Housing specialists

Housing law in particular is often complex, and our experienced team can offer personal, sympathetic and constructive advice tailored to the needs of the individual at a reasonable cost. We specialise in providing advice and representation in all aspects of housing matters, including Landlord & Tenant issues, possession proceedings, homelessness, issues of disrepair as well as unlawful eviction and injunctions. We can also advise on issues such as entitlement to Housing and other welfare benefits as well as debt, repossession and mortgage and rent arrears. 

We offer an inital fixed-fee interview to assess your needs and offer preliminary advice. For cases involving disrepair, we can consider a conditional fee ('no-win-no-fee') arrangement.

We are contracted with the Legal Aid Agency to provide publicly funded work. For those who are not eligible for Legal Aid, we offer initial advice for a fixed fee.

Principal Solicitor: Paul Shearer 

Paul qualified as a solicitor in 1995 and has since that time specialised in all aspects of civil litigation including housing law in particular. He trained with a large London firm before relocating to Wiltshire in 2005. Paul has been a member of the Housing Law Practitioners Association since 1995 and is also a peer reviewer for the Legal Aid Agency.


Emma Stradling

Before coming to Wiltshire to specialise in Housing law, Emma worked in South Africa for the Legal Resources Centre – an independent, not-for-profit public-interest law centre which provided legal services for the poor, homeless and marginalised communities in the region. Emma deals with all aspects of housing law including rent arrears, mortgage arrears, possession proceedings, homelessness and disrepair. Emma recently represented clients in a test-case in the European Court of Human Rights.

 Olivia Pulley-Crowther

Olivia is a qualified solicitor in England and Wales and also an attorney in the New York bar, having previously trained and practised in the United States of America. She specialises in housing and homeless law, civil litigation and trial advocacy. Her background includes criminal defence and civil and human-rights litigation focusing on vulnerable populations including prisoners and people with mental health difficulties. She has a strong background in UK Benefits law and debt advice, and is passionate about improving policies and legislation to benefit the lives of individuals. Some of Olivia's previous legal experiences include work at the Prisoners Legal Services of New York, the Special Court in Sierra Leone and a major UK law firm in the corporate section of the Tokyo office. Prior to working in the law, she worked in Namibia, in Southern Africa, in HIV/AIDS organisational development. Olivia also serves on the trustee boards of Wiltshire Citizens' Advice and Wiltshire Mind.

Chris Lowry

An experienced caseworker in Housing law, before joining Shearer & Co at the beginning of 2017, Chris worked for Cheltenham Community Projects (CCP) – an organisation dedicated to the prevention of homelessness – as a Senior Advisor on issues of Housing, Welfare Benefits and Debt. He graduated in 2000 with a degree in Law, passing the Legal Practice course in 2012. He went on to work as a Housing Advisor for Reading Borough Council, then for 11 years at housing and homelessness charity Shelter as a Senior Advisor and Team Leader. Previously, he  worked for 10 years at Swindon CAB as a volunteer, Money Advice Manager and Legal Services Manager advising clients on issues of Housing, Debt, Welfare Benefits, and Employment. 


 Shearer & Co is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.