David Batcup described as “charming” and “utterly courteous” by his peers
A top criminal law barrister and part-time judge has been killed in a suspected hit and run this week, in what’s been described as a “sad loss to the bar”.
David Batcup, who was 64-years-old and a tenant at Charter Chambers, was reportedly hit by a Porsche 911 as he left a charity battle-of-the-bands event. The concert, Law Rocks, is described as “a memorable event where legal professionals can let their hair down and have a blast”, and featured performances from lawyers at Mishcon de Reya, One Inner Temple Lane and others.
According to The Standard, paramedics battled to save Batcup — who retired from his position as head of chambers in 2000 when he became a part-time Crown Court judge — for half an hour, before he was pronounced dead at the scene.
A 51-year-old male was reportedly arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and failing to stop at the scene of the collision, and has been bailed.
The legal profession has been quick to pay tribute to Batcup, with fellow criminal barrister Max Hardy describing his death as a “sad loss to the bar”.
Appeared in front of Mr Recorder David Batcup only weeks ago. Utterly professional utterly courteous. Sad loss to the Bar.
— Max Hardy (@maxbarrister) September 14, 2016
Farringdon Chambers’ Brent Martin echoed Hardy’s sentiments, describing Batcup as a “talented barrister and a charming man.”
— Brent A. Martin (@zeitgeistlondon) September 14, 2016
Charter Chambers has released an official statement on its website, in which it describes Batcup’s death as “a senseless tragedy”, and continues:
To those of us who were his friends, he will be remembered further as a warm, modest, loyal, open and big-hearted family man, good-humoured, ever ‘there for you’, ready with a good word, never angry or bad tempered, always beaming up at you — he was very short! He had a particular strength in that he was genuinely interested in everyone he met, he never forgot anyone, even those of brief acquaintance. It was a knack that he had of making everyone seem important to him, as they were. But David was also hugely important to us and we shall miss him terribly.
Last night, Doughty Street silk Sarah Elliott pointed out that, unfortunately, Batcup is among a number of barristers who have died this year.
John Jones, David Howker, David Batcup. Very sad year for their chambers, their families and their friends.
— Sarah Elliott QC (@sebarrister) September 15, 2016
This spring, former Julian Assange lawyer John Jones QC died when he was struck by a train. An inquest into the Doughty Street barrister’s death returned a narrative determination: the coroner concluded “the state of [Jones’] mental health at the time meant he lacked the necessary intent to categorise this as suicide”, though she did say he intended to jump in front of the train. David Howker QC, of 2 Hare Court, “died suddenly whilst on holiday with his family in France” this August.
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