A tribute on the outstanding career of our friend and colleague Dick LLewellyn
Dick Llewellyn, the former Managing Partner and stalwart of the firm, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in July 2016 at the age of 66. Here we reflect on an outstanding career which saw him described as “one of the best Property Lawyers in the UK” by Chambers & Partners, an independent guide to the UK legal profession.
Originally from Cumbria, Dick joined Gosschalks in 1982 and until his untimely death, he was still practising in the Commercial Property department at Gosschalks where he made his name as a leading figure nationally.
Always able to see the wood for the trees and provide the clarity to find solutions to every problem, Dick became a firm favourite with some of the practices’ biggest national clients with whom he carved a reputation as an outstanding lawyer and deal maker.
One of those clients was Bob Williams, CEO of Arnold White Estates, said “In my mind he was the best property lawyer of his time.Often understated, never flash, but with a brilliant legal brain and a deep understanding of the commercial realities of life. He was, in simple terms, the ‘complete package’.”
“He had this amazing eye for detail and nuance. On many occasions we were negotiating with huge multi-disciplined firms from the City and Dick would be at great pains to point out that he was ‘but a simple lawyer from up North’ and then win every point without the other side even understanding what was happening to them.”
In his prime, late night completions on major deals involving the likes of Grand Metropolitan Estates, William Hill, Enterprise Inns, Punch Taverns and others were the norm in order to get the deal over the line – something Dick thrived on.
It was Dick who drafted the specialist long term licensed premises leases that were to change the world of licensed retailing, and which had to steer a difficult course between European Treaty trade regulations and the desire of his clients to have the world of licensed retailing dovetailing with the rest of the property sector.
It was technically very challenging but Dick delivered in every respect. Dick’s work in this regard became the gold standard against which everything else was judged.
Dick was more than just an outstanding lawyer. He also became a very effective leader throughout his time at the firm - most notably during his 10 year spell as Managing Partner.
Current joint-Managing Partner, Andrew Johnson comments: “From my perspective, as someone who has worked in Dick's department for 22 years, he was a brilliant and commercially astute property lawyer. “
“He was a one off with a larger than life personality who cannot be replaced but whose legacy lives on in the lawyers trained under his caring and expert eye.”
“Although much in demand and always busy he always made time to tutor and develop a huge number of junior lawyers at Gosschalks and many solicitors owe a huge debt of gratitude to him.”
Dick was ‘old school’ and didn’t care much for modern technology or marketing methods, simply believing that working hard and doing a good job every time was the most important thing you should focus on in your career.
It was such an attitude that led him to the very top of his profession.
Away from family and the office, Dick was passionate about shooting and a fan of both codes of rugbyand was a season pass holder at Hull FC, which became his adopted club shortly after he moved to the city.
He would have been extremely proud to have seen the Airlie Birds finally put their Wembley hoodoo behind them to bring home the Challenge Cup.
Simon Lunt, current Senior Partner at Gosschalks who was in partnership with Dick for more than 30 years said: “We are devastated to have lost such a valued friend and colleague.”
“Dick was a brilliant property lawyer with a national reputation – admired by his work colleagues and clients alike. He will be greatly missed by all. “
Dick is survived by his wife Julie and his three children, Kate, James and David.
21 June 1950 - 10 July 2016
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