The Case of the Barrister Who Never Was

As the Grand continues to veer between tragedy and farce, we can now report on the case of the barrister who never was. For this we must thank a series of emails between Michael Stainer (pictured), the bankrupt former director of Hallam Estates and the High Court of Justice.

Firstly, let’s meet the barrister in question. She is Ms Kerry Bretherton QC (pictured below) of Tanfield Chambers. To quote Tanfield’s website:

  • “Kerry is “highly rated” by the Legal 500 2019 for her work in Agriculture and Property Litigation. With substantial experience in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, Kerry is “ferociously tenacious, she has incredible judgement and is willing to take on difficult cases and battle on where others would give up” (Chambers & Partners 2016).”

We make it clear that her conduct in this matter is beyond reproach and totally professional, unlike that of Mr. Stainer’s. She had previously acted for Hallam Estates in their abortive attempt to appeal the management order imposed by the First Tier Property Tribunal in July 2018.

Subsequently, and as reported previously, Hallam and the Stainers sought a judicial review and injunctive relief in the High Court to in effect, reverse the July decision. Judging from the content and quality of this application, this was done without any legal assistance and had to be submitted twice before the High Court agreed to list it for a hearing on Wednesday, February 13th. But the day before as the Court noted:

  • “On 11 February 2019 an application for an adjournment was lodged at court purportedly on behalf of the Applicant company 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”.

For those unfamiliar with the handwriting, it is Michael Stainer’s. Again, as reported earlier, Mrs. Justice May took a very dim view of this stating “it is unclear who was properly authorised to represent the company in pursuing these proceedings, for instance in giving instructions to counsel (if indeed she has instructions to act).” She also disqualified Stainer from any role due to his bankruptcy.

We shared the Judge’s scepticism but had no evidence until last Friday, thanks to Mr Stainer. Hallam Estates had failed to provide ‘a properly authorised person’ to represent the company so the whole case was struck out. Within an hour of the striking-out being confirmed, Stainer emailed the Court to say:

  • “I did comply with the Order of 12 February 2019 paragraph (2) by the required deadline, by email which was how I received the Order. Ms Kerry Bretherton has agreed to accept the instructions of Hallam Estates Ltd via Hallam’s solicitors instructed by Hallam’s director Robert Moss. Accordingly, I request that the striking out be set aside.”

Within six minutes, Ms Bretherton emailed the Court to state — the emphasis is hers:

  • “I am not instructed in this case at present and even if I am instructed in due course I should not be copied into correspondence.

  • I understand that an enquiry has been made of my clerk with a view to me being instructed through solicitors (Mr Duncan) but I do not litigate and so should not be copied into any correspondence. At present no instructions have been accepted.”

Stainer responds:

  • “I was advised that you were willing to undertake an instruction on behalf of Hallam Estates Ltd via Andrew Duncan of Allsquare Law.”

Ms Bretherton responds:

  • “Barristers do not litigate and so I should not be copied into correspondence and that will be the position even if I am instructed.

  • I am not currently instructed.

  • If and when instructions are received they will be considered but it is not appropriate to correspond with me directly.”

At this stage, Ms Bretherton would have been unaware that her name was used during the application for the adjournment but we suspect she now knows.

So what do we make of this?

  • 1. When Stainer pleaded her engagement in another Court that day in seeking an adjournment, what was the factual basis for this.

  • 2. When he claimed that she had agreed to act most recently, what was the factual basis for this? He claimed that Andrew Duncan had advised him, in which case why hadn’t Duncan written to the Court?

  • 3. What on earth is a bankrupt who had been disqualified from this case by Mrs. Justice May, doing anywhere near this matter.

These questions, and many more will soon be answered as the ongoing civil and criminal investigations continue.

The Shepwayvox Team

Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful

About shepwayvox (788 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

7 Comments on The Case of the Barrister Who Never Was

  1. An old antique // March 4, 2019 at 08:47 // Reply

    Friends of mine were at Sunday’s antiques fair and claim they saw Mr Stainer lose his rag and shake his fist under someone’s nose calling him a nasty little shit. Don’t know who the guy was but luckily he stayed clam under fire!!

  2. He’s like the present that just keeps giving….

  3. Sundaytele // March 4, 2019 at 10:02 // Reply

    Well, Stainer has tried his best as he always does ! His whole life has been involved with court cases – nearly 70 cases . How many has he won ? Hardly handful. This is no change, it’s business as usual as far as Stainer concerned . The positive side is that he has gained considerable legal experiences without being qualified as a solicitor / barrister, sadly. He certainly wished that he was the ” Law & Order ” ! However, the biggest court case in his life is yet to come.

    Last straw………….

  4. sundaytele // March 4, 2019 at 10:10 // Reply

    This is Stainer. He bullies people who challenge his wrong doing. I’m sure the police will be interested.

  5. As one who has on several occasions had cause to complain about the shenanigans of Stainer and Richardson I am not sanguine about the police taking any action. I hope I am wrong.

  6. Spectator // March 5, 2019 at 09:26 // Reply

    This man’s skullduggery has been exposed. He is now reduced to using filthy language and aggressive gestures, to threaten Innocent people.

    How pathetic!

  7. Grand lover // March 10, 2019 at 21:40 // Reply

    His latest display of falsification is being investigated….lying in an application to the High Court is not acceptable!!!!

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