Celebrate the Lives

Nicholas Wood (center)

Master Nicholas Wood
31 January 1943–07 December 2022

Master Wood was called to the Bar in 1970 and practised at 5 Paper Buildings.

He retired to Devon later in life. Master Wood was elected a Bencher of the Inn in 1990. He was a member of the Library and Archive Committees. He was a strong supporter of the Archive Committee, offering invaluable assistance with the oral history project. He took on the task of editing many of the transcripts and produced editing guidelines for future history interviews.



James Guthrie KC

Master James Guthrie
21 February 1950–26 December 2022

Master James Guthrie KC was called to the Bar in 1975 and joined 3 Hare Court (then at 1 Crown Office Row) the following year. He took silk in 1993, and later served as Head of Chambers for two terms, spanning nine years. He was elected a Bencher of the Inn in 2000 and sat as a Recorder until 2021. Over a long and distinguished career, Master Guthrie practised both in criminal and civil work and developed a specialist practice in the Privy Council, undertaking appeals across the full spectrum of the Judicial Committee’s jurisdiction. He became indelibly associated with the work of the Privy Council, appearing in hundreds of petitions and appeals instructed by governments, corporations and individuals.

Master Guthrie was also admitted to the Bars of the Turks and Caicos Islands, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, St Christopher and Nevis, Grenada, Bermuda, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and the Bahamas, and he appeared in the Caribbean Court of Justice and in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal of Mauritius, making many friends overseas and embracing their diverse cultures.

Master Guthrie was one of the architects of PACH, the precursor to the current Pupillage Gateway, and was himself a pupil supervisor for many years, including to Master James Dingemans. He was a member of various committees including the Education & Training Committee, Investment Sub-Committee, and the Pegasus Scholarship Trust, where he served as Chair from 2014-2019. He also took particular interest in the legal action NGO, the Death Penalty Project, to help protect the human rights of those facing the death penalty.

A highly respected advocate, he wore the burdens of his important work lightly, combining an easy manner and understated charm with common sense and impeccable judgment.



Gerard Austin-Smith QC

Master Gerard Austin-Smith
4 September 1944–15 August 2022

Master Austin-Smith was Called to the Bar by The Inner Temple in 1969 and took silk 1990. He was Recorder from 1986 to 2014 and a Department of Trade and Industry Inspector from 1988 to 1990. Master Austin-Smith was elected a Governing Bencher of the Inn in 2002.



Mark George KC

Master Mark George
10 July 1952–20 December 2022

Mark George KC was called to the Bar in 1976 and took silk in 2009. He was a member of Garden Court Chambers for over 25 years before becoming Head of Garden Court North in 2013. He specialised in criminal defence with expertise in murder, manslaughter, major drug importations and serious sexual cases. He represented 22 Hillsborough families at the 2014-2016 inquests. He was an avid supporter of Chelsea FC and fascinated by Old English, Norse History and the ancient standing stones.

Master George was elected a Bencher of the Inn in 2013. He was a long serving member of the Estates, Education & Training, and Qualifying Sessions Committees.

Garden Court North Chambers said at the time of his death, “Mark was a principled advocate, campaigner and a fighter for social justice as well at the rule of law, whose presence, friendship, strength and wisdom will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”



Stuart Denney KC

Master Stuart Denney
15 June 1959–23 January 2023

Master Stuart Denney was born in Welwyn Garden City and educated at St John’s Leatherhead. After reading law at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, Stuart Denney KC was called to the Bar in 1982 and took silk in 2008. He specialised in criminal and regulatory law and was formerly a member of Deans Court Chambers in Manchester, where he was Head of the Criminal Department. Master Denney was pupil master to Master Sophie Cartwright and Miss Ros Elmsley Smith and delighted in the success they have both achieved.

Master Denney was elected a Bencher of the Inn in 2015. He was actively involved in education and training activities on Circuit and attended many student residential weekends, often with his wife, Master Louise Bancroft. They have one son, who did not follow them into the law, but who was his pride and joy.

Master Denney reluctantly retired from the Bar in 2021 when the physical toll on his body of long term kidney disease became too much to do the job he loved so much. In retirement, he had more time to follow the fortunes (or otherwise) of Scottish Rugby and English cricket whilst completing sudoku puzzles and cryptic crosswords in record time and, always, to enjoy a glass of his favourite Sauvignon Blanc. He died peacefully on 23 January 2023.

Master Denney was summed up by Mr Justice Mark Turner, a friend and former member of Chambers, who presided at the eulogy given at Manchester Crown Court to a packed court on 16 June 2023 as “a lion of the Bar” who “was feared in the courtroom but beloved in the robing room; direct, succinct, self-effacing, resilient. Devoid of self-pity.”



Dame Clare Marx DBE DL FRCS

Master Clare Marx
15 March 1954–26 November 2022

Dame Clare Marx was a consultant orthopaedic surgeon who was the first woman President of the British Orthopaedic Association, the first woman President of The Royal College of Surgeons and the first woman Chair of the General Medical Council, a role from which she stood down at the end of July 2021 due to a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. In 2007 she was awarded a CBE and in 2018 a DBE for services to medicine. Master Marx was elected as an Honorary Bencher of The Inner Temple in 2017.

An interview with Master Marx on Michael Berkeley’s Private Passions on Radio 3 is still available on BBC Radio Sounds here: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0016jvh.

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