Paul Shearer, Principal Solicitor
With decades of specialist experience in civil litigation and 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 and costs assessor for the Legal Aid Agency. He has specialised in all areas of housing law since qualifying in 1995 and appears regularly in the County Court.
Olivia Pulley-Crowther, Solicitor
Olivia is a qualified solicitor in England and Wales, specialising in housing and homeless law, civil litigation and trial advocacy. She has a strong background in benefits law and debt advice and is passionate about improving policies and legislation to benefit the lives of individuals. She was previously an attorney in the New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania bars, having trained and practised in the United States of America. Her background includes criminal defence and civil and human-rights litigation, focusing on vulnerable populations, including prisoners and people with mental health difficulties. 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 has served on the trustee boards of Wiltshire Citizens’ Advice and Wiltshire Mind.
Emma Stradling, Housing and Litigation Specialist
Emma has a wealth of experience in representing clients across a number of practice areas, with expertise in housing, debt advice and civil litigation. She has a pragmatic approach and zealously represents her clients’ interests. Emma has a strong background in working with clients from many backgrounds, having previously worked in South Africa for the Legal Resources Centre – an independent, not-for-profit public-interest law centre that provided legal services for the poor, homeless and marginalised communities in the region. Emma has also represented clients in a test-case in the European Court of Human Rights.
Chris Lowry, Housing and Litigation Specialist
Before joining Shearer & Co at the beginning of 2017, Chris was a senior advisor in housing law, benefits and debt with Cheltenham Community Projects (CCP) – an organisation dedicated to the prevention of homelessness. 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 as a Senior Advisor and Team Leader for 11 years at the housing and homelessness charity Shelter. 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.