Charles Taylor

Our founder and former Head of Chambers, Charles Taylor, tragically died last week. We have many fond memories of Charles  and much to be thankful for. He will be hugely missed.

If you would like to share your memories of Charles please do by following this link.

Charles Taylor was an exceptional man and an outstanding advocate.  Bow tied and waist coated and with his red bag swinging from his shoulder he always cut quite a dash through the courts of Sussex and Hampshire. He was the quintessential barrister and fought his cases with passion and verve but always within the letter of the law. He believed in the cab rank principle and accepted instructions that other barristers had declined because the client or the case was unpalatable. Charles thrived acting for and promoting those least favoured or disadvantaged in society.

Educated at what is now the Regis School in Bognor, Charles set up Pallant Chambers in 1979 in the teeth of opposition from the local circuit and with just three other barristers.  He then held the set together through its early years by dint of his own practice and following. He was a force of nature and without him many of our present day barristers, silks and judges would never have got started at the Bar.

Initially practising in crime, Charles converted to civil work in the early 1990’s as the constraints on Legal Aid began to bite. He appeared in pretty much all courts from the House of Lords (now the Supreme Court) to the magistrates.  Many of his reported cases still remain the leading authorities in their respective fields such as R v Kingston (Barry) (1994) Q.B 81 HL (intoxication and consent) and Gafford v Graham (1999) 77 P & CR 73 CA (damages in lieu of an injunction).  Few barristers can claim to have changed the law as much as Charles and he did it all from chambers in Chichester.  He made his mark and in doing so never compromised the things and the people he believed in.

The modern Bar does not admit mavericks like Charles and it is a poorer place as a consequence.

Clifford Darton QC