Kerry Bretherton QC

Year of call 1992

Silk 2016

Instructing Kerry
For further information or to instruct Kerry please contact one of our following clerks:

Billy Forecast
Practice Managers

+44 (0) 20 7421 5300
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“She is thorough, incredibly astute, generous with her time and of course her knowledge speaks for itself.” “She is highly efficient and takes time to talk through her views and ensure that her advice has been understood.”

Chambers & Partners 2022

“Kerry is incredibly knowledgeable and can put complex law into lay terms for clients to understand. She is calm and confident when advocating. She is realistic in managing the client’s expectations and instills confidence.”

Legal 500 2022

“She is very thorough and looks at many different angles, handling difficult clients well.”

Legal 500 2021

“She has an incredible ability to be able to review large documents and pick out key information at breakneck speed.”

Legal 500 2020

“A new silk with a track record of heavyweight cases”.

Legal 500 2016

“Ferociously tenacious, she has incredible judgement and is willing to take on difficult cases and battle on where others would give up.”

Chambers UK 2016

“She is methodical, robust and a solid, safe pair of hands.”

Chambers UK 2016

“She fights hard for her clients and gives it her all.”

Legal 500 2015

“She is extremely hard-working, dedicated and knowledgeable.”

Legal 500 2015

“Easy to work with and imaginative.”

Legal 500 2014

“A formidable lawyer who handles difficult questions with aplomb. She has an ability to turn complicated cases into winnable ones.”

Chambers UK 2014

“Very knowledgeable and approachable,” “she’s really at the top of her game in the Court of Appeal.”

Chambers UK 2014

“Someone who always looks for the killer point in a case.”

Chambers UK 2013

“She is not afraid to run unusual points of law and is willing to go the extra mile in terms of advice and assistance.”

Chambers UK 2013
  • Appointed to Attorney General’s A Panel (2012)
  • Re-elected to Bar Council (2012)
  • Appointed Panel Counsel to Equality & Human Rights Commission (2011)
  • Elected to Bar Council [3 year term] (2009)
  • Kerry has contributed to the forthcoming Service Charges & Management Tanfield Chambers 4th edition.
  • PBA
  • SHLA

Kerry Bretherton QC practices in the field of Property (real property, and landlord and tenant commercial and residential) and Business and Commercial Law.  Her work encompasses all aspects of property litigation and development, in addition to related issues including professional negligence.

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).

Kerry is a contributor to Service Charges and Management 4th Edition and regularly speaks on all aspects of property law, in particular real property including rights of way and boundary disputes.

Areas of expertise

Kerry is a specialist in property and housing litigation. Her clients include developers, property management companies, private clients, charities and local and central government.

Kerry’s real property work includes public and private rights of way, land registration, boundaries, easements, rights of light and party walls. A recent example of her work is MacLeod and others v Gold Harp Properties Ltd and others [2014] EWCA Civ 1084; [2015] 1 W.L.R. 1249 (in which Kerry succeeded in the Court of Appeal in the leading case on land registration). Kerry is editor of the Tanfield Chambers monthly Real Property Newsletter.

Commercial property transactions such as high value 54 Act cases including renewal, possession and dilapidations. A recent example is lease renewal of an office block, which had substantial financial significance to her client. Kerry was involved in work regarding the Pubs Code. Kerry chaired the RICS Dilapidations Roadshow in Leicester in 2016.

Recent examples of her work include London & Quadrant Housing Trust Ltd v Prestige Properties [2013] EWCA Civ 130 which concerned possession of an alleged ransom strip in which Kerry obtained personal costs orders against the director and shadow director and succeeded in the Court of Appeal.

Residential property cases including mixed use developments, service charge disputes, leasehold enfranchisement, rights of first refusal, right to manage, possession and disrepair.

Recent work has included high value disputes on issues ranging from VAT chargeable on service charges in high end developments to cases involving right to manage and rights of first refusal. Kerry has been involved in some of the most significant cases in this area including McDonald v McDonald [2016] UKSC 28; [2016] 3 W.L.R. 45 (which concerns the right to rely upon an Article 8 defence in a claim brought by a private landlord in which permission has been sought to appeal to the ECHR), Ruza Berrisford v Mexfield Housing Co-operative[2011] UKSC 52; [2011] 3 W.L.R. 1091 which involved tenancies for life; London Borough of Hackney v Findlay [2011] EWCA Civ 8 in which Kerry succeeded in the Court of Appeal regarding the procedural test which was applicable when a tenant failed to attend a possession hearing and Sharples v Places for People; Godfrey v A2 Dominion Housing [2011] EWCA Civ 813; [2011] H.L.R. 45 concerning possession and debt relief orders and Alexander-David v Mayor and Burgesses of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham [2009] EWCA Civ 259 the lead case on granting tenancies to minors in which Kerry succeeded in the Court of Appeal.

Kerry was A panel Government Counsel prior to her appointment to silk and is recognised in the directories for her work in public law. The primary focus of her public law work is on property related public law issues such as planning/compulsory purchase and commercial public law issues such as public procurement and issues affecting local government although she is also known for her work in the Court of Protection.

Her work ranges from cases in the Supreme Court, most recently MB v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2016] UKSC 53; [2017] 1 All E.R. 338 (referred to the ECJ) and Court of Appeal examples include R. (on the application of Kent CC) v Secretary of State for Health [2015] EWCA Civ 81; [2015] 1 W.L.R. 1221 (ordinary residence under the National Assistance Act) Secretary of State for the Home Department v CT (Vietnam) [2016] EWCA Civ 488 to tribunal work such as AN Checker Heating & Services Engineers v Revenue and Customs Commissioners First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber), [2013] UKFTT 506 (TC).

Notable Cases

  • MB v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions[2016] UKSC 53; [2017] 1 All E.R. 338 Referred to the ECJ by the Supreme Court.
  • McDonald v McDonald [2016] UKSC 28; [2016] 3 W.L.R. 45 Possession.
  • Haile v Waltham Forest LBC [(UKSC) 2015] A.C. 1471 Intentional homelessness.
  • R (on the application of Kent CC) v Secretary of State for Health [2015] EWCA Civ 81; [2015] 1 W.L.R. 1221 Ordinary residence under the National Assistance Act.
  • MacLeod & Others v Gold Harp Properties Ltd & Others [2014] EWCA Civ 1084; [2015] 1 W.L.R. 1249 Land registration.
  • London & Quadrant Housing Trust v Prestige Properties Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 130 Forfeiture, injunctions and costs.
  • Places for People Homes Ltd v Sharples [2012] Ch. 382 Debt Relief Orders, bankrupcy and possession.
  • Mexfield Housing Co-operative v Berrisford[2011] UKSC 52; [2012] 1 A.C. 955 Life tenancies.

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