Roy Taylor retires after glittering 43 year career
Roy Taylor, who spent 24 years of his career at Gosschalks and whose work has seen him travel the world, left Gosschalks for the final time on Friday evening following a farewell gathering with partners and staff.
Roy was born and raised in Coventry and attended King Henry VIII Grammar School – the same school where Philip Larkin was educated. After studying at university, he travelled to America for three months before returning to Britain.
In 1971, Roy moved to London to pursue a career in Civil Litigation, acting for the entertainment industry for a firm based in Soho. While here, Roy would rub shoulders with the likes of Sean Connery, Pete Townsend, Cat Stevens and Status Quo. These early years have been the source of many of Roy’s famous anecdotes, which, along with his specialist knowledge of Civil Litigation and clear, pragmatic advice, have established him as a firm favourite among his clients and colleagues.
He didn’t know it then, but Roy’s first case at this London-based firm was to change his life.
“For the first six to eight weeks of my legal career, I was involved in a cross-Atlantic case involving the estate of Jimi Hendrix. It was a slightly unusual start to my career to say the least!”
Roy went on to act for Status Quo, helping them depart from Pye Records prior to the release of their Top 10 hit, Paper Plane, in 1972. This was one of the band’s first successes in their new musical direction and the start of a string of hits, including Caroline, that would see them propelled to worldwide success.
After two years in articles and then a year as a qualified solicitor in London, Roy was tempted by the idea of a new challenge. He explains: “At that point, I was still reluctant to stay in Civil Litigation. But after handling these cases, I felt I had gained a lifetime’s worth of experience in this area of the law in my first three months.
“So, after accepting a new job offer, I took the slow boat (well, the 747) to Hong Kong in 1974 and joined, what was then, the largest solicitors practice in Asia.”
In Hong Kong, as in London, Roy specialised in a wide range of complex Civil Litigation disputes. He also practised in Criminal Law disputes.
After seven happy years in Hong Kong, Roy moved back to Britain in 1981 with his wife and two young children and chose to base himself outside London. He was invited to join Gosschalks by Liam Barlow and Bruce Wilkie in 1989, and has practised at the firm ever since. In that time, Roy has seen the transition from a provincial firm to a large commercial practice with a national client base.
Roy comments: “I’ve always seen retirement as an achievement and something to be excited about. One of the promises I made myself when I spent my seven years overseas was that I’d reach my goal of retiring at 65. Gosschalks was a big, established firm with lots of partners, so I could see myself having a long-term future with them.”
Roy leaves a more than capable team of Civil Litigation lawyers behind, “So capable, in fact, that they don’t need me anymore!” jokes Roy.
When asked what retirement plans he has, Roy said: “Well, I’m no good at DIY, I don’t play golf and my daughters have both moved away, so there’s not much prospect of babysitting duties. But no doubt my wife will have plans for me!”
Simon Lunt, Senior Partner at Gosschalks, comments: "Roy's retirement from the firm will bring to an end a glittering legal career that has seen him work all around the globe. Roy is a very popular figure within the firm and has been the perfect role model for those who have been lucky enough to work with him. He has trained his successors well. On behalf of all of the firm’s partners, staff and our clients, I'd like to wish Roy a long, healthy and happy retirement with his wife Diana.”Return to the updates archive »