High Court Judge Slams Stainer for “Purporting” to be a Director

In the latest twist in the tale of Michael Stainer’s legal attempts to roll back the inexorable tide of litigation, he fell foul of Mrs Justice May in the High Court. She stayed proceedings for judicial review and an application for an injunction against the new Tribunal-appointed manager of the Grand, Mrs Alison Mooney. Her reasons provided a very sharp reminder that, as an undischarged bankrupt, Mr Stainer, has no right to litigate or represent a limited company, on pain of criminal sanctions.

The ‘urgent’ application was listed for a 2 hour hearing on 13 February 2019. In the words of Mrs Justice May (pictured below):

“………on 11 February 2019 an application for an adjournment was lodged at court “purportedly” on behalf of the Applicant company, Hallam Estates Ltd, but signed by Michael Stainer. The reason for seeking an adjournment was given as “Counsel for the Claimant—Kerry Bretherton QC—is engaged in court on another case that day”.  The person purporting to act ….. is  Michael Stainer — is an undischarged bankrupt. It is an offence under section 11(1) of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 for an undischarged bankrupt to “..directly or indirectly… take part in the promotion formation or management of a company”.

The proceedings were stayed pending confirmation by Hallam Estates Ltd of “the identity of the person or persons properly authorised to represent it in these proceedings.”

In conclusion, Mrs Justice May said:

“In these circumstances it is unclear who is properly authorised to represent the company in pursuing these proceedings, for instance in giving instructions to counsel (if indeed she has instructions to act)”.

In other words, Mrs Justice May has  indicated that Mr Stainer acted unlawfully in filing an application on behalf of a limited company as an undischarged bankrupt. She also appears to suggest that Kerry Bretherton QC (pictured) might not even have been instructed.  This is reinforced by the fact that the original applications, which had to be issued twice after the first set were rejected, were in fact submitted by Mr and Mrs Stainer without any evidence of legal support or advice.  It would be most unlikely that any barrister would pick up an action commenced by a bankrupt litigant in person.

The background to all this was an attempt by the Stainers, with the tacit support of the new director, Robert Graham Moss, to revoke the Management Order issued on July 5th 2018 by the First Tier Property Tribunal, and to have their latest failed application for leave to appeal this order overturned. This was, in effect, an attempt to strip Mrs Mooney of the extensive powers to manage the residential part of the Grand that have so angered past and present directors of Hallam Estates.

In the meantime, other investigations into the conduct of Mr Stainer both as a director, and subsequent to his bankruptcy, are continuing. We understand that Mrs Justice May’s decision and accompanying reasoning is already in the hands of the Compliance and Targeting Team Investigations and Enforcement Services of the Insolvency Service, and a disqualification hearing is scheduled for March 19th.  This could see Mr Stainer’s automatic one year disqualification from acting as a director extended to up to 15 years.

The Shepwayvox Team

Dissent is NOT a Crime

About shepwayvox (881 Articles)
Our sole motive is to inform the residents of Shepway - and beyond -as to that which is done in their name. email: shepwayvox@riseup.net

17 Comments on High Court Judge Slams Stainer for “Purporting” to be a Director

  1. Look at Section B those who act act under Stainer’s direction!!!!

    Section 15 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

    Liability for company’s debts where person acts while disqualified.

    (1) A person is personally responsible for all the relevant debts of a company if at any time:

    a) in contravention of a disqualification order or disqualification undertaking or in contravention of section 11, 12A or 12B of this Act he is involved in the management of the company, or

    (b) as a person who is involved in the management of the company, he acts or is willing to act on instructions given without the leave of the court by a person whom he knows at that time—

    (i) to be the subject of a disqualification order made or disqualification undertaking accepted under this Act or under the Company Directors Disqualification (Northern Ireland) Order 2002, or

    (ii) to be an undischarged bankrupt.

  2. Browntongue // February 13, 2019 at 15:16 // Reply

    I am advised on the best of authority that Stainer has accepted a role as adviser to the Leas Residents Association as clearly he can’t speak for the Grand. Good old Philip Carter, always willing to help out a friend in need, especially one with a penchant for picking up litter…….

  3. I would rather sleep with a snake than accept any approach from Philip Carter.

  4. He breaks the law yet no serious action seems to be taken against him. Meanwhile the poor lease holders are left with no progress at all.

