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Housing Law Practitioners’ Association allowed to intervene in urgent appeal relating to stay of possession proceedings during COVID-19

The Housing Law Practitioners’ Association (“HLPA”) has been granted permission to intervene in the case of Arkin v Marshall, which is listed to be heard by the Court of Appeal on Thursday (30 April).

Doughty Street Chambers said the case concerns whether the 3-month stay of possession proceedings under Practice Direction 51Z - in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic - is lawful and if so whether judges can lift the stay in individual cases, to require compliance with case management directions, without the agreement of all parties.

The set added that HLPA's intervention set out the results of an urgent survey of its members last week, “the responses to which made clear the significant difficulties that would be faced by many occupiers if required to engage with proceedings during the current lockdown”.

The Court of Appeal accepted HLPA’s position that it should be given permission to act as intervener, without a representative order under CPR r.19.6, despite being an unincorporated association.

Martin Westgate QC and Daniel Clarke of Doughty Street Chambers are instructed by James Harrison of Edwards Duthie Shamash Solicitors on behalf of HLPA and its Co-Chairs, Simon Mullings and Marina Sergides.

The government has also reportedly applied to intervene.

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