William Hanbury

Call 1985


“Bill has a very good knowledge of property law and prepares well. Always gets his point across and provides sound advice.”

The Legal 500 2021
Photo of William Hanbury

Local Government & Social Housing

Bill undertakes advisory work and advocacy in most areas of local government law, including public sector housing and judicial review challenges to housing and other decisions, including the power to control anti-social behaviour. As a judge of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber he is also able to deal with immigration points arising out of these practice areas. Bill has undertaken town and village green inquiries and challenges to inspector’s decisions at all levels of the judicial ladder and advised in relation to public rights of way and highways law including land compensation claims.

He also as specialist experience of rating work, both advisory and advocacy, and has appeared in the Lands Chamber and Administrative Court in rating appeals. Bill has lectured widely to local authorities, local law society’s and conducted webinars for the Law Society and for CLT. He has also written numerous books and articles including writing the Westlaw Insight article on article 8 and human rights.

Bill is consistently recommended as a leading individual in the Legal 500 guides.

Bill has specialist experience of the following:

Local government powers

Recent cases have included:

  • Advising a local authority whether it had acted lawfully in relation to the introduction of a public spaces protection order;
  • Advising a householder whether to challenge by judicial review a traffic management order;
  • Advising a local authority in relation to a group repair scheme.

Rates and the Council Tax

Bill has advised billing authorities and rate payers in relation to rates liability, especially for non-domestic rates, and has dealt with a number of rates avoidance schemes. He has appeared at all levels of the court and tribunal system including acting for the Oyston Angel Charity in Preston City Council v Oyston Angel Charity [2012] EWHC 2005, in which it was successfully argued that the charity concerned qualified for zero rating. He advised and appeared in a number of applications by way of case stated.

Recent cases have included:

  • Acting for the ratepayer in relation to the interpretation of a commercial lease in the context of liability proceedings.
  • Acting for a billing authority in relation to whether rateable occupation had been established so as to enable a ratepayer avail itself of the release for unoccupied property.
  • Advising an educational institution whether it was liable for council tax on a newly constructed hall of residence;
  • Appearing in the High Court in insolvency proceedings where the issue was whether the original liability order had been correctly made.

Social housing

Bill has recently appeared in and advised on cases of alleged breaches of the equality duty under the Equality Act 2010 as well as the application of article 8 of the ECHR to both public and private sector tenancies. Reported cases include Michael Brown v Helena Housing [2015] UKLC 25 (ability of housing association to increase service charges and whether covered by sections 13-14 of Housing Act 1988).

Towns and village greens

He appeared for Kirklees MC at the inquiry in relation to the Churchfield site in which the inspector recommended rejection of the application for registration and in 2014 appeared for Scarborough BC in the Supreme Court in R (Barkas) v North Yorkshire Council and Scarborough Borough Council [2014] UKSC 31. He has also lectured on TVGs. He has also advised local authorities since as to the changes introduced by the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013.