Tributes pour in for ‘universally loved’ family solicitor

Topics: Family and children

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A family lawyer renowned for her work on international child abduction cases has died, aged 63.

Wendy Kemp joined Exeter firm Crosse & Crosse in 1997 as a trainee solicitor and went on to become head of the family department.

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In a statement, the firm said it had received messages of sympathy from all levels of the legal profession, including former colleagues, barristers, judges and court staff.

The statement added Kemp was ‘universally popular, loved and respected by those with whom she came into contact’.

‘She was a very caring person who showed great warmth and empathy to those around her.

‘She was well known for her ability to charm the most difficult or antagonistic of people. She had a great sense of fun and a mischievous sense of humour.’

Kemp dealt with many aspects of family law, specifically high-value matrimonial matters and complex children cases. She also worked with immigration practitioners for related advice on problems with British immigration status.

One of her first cases as a trainee was a case which went all the way to the House of Lords on a point of law.

Her firm said: ‘Taking a case to the [then] highest court in the land is something most solicitors never experience in their careers.

‘Wendy accomplished this at the very start of her legal career - quite possibly a unique achievement - and as many have commented this week, "how typical of Wendy".’

She was a member of the Law Society Advanced Family Panel, had accreditation in Hague Convention cases and was a member of Reunite, the international child abduction charity.

She was also one of the few solicitors in the south-west to be registered as a member of the Home Office International Child Abduction Unit.

She leaves behind a husband and two children.

A memorial service will be held at Exeter Cathedral on 12 February at 2pm.

Readers' comments (6)

  • R.I.P Wendy and condolences to those you sadly left behind

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  • Extremely proud of my sister Wendy Kemp. After having her family young, she graduated from Exeter with a law degree and qualified as a solicitor in her early 40s. She was dedicated to the profession, and her clients. Cancer took her from us too soon, but to quote Abraham Lincoln: "And in the end it is not the years in your life that count, but the life in your years". Wendy's contribution to life outweighed her years by far. Thanks from all the family to all those in the legal fraternity who have sent their love and appreciation, it is a huge support. All who knew Wendy are welcome to the Memorial service at Exeter Cathedral on Friday 12th February.

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  • My deepest condolences to Lesley and to your family. Your sister sounds like the sort of person our profession can ill do without.

    May she rest in peace

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  • I have never met Wendy Kemp, yet it is clear that she was a well loved and true professional in her field. Undoubtedly unbelievably sad for her family and colleagues, though also a huge loss to the profession that she thrived in.

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  • I knew Wendy a while ago. She was funny, lively and wise. In those days her legal career was still a pipe dream so I am absolutely delighted to hear of her achievements, overwhelmed in fact. Lesley, typically positive. Lots of love, John.

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  • Wendy's sense of humour will be keeping them in stitches at the pearly gates already no doubt. It is what I will miss most about her. She was as irreverent towards her cancer as she was towards all the challenges she fought with such style and aplomb during her career. We both rose swiftly in our Exeter famiyl law careers from articled clerkship to partnership and kept each other amused throughout. It will never be the same without her.

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