It is with great sadness that we report the sudden passing of our former colleague Stephen Knafler QC who died on Saturday after a short illness.
Stephen was someone who became a lawyer for other people’s benefit, and spent his professional life trying to make the law deliver solutions for the most vulnerable in our society. His main areas of practice – social care and immigration –showed where he chose to make a difference. These areas involved state powers which interacted with people at the most difficult times of their lives, and where people desperately needed the state to act properly. Whether he was acting for a person seeking a better immigration status, a person seeking social welfare support or a local authority trying to do its best in an impossible situation, Stephen was active in these areas because they were cases where the law was important to those in need, and where getting it right really made an immeasurable difference.
Stephen was generous with his time to assist colleagues at Landmark and many of us came to rely on his expertise. But there was so much more to Stephen than being one of the best social care lawyers of his generation. His family and personal relationships were a core part of who he was, his knowledge of music was deep, he had a quick, dry sense of humour and conversations often returned to the Lake District fells where he spent so many happy days.
Stephen’s loss will be felt acutely across the public law Bar and our thoughts are very much with his partner and family at this most difficult time.