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"A broad knowledge places the social housing department one step ahead of others when it comes to community care knowledge.”

Chambers UK

Rory Matheson

Rory is a solicitor in the firm’s Property Litigation, and Housing & Social Care departments.

Rory is a passionate housing and social welfare solicitor who is dedicated to getting the best outcome for his clients. He works with a lot of vulnerable clients with urgent cases, and prides himself on explaining key issues without resorting to “legalese”.

He specialises in housing and public law cases, dealing with matters ranging from homelessness to housing disrepair. He has represented clients in Welfare Benefits matters at the First Tier Tribunal, as well as appeals to the Upper Tribunal. He also acts in community care matters, including children’s rights cases and obtaining reasonable adjustments for people with disabilities.

Rory has a particular interest in public law cases, and acted in the first successful appeal against a refusal to award Discretionary Housing Payment in R (on the application of Halvai) v London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham [2017] EWHC 802.  He is a member of the executive of the Junior Housing Lawyers Practitioners Association (HLPA). He joined Osbornes as a paralegal in 2015 and qualified as a solicitor in 2020.

Reported cases include:

  • O, R (on the application of) v London Borough of Lambeth [2016] EWHC 937 – A Judicial Review where the High Court set out detailed guidance on when a public body can draw an adverse inference from prior dishonesty.
  • R (on the application of Halvai) v London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham[2017] EWHC 802 – The first successful appeal in the High Court against a local authority’s decision to refuse to grant Discretionary Housing Payments to an extremely vulnerable tenant.
  • Raufi v LB Islington.The County Court at Central London, 22.5.2018 – A successful County Court appeal against a decision that a homeless applicant did not have a priority need for housing on the basis that he was significantly more vulnerable as a result of various medical conditions. Unusually, the County Court varied the local authority’s decision to one that the applicant was in priority need for housing.
  • R (on the application of AS, by his litigation friend Mr Francesco Jeff of the Refugee Council) -v- Kent County Council[2017] UKUT 446 – Rory was part of the team working on this matter, where the Upper Tribunal determined the unreliability of dental expert evidence when assessing the ages of unaccompanied asylum seeking putative children.

What people say:

“We deal with many incredibly vulnerable clients who are often torture survivors.  Over the years we have dealt with many solicitors and we feel that Rory is by far the best for a number of reasons. He is efficient, he seems to work in  a parallel universe which has more hours than we do. He communicates every new event that happens to our clients and to us and asks for our support when needed. He really works in partnership with us. He gets our clients immediately and chases up every due date, is continually  proactive and very importantly has won pretty much all our cases.”

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    Livery House, 9 Pratt Street, London NW1 0AE
    Tel: 020 7485 8811 Fax: 020 7485 5660
    DX Number 57053 Camden Town


    28A Hampstead High Street, Hampstead, NW3 1QA
    Tel: 020 7485 8811 Fax: 020 7485 5660

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