Shelter Scotland appoints new principal solicitor

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Fiona MacPhail

Housing and homelessness charity Shelter Scotland has appointed Fiona McPhail as its new principal solicitor.

Ms McPhail, who has worked for the Shelter Housing Law Service since 2014, trained and started her career as a qualified solicitor with Legal Services Agency, Glasgow.

She is keen to develop a human rights-based approach to housing law, which recognises the home as much more than a roof over a person’s head.

Ms McPhail said: “I’m delighted to be taking the helm of the expert and talented Shelter Scotland legal team at what is a very challenging time for us as a housing and homelessness charity and the clients we represent.

“It is also a time of seismic change for housing lawyers with wholescale reform of private rented sector tenancies, the transfer of private rented sector cases to the First Tier Tribunal and the introduction of a case management system to deal with social rented sector evictions. With a reported 25 per cent increase in social rented sector evictions in the last two years, access to justice for those at risk of homelessness is crucial.”

She added: “I am also particularly concerned as to the number of homeless people who appear to be falling through the housing safety net.

“We will be working hard to ensure their rights to assistance and accommodation are upheld as provided for under Scotland’s progressive homeless legislative framework.”