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Sir Michael James Kerry KCB QC MA (5 August 1923 – 11 May 2012[1]) was the holder of the official titles of Her Majesty's Procurator General and Treasury Solicitor from 1980 to 1984.

Michael James Kerry was educated at Rugby School and St John's College, Oxford.[2] During the Second World War, he served as an RAF pilot-officer and was trained in Japanese and codebreaking at the School of Oriental and African Studies and Bletchley Park. In June 1944 he went to the Wireless Experimental Centre in Delhi, India.[3] He was called to the Bar by Lincoln's Inn in 1949 and joined the Solicitor's Department of the then Board of Trade in 1951. Following involvement with the case of the wreck of the Torrey Canyon in 1967, he was the UK representative to the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization and was a founder member of its Legal Committee.[2]

Michael Kerry was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1976 and a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the New Year Honours of 1983.[4] He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1984.[5] After retiring from the Government Legal Service in 1984, Sir Michael became the first dedicated legal adviser to GCHQ 1984–1990.[2]

Sir Michael was an Honorary Fellow of St John's College, Oxford.[6]


  1. ^ "Death announcement". The Times, London. 16 May 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Obituary, The Times, London, 21 May 2012
  3. ^ The Emperor's Codes: The Breaking of Japan's Secret Ciphers - Michael Smith - Google Books. 15 February 2000. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  4. ^ Supplement to the London Gazette, 31 December 1982
  5. ^ "Burke's Peerage - Preview Family Record". 5 August 1923. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  6. ^ "Honorary and Emeritus Fellows - St John's College Oxford". Retrieved 16 May 2012.

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Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir Basil Hall
HM Procurator General and Treasury Solicitor
Succeeded by
Sir John Bailey