Sir Henry Brooke Tribute
We at Anthony Gold were deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Sir Henry Brooke, retired Lord Justice of Appeal and tireless campaigner for access to justice. Sir Henry was a great friend of the firm and formally opened our New London Bridge House offices in 1995, when he was Chair of the Law Commission.
Tony Gold founded Anthony Gold Solicitors and was instrumental in building the modern, progressive law firm we are today. Tony was fortunate to count Sir Henry as a close friend, who supported him when he was just starting up. Here, he pays tribute to his friend:
“I would never have decided to set up as a sole practitioner in 1963 in the absence of a separate Bar, which in those days universally practiced the ‘cab rank’ rule.
I thought that by using only the most able sets I could compete with much larger solicitors.
From the beginning, I started to use 2 Crown Office Row, now Fountain Court, for all civil proceedings.
Fortunately the clerk was happy to accept the work, and I began to instruct Henry Brooke far more than any other member of chambers.
As recalled by Lord Phillips in the valedictory hearing on Henry’s retirement from the Court of Appeal in 2006, he accepted legal aid matrimonial work from us long after his practice had grown and he was largely being briefed in major commercial cases.
On numerous occasions I asked him to act in legal aid family cases where an ex parte injunction would be sought the following day.
On these occasions, I would personally deliver the papers on my way home from our office in Streatham, usually after 7 p.m. Early the following morning I would collect a long affidavit in Henry’s clear manuscript and meet him in the High Court a few hours later.
After he took silk, he was our first choice of Leading Counsel. We obviously lost contact after his appointment to the bench, but when he retired he was again the firm’s first choice as a mediator.
He was a great friend who supported me in the nicest possible way in the early days, and remained steadfast in his help for the firm in later years.
The current partners who knew him, above all David Marshall, and myself felt a deep sense of loss when we learned of his death.
Our heartfelt sympathy to his wife and children.”
Sir Henry Brooke passed away on 30 January. He was 81 and died following cardiac valve surgery. He was a tireless campaigner in support of legal aid funding, and made a unique commitment and contribution to justice for all. This ethos continues to underpin the values at Anthony Gold.