Mar­ion Sim­mons

BORN LON­DON, APRIL 11, 1949. DIED LON­DON, MAY 2, 2008, AGED 59.

The Jewish Chronicle - - Features 23 -

CHAIR­MAN OF the Com­pe­ti­tion Ap­peal Tri­bunal, Mar­ion Sim­mons QC pro­vided vi­tal lead­er­ship and en­cour­age­ment while over­see­ing many sig­nif­i­cant de­ci­sions.

She pi­o­neered di­rect ac­cess to the Bar and the es­tab­lish­ment of struc­tured ad­vo­cacy train­ing schemes for the Inns of Court, to the ben­e­fit of stu­dent bar­ris­ters. She gained many friend­ships from her lec­tures in Bri­tain, Europe and China.

Her fa­ther, Sid­ney, left school at 14 and went into the fam­ily furniture busi­ness. He and his wife, Bella, in­stilled the im­por­tance of ed­u­ca­tion in her and their sur­viv­ing daugh­ter, Jenny.

Brought up in Finch­ley, North Lon­don, Mar­ion went to Jewish pri­mary school at Kerem, fol­lowed by Hen­don County School. She grad­u­ated from Queen Mary Col­lege, Univer­sity of Lon­don, with both a bach­e­lor and mas­ter’s de­gree in law.

Qual­i­fy­ing as a bar­ris­ter in 1970, she be­came a Bencher of Gray’s Inn in 1993 — one of the first fe­male ju­niors to do so. She was ap­pointed QC in 1994 and a recorder in 1998. Through­out her ca­reer, she ap­peared in many sig­nif­i­cant and re­ported le­gal cases. She was ap­pointed to the Com­pe­ti­tion Ap­peal Tri­bunal in 2003.

Her roles in other or­gan­i­sa­tions in­cluded serv­ing as vice-chair­man of the ap­peals com­mit­tee of the In­sti­tute of Char­tered Ac­coun­tants, a mem­ber of the Men­tal Health Re­view Tri­bunal Re­stricted Pa­tients Panel 2000, and As­sis­tant Bound­ary Com­mis­sioner 2000.

Only a few months ago, in Oc­to­ber 2007, she was ap­pointed to chair the Per­sons Ap­pointed Panel of the Medicines and Health­care Prod­ucts Reg­u­la­tory Agency. She per­se­vered on ma­te­rial for that panel and for the Com­pe­ti­tion Ap­peal Tri­bunal up to a few days be­fore her death.

De­spite her busy ca­reer, she was al­ways gen­er­ous with her time for oth­ers. In par­tic­u­lar, she helped cre­ate the in­no­va­tive Prince of Wales Chair in child­hood epilepsy. She loved mu­sic, theatre and en­ter­tain­ing at her house in Sus­sex. She was one of the first elected women mem­bers of The Athenaeum Club in Lon­don, af­ter it re­moved its men-only re­stric­tions. She was also a fel­low of the Royal Col­lege of Medicine.

When told that her can­cer left her only a week or two of life, she let col­leagues know and was sur­prised and com­forted by the hun­dreds of mes­sages and vis­its from the for­mer Lord Chief Jus­tice, Lord Woolf, down.

Lord Woolf paid trib­ute to her as a “won­der­ful lawyer and a very brave lady”, who had made an im­mense con­tri­bu­tion to the le­gal pro­fes­sion.

Mar­ion Sim­mons: ap­peals chair

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