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A tribute to David di Mambro

It is with great sadness that we announce the death on Friday 17th February of David di Mambro, a valued member of chambers. He will be much missed by all who knew him. Please read a tribute from Mr. Thomas Dumont KC here:

David di Mambro was called to the Bar by the Middle Temple in 1973 as a Blackstone Scholar having studied law at King’s College London. He practised for nigh on 50 years, specialising in Property Law and in Commercial Law. But if that sounds anodyne, it does not give the flavour of the man.

David had an independent spirit and a highly analytical mind. It was his force of character which stood out, as he carved out a successful international career, acting for clients from Moscow to Monserrat. His clients were devoted to him for his tenacious (though even that word does not do his qualities full justice) representation.

He was an awesome litigator, at his absolute best when exposing fraud in what seemed at first glance innocent surroundings, and equally at home in his frequent stomping ground, the Privy Council. There his carefully-crafted legal submissions and admirable brevity always found a good reception. He never took a step backwards, was always on the attack, unsettling the opposition, however grand and supposedly unflappable.

Those he roughed over in court would have been surprised that he was the doyen of the Civil Procedure Rules. He served on the Civil Procedure Rule Committee for an unprecedented 9 years in the enormously important period from 2004 – 2013. Thereafter, he almost singlehandedly helped many other legal systems to adopt the CPR in a way that suited them, ranging from Barbados to the BVI.

He had wide experience and a high reputation as both an arbitrator and – perhaps more surprisingly – a mediator. He was nothing if not direct, and that directness particularly appealed to the international client. He was very proud of his Italian heritage, and had inherited from his father a generosity displayed at its best at home over a beef wellington and very good bottle of red or at his home-from-home, Lords Cricket Ground.

He was exceptionally, and rightly, proud of his adored family: Louise OBE, his wife, who has recently retired as Registrar of the Privy Council and the Supreme Court, and his son, Jules, a banker. David’s sense of humour was acute but he did not spare himself, such as when it had to be explained to him on a cricket tour why all his team mates were shouting “Danny!” at him in the field. David was the double of Danny de Vito.

David was remarkably loyal and supportive to those whom he thought deserved loyalty and support. He fought his cancer with all the doughtiness for which he was known, and helped others in a similar predicament, more than it is possible to say here. We will miss him.