    • Yes, the residents are making progress under the new management. Please don’t be fooled by Stainers new position- adviser of the Leas residents Association. Perhaps, Mr P Carter needs some advice on tax evasion or how to stand on the other side of the law ? If so, Stainer is the right man ! Wait and see . who laughs last …

  5. A time for reckoning // February 13, 2019 at 22:39 // Reply

    …… and he’s trying to flog old-fashioned but valuable cameras around town — housekeeping or legal bills? Whatever, they’re not his — they belong to to the Trustees in Bankruptcy so its clearly illegal!!!

  6. So the Judge says that Stainer has broken the law, and as an accountant he must have known what he did was wrong, why hasn’t he been arrested??

  7. Grand lover // February 14, 2019 at 22:08 // Reply

    For that matter, why hasn’t Richardson been nicked? He’s been acting as Stainer’s proxy for months as several staff confirm. Contact the Insolvency Service and whistle blow, you’ve more chance of keeping your jobs without him!!!!

  8. If Richardson was a ” bright, young , talented thing ” , would he stick with Stainer ‘s sinking ship ? !

  9. His whole life over the last year or so has been one long job application and more networking events than you can believe. He’s hardly ever at work – much to the relief of his staff — and when he’s at the Grand, he spends his time bullying and intimidating those who’ve crossed him, filing false complaints to anyone who answers 101, sending out fake emails under multiple names, slandering and lying…….he is a laughing stock!!

  10. Can some one please explain how ensuring that Folkestone’s wonderful Edwardian Gem that is the Grand earns no commercial revenue is going to help the long suffering staff and residents ? Or for that matter help the maintenance of the neglected elements of this magnificent building ?

    I think I must be a bit dumb because I can;t see how it helps anyone except perhaps the receivers and the lawyers earning their big fat fees.

  11. No one, least of all the residents, want to see a cessation of commercial activity. The only people who claim that residents are trying to close it down are Mr Richardson and Mr Stainer. They have persisted in this fabrication without a shred of evidence. It is THEIR persistent failure to run any business at a profit for years that poses a risk to the ongoing commercial activity at the Grand and possibly we might get some answers to where all the money has gone!!!!

  12. On the subject of ‘purporting’, who the hell is ‘purporting’ to be Richardson’s employer??? It isn’t any of the companies left trading at the Grand as no one can confirm his status. He doesn’t know, according to his testimony in Court last year, it can’t be the Stainers as they’re skint……… bit of a mystery…………

  13. Grand lover // February 20, 2019 at 16:30 // Reply

    They might be skint but they’ve found some new lawyers in Cardiff : M and M Solicitors, Nadeem Majid, who appears to have acting for the Stainers on various matters

  14. I don’t doubt the residents want to keep the commercial areas open and contributing to the maintenance charges but according to the details we have seen on here the receiver is insisting on the holiday lets ceasing which will probably also close the restaurant and bar.

    It seems to me that everybody is so focused on blaming the Stainers whilst themselves earning their for managing agent fees, charging the resident’s maintenance account for their legal bills whilst paying themselves nicely thank you as well, along with the receivers and lawyers. In the meantime the building crumbles. Surely what should happen is the receiver should obtain the revenue from the holiday lets and commercial areas and divert the receipts to fill the hole in the maintenance budget caused by legal fees and lack of previous payment by the Stainers. Except that this won’t happen because HMRC and the Receiver get first dibs. So who suffers ? – the residents and the staff. And the building.

    Can somebody please say where this is all heading ? What is it achieving ?

  15. No legal fees have been incurred as part of the residents’ legal action to secure the new management order and the appointment of a new manager. The only person spending money (whose??) on legal fees has been Mr and Mrs Stainer and Hallam Estates on barristers including a QC, solicitors and court fees. SB is right that the receiver could, in theory, run the holidays lets and use the revenues to meet the debt to HMRC etc but this wouldn’t impact on the £300K service charge debt. That will only be met when the flats are sold. So it’s a problem!! Finally, the leases strictly prohibit commercial usage of the flats and the receiver cannot be party to illegal usage.

  16. Intriguedlocal // April 27, 2019 at 15:16 // Reply

    Rumour has it Robert Richardson did try to leave, and was offered a position at Ashford International Hotel, apparently someone warned them about his alledged dodgy dealings, and changed their minds…..
    Perhaps that explains his recent odd behaviour, he is trapped

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