William is an experienced housing and public law solicitor who is committed to achieving great results for his clients. He often acts in cases where clients are extremely vulnerable and require action to be taken at very short notice. He takes a practical approach to cases from the outset and believes in the importance of providing clear and concise advice to his clients at all stages of litigation.
- Specialist in housing, community care, welfare benefits and public law
- Named as a leading individual in the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners directories
- A finalist in 2016 for Legal Aid Lawyer of the year in the category of Children’s rights
William undertakes all types of housing work. He specialises in landlord and tenant cases, as well as having knowledge of trust of land disputes. He has particular expertise in assisting those facing homelessness or eviction from their home, as well as housing disrepair (acting for tenants, leaseholders, and landlords) and Judicial Review claims involving housing law.
William is also a community care specialist, with expertise in cases involving the rights of children and care leavers under the Children Act 1989. He also deals with cases involving adult social services to ensure that clients with disabilities receive the care and support to which they are legally entitled.
Additionally William specialises in public law as well as having considerable experience and knowledge of cases concerning welfare benefits. He has experience in bringing judicial review claims against local authorities and other public bodies and is committed to acting for extremely vulnerable children or adult clients with specialist needs. He has a particular interest in cases with an EU law or immigration element, often where these issues overlap in cases concerning housing, community care or welfare benefits entitlement.
William also works to identify strategic litigation challenges with a view to positively changing the law in appropriate cases.
William is a member of the executive of the Housing Lawyers Practitioners Association (HLPA). He also represents client on the duty advocate scheme at the County Court at Clerkenwell and Shoreditch.
William joined Osbornes as a trainee in 2004, qualified as a solicitor in 2006, and was made a partner at the firm in 2016.
Reported cases include:
- Ward, Gullu and others v London Borough of Hillingdon  EWCA Civ 692 – Successful appeal in the Court of Appeal which established that the London Borough of Hillingdon’s social housing allocation scheme unlawfully discriminated on the basis of race.
- Barrow v Kazim  EWCA Civ 2414 – First authority from Court of Appeal confirming that a section 21 notice cannot be served by a superior landlord directly on subtenants during the term of a mesne tenancy in relation to an assured shorthold tenancy.
- Bagum v Hafiz and Hai  EWCA Civ 801– A landmark Court of Appeal decision concerning powers of the Court under s14 of the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 in relation to orders for sale.
- SSWP v SFF and others  UKUT 502 (AAC) – Successful test case before the Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber) concerning the maternity rights of EEA nationals exercising their rights to freedom of movement and the domestic scope of the decision by the Court of Justice of the EU in Saint Prix C-507/12.
- Gladehurst Properties Ltd v Hashemi  EWCA Civ – a leading Court of Appeal decision concerning the interpretation of the Housing Act 2004 in relation to tenancy deposits, which was credited as bringing about a change in the law in this area.
Local authority social housing allocation scheme – unlawful race discrimination (Lexis Nexis)
What the directories say:
“William Ford has an impressive track record handling a variety of possession, homelessness and unlawful eviction matters. He is also adept at community care cases where these issues intersect with housing law. Sources praise him for being ‘completely on top of the law and a very good negotiator who gets the most for his clients.'”
“He is brilliant – he’s really intelligent and has great strategic capabilities.” 2021
“William Ford is a ‘tenacious litigator with a lovely manner that, combined with intelligence, knowledge and pragmatism, makes him a pleasure to work with.'” 2018
“The ‘very thorough’ and ‘incredibly committed’ William Ford is a respected practitioner acting predominantly for tenants facing possession and eviction proceedings, homeless applicants or clients who are making disrepair claims. He understands the links between different parts of the law and housing – how your immigration status might link to housing, for example, or how care provisions might link to housing.” 2017
“Associate William Ford receives effusive praise for his dedication and commitment to social housing. Interviewees highlight his technical understanding and background in housing law, and describe him as highly impressive.” 2015
“William Ford is impressive and devoted to the sector.” 2014
“William acts on possession, disrepair and homelessness cases, and has particular expertise in the protection of tenancy deposits under the Housing Act 2004.” 2014
Legal 500 directory
“Osbornes has an impressive social housing team and the quality of their work that I have seen is very high. Will Ford is a very well-regarded figure in the housing law world and leads a team of high quality and committed lawyers. The existence of family and property law teams at the firm, amongst others, means that they are able to offer a holistic and expert approach to their clients.” 2021
“Will Ford – good technical lawyer with a strong commitment to his clients.” 2021
“William Ford is ‘committed to clients, and achieves great results.” 2011
“William is deeply committed to clients.” 2012
What clients say:
“I was very grateful Osbornes took on my disrepair case. Mr William Ford did an excellent job, he listened to any concerns I had and explained anything I did not understand. I am extremely happy with the outcome. Thank you”.
“I really appreciated Mr William Ford’s help. He is also very kind”