homelessness and compulsory purchase.

Notable cases:

  • R (on the application of the Waltham Forest London Borough Council) v Waltham Forest Magistrates’ Court – [2008] 1 EGLR 113: Joshua Swirsky was instructed by the authority in a case which involved Recovery of rates. Queen’s Bench Division, Administrative Court: When considering whether a billing authority has satisfied the requirements of reg 5(1) of the Non-Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement) (Local Lists) Regulations 1989. the proper course is to ask, first, whether substantial compliance with the regulation has occurred and, secondly, whether the ratepayer has been prejudiced by any particular delay that could qualify as a breach of the regulation. Where a delay causes no prejudice, that can be taken into account but the longer any delay lasts, the greater the risk that the ratepayer will be able to show prejudice.
  • R (on the application of Burns) v London Borough of Southwark [2004] AER (D) 328 (Jul) Joshua Swirsky was instructed by the local authority in this judicial review concerning the degree to which a homelessness officer employed by a local authority and dealing with a homeless person was entitled to rely upon what he was told by the Home Office regarding that person’s immigration status.
  • Anufrijeva v London Borough of Southwark – [2004] QB1124. This is the leading case on the recoverability of damages for breaches of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. In this case Joshua Swirsky acted for the local authority defending a claim that it had failed to have regard to the right to family life of an asylum seeker with health problems when it housed her in premises which she and her advisors regarded as unsuitable because of her disabilities. In addition to establishing principles regarding the award of damages, the local authority succeeded on the facts.
  • R (on the application of Kuzeva) v London Borough of Southwark [2002] AER(D) 488 (May). A case concerning the recoverability of costs by an applicant in judicial review proceedings where it became unnecessary to pursue the substantive application.

Property and Landlord & Tenant

Joshua’s practice includes all aspects of property and landlord and tenant law. He has extensive experience of boundary disputes and litigation arising out of conveyancing transactions. He regularly appears in Courts at all levels.

Notable cases:

  • Tan and another v Sitkowski [2007] 1 WLR 1628: Joshua appeared for the respondent landlord, and was applauded for presenting his submissions in this difficult appeal in a concise and clear way by NEUBERGER LJ in a case that involved recovery of possession of shop premises with accommodation above let for a business use but which the tenant had turned into his home without the express consent of the landlord. The main issue was whether mixed premises such as this fell within the definition of “let as a dwelling” in the Rent Act 1977. It involved a consideration of this phrase in successive rent acts dating back to 1915. 
  • Cressman v Coys of Kensington Ltd [2004] 1 WLR 2775. Joshua appeared for a Part 20 Defendant in this case concerning restitutionary remedies when personal property had been inadvertently given away.


Joshua acts in all kinds of business disputes, in particular those arising out of property development schemes, joint ventures and partnerships. He also acts in arbitrations, notably he was involved in an arbitration which lasted over 8 years concerning the mis-selling of pensions, mainly to nurses, which involved the examination of several thousand client files relating to individual pensions. Joshua also acts and advises in professional negligence proceedings, especially those arising out of property transactions.

Notable cases:

  • Demco Investments and Commercial SA v SE Banken Forsakring Holding Aktiebolag [2005] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 650. This case arose out of a long running arbitration concerning pensions mis-selling. The case determined that there was no room under the Arbitration Act 1996 regime for arguments based on Edwards v Bairstow as to the sufficiency of the evidence before an arbitrator on an application for permission to appeal on a point of law.


  • BA (Dunelm)

Professional memberships

  • Property Bar Association
  • ELA
  • Appointed Recorder 2009