Stainer’s Surrender?

Has Michael Stainer given up the ghost? Have those tired old fingertips clinging to the wreckage of the Grand finally lost their grip? Friday’s brief hearing before Insolvency and Companies and Court Judge Mullen granted Mrs. Alison Mooney, the Tribunal-appointed Manager of the Grand, the approval for a Final Charging Order over part of the Grand, after an uncontested application. This charge includes the right to apply for permission to sell.


Charges over property are only granted when there is either an uncontested or court-approved debt. In this case the debt arises out of Hallam Estate’s liability for service charges toward the maintenance of the Grand. These were fixed at 25% of the annual budget in a case first decided in July 2018 and ratified in the High Court in January 2019. The total debt is in the order of £150,000. There are also various court costs relating to failed injunctions as Hallam fought against insolvency.

What makes this case particularly interesting and bizarre is exactly to what part of the Grand this charging order applies. The order on its second page (not shown) refers to “Apartment and Office Suite The Grand the title to which is registered at H.M. Land Registry under Title No. K759594”. A quick visit to the Land Registry shows that this includes the following suites Gordon, Grand, part of the Hythe and the Arundel.

The Land Registry shows the following entries and plan:



Loyal readers will know the “Grand Suite” as “The Flat that Never Was” and as we wrote at the time:

“An examination of the Grand’s website plans places the Grand Suite firmly in an area better known to the drinking classes as Keppels. In other words, it doesn’t exist, and yet there is a mortgage on it which based on figures obtained last year during the Tribunal case is around £100,000. There was a planning application made on the 18th June 2001 under the reference Y01/0544/SH for the “Alternative use of part of bar lounge and dining area as a separate flat unit.“

There is also a charge to Topaz Finance, and a Bankruptcy Notice (Land Charges Reference Number PA 20365/18).

The office suite refers to the offices on the mezzanine floor, including the one left sadly silent by the departure to pastures new of Robert Richardson. Part of the Hythe refers to its own mezzanine level as it has two floors. The Gordon adjoins the “Grand Suite” and opens out onto Terlingham Gardens.

There are mortgages on all of these properties with various insolvency practitioners and receivers seeking to take possession and recover what is owed to HMRC and others.

Now the queue of creditors has another member with the potential power to sell.

We are also reliably informed that further proceedings are imminent………..

The Shepway Vox Team

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2 Comments on Stainer’s Surrender?

  1. It might be wise to avoid counting chickens, like Baldric he usually has a plan however bizarre.

  2. A pesky leaseholder // September 8, 2020 at 20:02 // Reply

    He is full of cunning stunts, probably because he’s a stunning……. His latest trick is to claims costs for the last case he lost in August this year!! He tried this in 2017, presenting a bill from Tanfield Chambers’ very own Jonathan Upton for attending court when in fact Mr Upton stayed, very sensibly, at home.

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