Newcastle lawyer who stressed the importance of family representation in the legal system
AGATESHEAD SOLICITOR specialising in criminal and family law, Therese Silver, who died suddenly in London, aged 69, was a partner with well-known local law firm Edward Hathaway, but retired from private practice in 1999, after her husband, Dr Emmanuel Silver, became terminally ill.
She was appointed a Deputy District Judge in 1998 and continued to sit regularly in the North East until her retirement last year. She insisted that in order to fulfil her duties as a DDJ, she needed to keep up to date with changes in law. She held strong views on the importance of family law, ensuring that parents received the best possible legal representation both in and out of court. She maintained a special relationship with her clients, or punters, as she referred to them, was a supporter of rehabilitation and the Prisoner Literacy Programme.
Therese Silver was the youngest child of Dorothy and William Handley, born in Blyth,Northumberland. With her husband Emmanuel, she lived in Gosforth and raised a daughter Alex and son Rupert. In 1973, she decided to study for a law degree with the encouragement of her husband. After qualifying, she was articled to a well known criminal and family law practice in Gateshead, Basil Mellon and Co and was admitted as a solicitor in 1984. In 1986, she joined Edward Hathaway and Coas a partner
Several years after her husband’s death in 2000, Therese downsized to a smaller home in Jesmond but in recent years she spent increasingly more time at her flat in London, close to her children and grandchildren, and then decided to hang up her gown and move south.
Therese had been a member of the Newcastle upon Tyne Law Society for 31 years, as well as a dedicated member of the North of England Medico Legal Society, serving for several years on the committee. She was actively involved with the Newcastle Jewish community, and was a member of Newcastle’s United Hebrew Congregation. She supported many charitable organisations, including the Jewish nursery school during the 1970s, Wizo and other synagogue fundraising events.
She was also involved in a secular organisation, Minsteracres Retreat, available to both religious and non religious people, from 2009 until her resignation in September 2016. She served originally on the shadow board and, after Minsteracres gained charitable status in 2012, she became Trustee/ Director. Therese was also a benefactor to St Mungo’s, a charity that helps people recover from issues which generate homelessness.
Her family and friends described Therese as effervescent, vivacious, charismatic, quick-witted, hugely entertaining, hospitable and possessing a great sense of humour. She was an avid bridge player, interested in the University of the Third Age, world cruising, Judaism and lively general debate.
A glamorous lady who was instantly recognisable by her bright orange hair, she always encouraged her children with their careers. She is survived by her children and three granddaughters Scarlett, Sophia and Lottie. Emmanuel’s children from his former marriage, Michelle and Alan, her brother and sister and extended families, also survive her.