London rent assessment victory for BVC student

A student barrister has notched up a significant win in front of the London Rent Assessment Panel (LRAP) which could potentially reduce the insurance payments of more than 15,000 tenants in north London.


Nicola Matthews, 24, was a student on the Bar Vocational Course (BVC) at the College of Law in London when she took part in a pilot pro bono scheme to represent both landlords and tenants in London.

Matthews represented a tenant in Willesden, north London, against a landlord who owns a portfolio of 15,000 separate properties across the capital worth approximately £1bn.

Under Matthews&#39 cross-examination, the landlord admitted that 40 per cent of his tenants&#39 insurance premium was actually commission split equally between himself and his brokers. As a result, the LRAP slashed back the insurance premium of Matthews&#39 client from £435 to £300 per year.

Stephen Illingworth, the College of Law lecturer in charge of the LRAP project, said Matthews, who has now graduated from the college and is still looking for a pupillage, was to be congratulated.

He said: “Her victory on behalf of her client should have implications for the insurance premiums paid by other tenants of those properties.”

&#39The victory should have implications for the insurance premiums paid by other tenants of those properties&#39 – Stephen Illingworth, College of Law