Joanne became a Partner at Stephensons in 2010 and is department manager of the housing law team holding supervisor status for all land issues.
She became a trainee solicitor at Stephensons upon graduating in 2001 after completing the LLB (Hons) exempting law degree at Northumbria University in Newcastle. She qualified as a solicitor in 2003 specialising in land law issues.
Joanne has dealt with a wide variety of land issues since she qualified and has vast civil litigation experience.
Joanne and her team act for tenants in all court cases including possession proceedings (for rent or other tenancy breaches such as anti social behaviour), disrepair cases, anti social behaviour injunctions (including 24 hour call out to court if a client is arrested) and homeless decisions. The teams advise and represent clients’ right from receiving a notice from the landlord through to the court making a final decision. The team also deals with an increasing amount of applications to suspend warrants of evictions to prevent clients being forced to leave their homes by the bailiffs.
Joanne has provided training for local authorities to assist in their homeless decisions and a number of charities and organisations working with the general public, particularly on bedroom tax issues.
Joanne recently trained the national homelessness charity CRISIS on the legalities of homelessness.
The team also runs the St Helens and Wigan Court Duty Scheme representing tenants in possession proceedings. There has been a large increase in rent arrears possession cases before the court since the introduction of the bedroom tax.
The department deals with cases throughout the North West and is recognised by the Legal Aid Agency as a housing law provider. The team also undertakes work on a fixed fee basis.
Joanne’s team is recognised in Chambers 2014 for being in the client’s corner:
"They’re really effective in acting for tenants. They will fight tooth and nail for their clients."