Kerry Bretherton QC

Year of call 1992


Kerry is a property, housing and public law silk.  She is ranked in the Legal 500 2016 for her work in Property Litigation and Social Housing. Legal 500 note she is "A new silk with a track record of heavyweight cases".  With a reputation for being "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).  She is also ranked in the directories for her work in Administrative & Public Law, which included work as A Panel Government Counsel prior to appointment to silk and local government work as well as for her work in the Court of Protection.  Kerry accepts direct access work.

Kerry has substantial experience in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal and has appeared in some of the most significant cases in recent years. Her property housing and public law practice spans the following:

Real property work includes land registration, boundaries, easements, rights of light and party walls;

Commercial property transactions such as high value 54 Act cases including renewal, possession and dilapidations;

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

Social housing including homelessness, allocations, right to buy, possession, succession, and disrepair;

Public law including planning law, compulsory purchase, judicial review, advice on legislation, local government litigation and policy advice

Kerry has appeared in many of the leading cases in property, housing and public law. 

Recent examples of her Supreme Court work include 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), Haile v Waltham Forest LBC [(UKSC) [2015] A.C. 1471 (an intentional homelessness case in which Kerry succeeded on behalf of the appellant and the Supreme Court clarified the relevant test); ACCG v MN (the jurisdictional boundary between the Administrative Court and COP, heard in December 2016 and in which judgment is pending from the Supreme Court). 

Recent examples of her Court of Appeal work include Leeds City Council v Broadley [2017] H.L.R. 7 CA (permission to appeal has been sought from the Supreme Court) and 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 leading case on land registration).


2016 Recommendations:

Legal 500 2016 record she is "A new silk with a track record of heavyweight cases". Kerry is ranked in Property, and also in Social Housing and Administrative & Public Law. Chambers & Partners 2016 note her reputation as "Ferociously tenacious, she has incredible judgement and is willing to take on difficult cases and battle on where others would give up." "She is methodical, robust and a solid, safe pair of hands." Kerry is ranked in Social Housing and Administrative & Public Law.

Historic recommendations

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

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

“An impressive advocate... particularly experienced..." 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 

Tanfield Chambers' Kerry Bretherton is considered by many to be a "brilliant" practitioner and  she is "someone who always looks for the killer point in a case." is "extremely strong in terms of her oral advocacy." Sources note that her "written work is exceptional," and appreciate that "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 

"...excellent on her feet” and “admired in court”.  

“tenacious, and someone whose advice is always clear and concise. If you have a tough case and you need a battler, she is the one,"

"excellent with clients."


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

Chambers & Partners (2016)

"A new silk with a track record of heavyweight cases"

Legal 500 (2016)