Anthony Butcher KC, 1934 – 2023

18th Jan 2024

The members of Atkin Chambers are extremely saddened by the death of Anthony Butcher KC, a former member of Chambers who passed away on 27th December.

Anthony was a construction specialist who was involved in many large cases over his 40-year career. He joined Atkin Chambers in 1957 and witnessed Chambers’ growth from just 10 members to the 55 it houses today. He took Silk in 1988 and was elected Head of Chambers in 1992. Anthony practised full time until 1998 when he became a Door Tenant and concentrated on arbitral appointments. In addition to being an outstanding lawyer, he was colleague and friend.

“Tony Butcher was the kindest of practitioners always ready to give advice and support to those seeking to make their way in the profession. Tony led me in my first trial when he was a senior junior, he had taken the brief during a busy period. We had a plausible legal case but not the merits and Sir William Stabb QC was not, in those circumstances, the ideal judge. Although my inexperience was all too evident Tony never gave any hint of it. I looked forward to the many cases we did together thereafter, particularly those involving a post hearing trip to the Garrick.

Those who were lucky enough to appear before him as a judge or arbitrator were afforded a courteous and occasionally humorous hearing. The judgment was likely to include a literary reference or two, I recall an architect’s negligence case in which the judgment opened with a quotation from Romeo and Juliet. In later practice he was often called on to speak on the retirement of judges as the senior representative of the bar and I remember phrases such as “horny handed son of toil” and “farewell good and faithful servant” being deployed, the latter a testament to his strong religious conviction.”

He will be missed by all in chambers who knew him.”
Nicholas Dennys KC

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