Tributes have been paid from across the legal profession to veteran international solicitor Stephen Denyer, whose death at the age of 68 was announced today. Denyer was director of strategic relationships at the Law Society, which he joined after 36 years at magic circle firm Allen & Overy. 

Law Society chief executive Ian Jeffery said: 'Everyone at the Law Society is deeply saddened by the passing of Stephen Denyer. Stephen made a wide ranging and enduring contribution to the legal profession both here and abroad over the full length of a very distinguished legal career. Stephen was a much-loved colleague and mentor, sharing expertise with and creating opportunities for many colleagues across many organisations, including of course our own. His wisdom and his open and generous spirit will be missed by everyone across the organisation, our membership and the legal community in the UK and internationally.

Stephen denyer

Stephen Denyer: a much-loved colleague and mentor

'Stephen was a beloved husband and father, and our thoughts are with his family and all who knew him at this difficult time.'

Denyer joined A&O as a trainee after taking a BA in law at the University of Durham. He was admitted to the roll in 1980. During his career with A&O he was responsible for establishing, expanding or managing 11 of the firm’s international offices and had management responsibility for teams comprising several hundred fee-earners and support staff from many different countries. He played an instrumental role in the internationalisation of both Allen & Overy and of legal practice more widely. 

Denyer was a member of the management board of the International Bar Association. He was also a member of the Council of the American Bar Association Section of International Law and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

As well as his role at the Law Society, Denyer was known across the world for his work with the International Bar Association. As co-chair of the IBA Rule of Law Forum he was an eloquent defender of the rule of law, warning of the consequences of political attacks on lawyers for doing their job. 

City of London Law Society chair Colin Passmore said: 'This sad news about Stephen comes as a terrible shock. He was a giant of a man in all respects, who really gave new life to the Law Society’s relationships with City law firms and indeed with us at the City of London Law Society. He was so easy to work with: creative, genuine and constructive. He will be greatly missed and I extend my deepest sympathies to his grieving family.'

Gene Vance, chair of the American Bar Association's House of Delegates, tweeted: ‘Terribly saddened by the passing of Stephen DenyerI had the pleasure of working with Stephen on several [ABA] meetings & projects over the years. He was a wonderful colleague & will be missed.'


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