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’ cross-examination, the landlord admitted that 40 per cent of his tenants’ insurance premium was actually commission split equally between himself and his brokers. As a result, the LRAP slashed back the insurance premium of Matthews’ 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.”

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