Obituary: Bernard Simons

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The Independent Online
NO MAN is a hero to his valet but Bernard Simons was beloved and admired by many of us who had the exacting privilege of being his articled clerk. Destitute drug addict or well- known politicians were accorded the same courtesy, hard work and discretion, writes Eve Ross Hitchens.

He demanded the highest standards because he gave nothing less, devoting the same care to a burglar on remand in Brixton as to a major case which would attract great publicity. He never indulged in the gossip that belittles, he invited confidences and kept them, whether professional or personal.

He stayed loyal to clients, to employees and to friends. When I went off to be a full-time mother and drifted so far to the right it must have alarmed him, he remained a friend ready to help and to listen.

Bernard was not always temperate and measured. I remember long working days rewarded by the most wounding anger when I was not good enough. But I also remember the champagne after my first triumph.

There was no clear separation between work and play. Clients were friends, good barristers might become friends - though he would never brief someone out of friendship. And I shall never forget my first Christmas Eve in his employ, when I had the special treat of queuing in Jermyn Street for his cheese.

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