Donna McCarthy

Donna McCarthy

Partner Head of Housing Management & Property Litigation

Areas of Expertise

Donna heads up a team advising on all aspects of housing management law and practice, acting for Local Authorities, Registered Providers and private landlords in complex litigation, including possession proceedings; actions to restrain Anti-Social Behaviour; injunctions and disrepair actions.

Donna’s expertise in complex dispute resolution, both in and out of court, sits alongside her extensive experience in advising on non-contentious policy and procedure in addition to regulatory matters.

She has particular specialism advising on mental health, safeguarding and capacity issues both is respect of litigated matters as well as from a regulatory perspective where she advises on health and social care aspects including enforcement action and dealing with adverse incidents. She also advises on issues arising from care contracts and service level agreements, including dispute resolution.

Donna is Devonshires most prolific trainer, regularly presenting seminars, workshops and webinars and is responsible for co-ordinating the Housing Management training programme.

Donna heads up LandlordPLUS, a service dedicated to social and private landlords offering properties for market rent.


Donna started her legal career in the in house legal team at the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, combining part time studies with a mixed litigation practice including housing law. She qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive in 1994.

Between 1994 and 1999 she worked as a specialist housing litigator, predominantly advising and representing tenants with particular specialism in representing those with mental capacity issues, regularly taking instructions from the Official Solicitor.


Donna regularly contributes and writes articles, including our Housing Management Brief, as well as articles on upcoming legislative changes and sector updates.




Donna is an enthusiastic if unskilled cook who enjoys kick boxing when she isn’t feeding people. An avid reader, she is a founding member of the Devonshires’ Book Club.

News Articles

Donna recently featured in discussing her route into law.

Donna has featured in the CILEx journal and The Law Society Gazette, discussing the experiences of lawyers since the 2020 pandemic began.

Donna featured in Inside Housing, commenting on how the June 2020 proposals regarding possession proceedings could cause difficulties for social landlords.

Professional Membership

In her spare time she volunteers via Inspiring the Future, presenting in schools and college on legal career options.


Well regarded by her clients, recent feedback for Donna includes:

"Thanks for all your support on this Donna, you’ve been great!”

“Thank you so much for your guidance, support, assistance and patience.”

“Thank you for your excellent advice and Devonshires’ work on our cases over the years.”

“Thank you. As always your advice is spot on.”

“Thankfully we have one of the best in the trade – you!”

‘Donna McCarthy is our lead legal advisor in the team and her passion for social housing never seems to diminish! Her support is always unwavering as is her ability to consider every minute detail of cases presented to her.’

Legal 500

'She makes herself available for her clients and always goes the extra mile for them. She is very good at explaining complex legal issues in a way that the client understands and in a way that is relevant to the practical realities of their business.'


Get in touch

020 7880 4349
07932 105 217
London Office
Devonshires Solicitors LLP
30 Finsbury Circus

PA: Laura Harvey
020 7065 1868

Notable Cases

Donna McCarthy represented Aldwyck Housing Group Limited (now Catalyst Housing Group Limited) in respect of an application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Donna acted for St Martin of Tours Housing Association Limited in this action for judicial review of the London Borough of Islington’s (LBIs) decision to suspend placements to St Martin of Tours Supported Accommodation Facilities, and their failure to comply with the Pan London Safeguarding policies and procedures and that they misdirected themselves in respect of function of Section 42 of the Care Act 2014.

Donna acted for Jewish Community Housing Association Limited in a claim for an injunction against the Defendant, a former tenant of the Claimant who had previously been evicted from his property due to rent arrears and serious nuisance and antisocial behaviour.

Donna is representing a registered provider in respect of multiple potential claims raised by occupiers of high storey buildings on an estate that they manage on behalf of a Local Authority.


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