Tributes have been paid to a senior Whitehall lawyer who has died. Stephen Amos was the Government Legal Department’s director of litigation. He was unexpectedly taken ill over the weekend, from non Covid-19 causes, and was admitted to hospital where he died peacefully on Monday evening.

Amos worked in central government for several years. Prior to becoming litigation director in September 2018, he was Cabinet Office Legal Advisers director for seven years. He was also legal director at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and deputy director for legal at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. He was also a deputy director at the Health and Safety Executive.

Sir Jonathan Jones QC (Hon), GLD permanent secretary and treasury solicitor, said: 'Stephen was an exceptional lawyer, leader, colleague and great friend to very many.  He was the most diligent of public servants, committed to the highest standards. Stephen thought deeply about things, including leadership, diversity and fairness. He will be very much missed.'

Jones broke the news of Amos's death on Twitter last night and received several messages of condolence, including from former lord chancellor David Lidington and Philip Rutnam, former permanent secretary at the Home Office.

Alex Thomas, programme director at the Institute for Government, said: ‘Stephen was brilliant, insightful, dedicated, wise. So wise. But even more that fun, mischievous, a person, a leader. RIP Stephen and love to his close colleagues and his family.’

Professor Richard Moorhead, head of Exeter Law School, said: ‘He loved his work and those he worked with… I knew him 30 years and his time at GLD was him absolutely at his peak. Brilliant, loving it, sharing his best.’