The Grand’s owners last appeal thrown out of the High Court “Totally without merit”!

Updated April 30 2021 @09:45am

In what had to be the last throw of the dice, the Grand’s freeholder, Hallam Estates lost its last battle in the High Court. Seeking to overthrow the July 2018 decision to transfer sole control of the residential interests in the Grand to a Tribunal-appointed manager, Hallam sought both a stay of the implementation of the order and a Judicial Review claiming:

  • “The claimant’s business and the livelihood of 50 people working in its premises being irreparably damaged”.

Agreeing with the four previous appeal decisions that went against Hallam, Her Honour Judge Karen Walden-Smith gave the June 2019 application very short shrift:

  • “This attempt to judicially review the Upper Tribunal for refusing to give permission to appeal the decision of the FTT (Property Division) is totally without merit and there is no basis for a stay.”

The deliberate use of the phrase “totally without merit” has great significance and was intended as a firm warning to Hallam Estates as to any future litigation.

The meaning of “totally without merit

The Court of Appeal in Wasif -v- Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] confirmed that “totally without merit” means “no more and no less than ‘bound to fail‘”. A case will be bound to fail (and therefore totally without merit) where there is “no rational basis on which the claim could succeed“. No judge should certify an application as “totally without merit” unless he or she is “confident after careful consideration that the case truly is bound to fail. He or she will no doubt have in mind the seriousness of the issue and the consequence of his decision in the particular case.” (per Maurice Kay LJ in Grace).

A case certified as “totally without merit” could lead to the litigants being defined as vexatious litigants and the possible imposition of an “all proceedings order” under section 42 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 which prevents the litigant from bringing any civil or criminal proceedings, from issuing or conducting proceedings on behalf of others, and from acting as a McKenzie Friend, without High Court permission.


This particular application was submitted in the name of Hallam’s ‘new’ director, Robert Moss (pictured), and followed on four previously failed appeals, two of which were rejected by the Upper Tier Tribunal (Lands Chamber). As the judgement shows, there was little doubt as to its real authorship, the bankrupt Michael Stainer, who continues to run businesses at the Grand as if nothing has happened since November 8th 2018.

To quote the judgement:

  • “This application…..purports to be by Hallam Estates Ltd and Mrs Doris Stainer. Hallam Estates is apparently making its representations through Mr Robert Moss as a Director of Hallam Estates although he relies on a witness statement provided by Mr Stainer. Both Mr and Mrs Stainer are undischarged bankrupts and as Mrs Justice May made clear in her order dated 12 February 2019, it is an offence for an undischarged bankrupt to indirectly or directly take part in the promotion, formation or management of a company.”

Dorise & Michael

Michael & Doris Stainer

More to come; specifically commenting on the original July 5th determination that saw a new management order imposed that placed control of the residential areas solely in the hands of the new manager, Mrs Alison Mooney, and the imposition of a 25% liability towards service charges on Hallam Estates, the judgement states:

  • The FTT had jurisdiction to make the orders it did and given the history of obstruction and frustration of the original management order, the FTT were plainly acting within their powers to make the order that was made.”

The grounds for Hallam’s application ranged from the curious to the down-right bizarre:

  • The bankruptcy orders were based on falsified evidence

  • Evidence presented concerning plans that led to the identification of the residential areas were falsified

  • There is a clique of lessees of the Grand who have been in part responsible for engineering the insolvencies at the Grand

Screenshot from 2019-10-05 13-20-15

Richardson on the Rack

This is clearly the end of the road for arguing over who is responsible for managing the residential areas at the Grand and the extent of those powers. It now means that after years of living rent free, the commercial interests will have to pay over some £55,000 per annum, which should certainly tax the talents of general manager, Robert Richardson (pictured), given that no company has ever made a profit under his management, not one. Until now, the businesses have been kept afloat by the rental income from the holiday flats, but one lender has already put in receivers under the Law of Property Act to repossess seven flats, including the one hidden in Keppels……………

Time gentleman please?????

Update April 30 2021 @0945am

Richardson did sell Cllr Russell Tillson down the river when he declared to the tribunal on the 24/25 Jan 2018, Tillson received free drinks, free meals and free lodgings at The Grand. Also that he took taxi’s home at taxpayers expense from The Grand after council business. Former staff also confirm this. Tillson was contacted at the time (2018 and 2019), but we received no reply. Perhaps this is why none of Richardson’s companies, registered at The Grand, have ever made any money.

The Shepwayvox Team

Dissent is NOT a Crime

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4 Comments on The Grand’s owners last appeal thrown out of the High Court “Totally without merit”!

  1. A Grand Resident // October 6, 2019 at 08:29 // Reply

    I wonder if the local Tory Party who had their annual dinner at The Grand recently paid for it? I’d like to see that receipt. Is it possible the local Tory Party freeloaded of the residents of the Grand by not paying their bill? All things are possible, so they say.

    • sundaytele // October 6, 2019 at 14:55 // Reply

      Receipt? Of course, there’s one —- our local MP Mr Collins had a photo taken with Mr Stainer ! Surely, this is a far better “receipt “ than Mr Stainer would have asked for !!!
      For Mr Collins, his “ sweet smirk “ in the photo is worth every penny . Never mind the bill !!

  2. petertheteacher // October 6, 2019 at 09:11 // Reply

    No more freeloading off the backs of residents? No more free lunches? Let’s get some decent and honest management in the Grand and keep the lights on and the jobs open.

  3. sundaytele // October 6, 2019 at 15:06 // Reply

    Victory never stops ! Many Congratulations to the residents at The Grand !!!

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