The Lord of the Manor of Prior's Hall, Lindsell, is Stephen Lautens GCJ, B.A., J.D. (LL.B.), a Canadian barrister and solicitor born in 1959.
Stephen Lautens became the Lord of the Manor of Prior's Hall in 2013. The previous Lord of the Manor was Dame Yvonne Trueman MBE, DJ, FRaeS, FRIN, who acquired it directly from New College, Oxford, which had owned it since it was conveyed to it in 1391 by William of Wykeham, the Lord Chancellor of England and Bishop of Winchester.
Called to the Bar in 1988, Stephen had his own litigation practice in Toronto for ten years. In 1997 he served as president of The Lawyers Club. Prior to the practice of law he worked for two years as a Special Assistant to cabinet minister The Honourable Senator Hazen Argue, P.C., Minister of State (CWB).
In 1998 Stephen Lautens served as President of The Ontario Club, served a second term as President again in 2003, and finally in 2009-10. After the Ontario Club joined The National Club in 2010, he joined its board of directors where he served as National Club president in 2013-14.
In 2008 he was presented with the Freedom of the City of London (UK) and is a current member of the Court of The Honourable Company of Freemen of the City of London of North America. He is a supporting member of the Officers' Mess of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada (Princess Louises's), and has served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian International Military Tattoo. In 2006 he was appointed an Honourary Colonel & Aide de Camp to the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He is an armiger, with personal arms granted by the Canadian Heraldic Authority and is listed in the Canadian edition of Who’s Who. In 2012 he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to Canada through volunteerism and not-for-profit service.
In 2007, Stephen Lautens was elected Grand Master of The Equestrian, Secular and Chapterial Order of Saint Joachim, a European Order of Chivalry founded in 1755 and devoted to charity, which has counted among its notable members Admiral Horatio Nelson. In 2010 Stephen Lautens founded The Noble Hearts Foundation, the charitable arm of the Order, which supports micro-finance projects in the developing world.
Stephen Lautens served seven years as a Governor of The National Newspaper Awards and two terms as President of the Toronto Press Club. A part-time journalist, for 16 years Stephen wrote a weekly column for a major Canadian newspaper. His articles have appeared in numerous other publications, including the Toronto Star, Canadian Lawyer Magazine, and as a regular feature in The Calgary Sun, The National Post, The London Free Press and Toronto Sun. He has appeared as a commentator on radio and television.
With an extensive background in communications and business, he has most recently served as Vice President, Corporate Communications and General Counsel for a Toronto Stock Exchange-listed exploration company with a gold project in the People’s Republic of China, which was acquired by a major Chinese gold company in 2012. He now has a communications and investor relations consulting practice.
He earned his J.D. degree from Queen’s University, Kingston and a B.A. in history from Victoria College at the University of Toronto.
Stephen Lautens is married to his wife Rhea. They live in Toronto, Canada with their son, James.