Born in July 1935, the son of a Canterbury ironmonger, he studied law at University College, London, and was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in 1959. After a spell in lecturing in law in Ghana he returned to the Bar. He took Silk in 1975, became a Crown court Recorder the following year and Chairman of the Bar in 1991. He was also a Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn. Known to his friends and colleagues as “Scriv” he was dedicated to the cab-rank principle and represented diverse clients in some of the most high profile cases of the day. They included Guinness defendant Jack Lyons, Guildford Four member Gerry Conlon, Winston Silcott, acquitted of the murder of PC Keith Blacklock, as well as Norfolk farmer Tony Martin, who shot dead an intruder at his home, Dame Shirley Porter over the homes-for-votes scandal and disgraced Polly Peck tycoon Asil Nadir. He famously quipped: “A common law barrister like myself has seen every type of depravity possible and can say it in Latin.”