Simon Chandler, a partner at Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, died on 23 January. Katy Manley, president of the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association pays tribute.
Simon’s career began in the armed forces. He qualified as a solicitor in 1995, specialising in litigation, but never quite lost the passion to ‘get the bad guys’.
Simon, who died on 23 January, specialised as an insurance litigator defending professionals and company directors, in particular solicitors, surveyors, engineers, architects and other construction professionals. His special expertise was in fraud-related claims including managing the process of intelligence gathering, injunction applications and executing civil searches.
Simon stood out because he gained the respect and affection not only of his clients and work colleagues but also his opponents. His exceptional legal ability combined with fair mindedness and deep-rooted professional integrity earned him universal respect and a reputation for strength and reliability in the legal battles he fought.
Simon was prepared to go beyond his professional boundaries to promote justice in the professional world. He was constantly trying to improve the way things are done.
One example of his commitment to creating a fairer and better playing field was The Professional Negligence Forum in Bristol in the late 1990s. This was the first time that specialist training became available for claimant litigators. This far-sighted initiative led to the creation of the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association in 2004 which now spreads throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
Simon wanted to improve claims-handling and he succeeded. He was a visionary whose influence will remain in an industry where traditionally the ‘human’ side is overlooked in the pursuit of commercial gain.
The funeral will take place on 12 February at 12 noon, Catholic Cathedral, Clifton, Bristol.
A full obituary of Simon will follow.