News 30th Aug 2016

David Howker QC 1959-2016

Chambers has heartbreaking news to announce.

David Howker QC died suddenly whilst on holiday with his family in France last Thursday. The son of a Blackpool market porter, David came to the Bar via grammar school and Birmingham University. Called in 1982 he quickly found a tenancy in what was then Seddon Cripps’ chambers in Harcourt Buildings before joining us at Hare Court a few years later. As a junior David was one of the Standing Counsel to HMRC and much of his practice then was in tax fraud. He took silk in 2002 and quickly developed a first-class defence practice not just on the South-Eastern circuit but in Birmingham (where he was based for some years) and also in the North West. David’s modest profile on the website – he hated such things – belied his considerable ability. He was a superb jury advocate. But there was much, much more to him because his presence in any large multi-handed case brightened the whole thing up for all; for the other silks and juniors who were co-defending, for his opponents, for the judges and the court staff. His sense of calm, along with his considerable reputation and the high professional standards he demanded of all, also ensured that cases of this sort which might have descended into torrid and ill-tempered weeks or months in court progressed far more smoothly than might otherwise have been expected. David’s ability to talk to all, to really understand a jury and the twinkle in his eye together with his complete lack of pomposity and self-importance, secured countless unexpected outcomes for so many of those lucky enough to have been represented by him. Outside court, as all who knew him will remember, he was capable of reducing his friends and colleagues to tears with his mischievous sense of humour and his endless stories, all told brilliantly. Away from work David had a long-standing love of music stretching back to his Northern Soul days and of art in all its forms. Our sense of loss at Hare Court cannot, of course, compare to that of his wife Shani, their five children and his grandson. David was devoted to all of them and it is at least of some consolation that he died with those he loved so dearly all around him. We will all miss him terribly.

Funeral Arrangements

David’s funeral will be a family event by invitation only (because of very limited space) on Tuesday of next week (13th September) in Brighton. The family hope to arrange a memorial service for all to attend in early October.

Updated 5th September 2016

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