Obituary: Lord Maxwell

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MAY I add to your obituary of Lord Maxwell (5 January, by Lord Weir)? writes Robin Dormer.

I was in the early 1980s a rather junior member of the legal staff at the (English) Law Commission. I worked under Dr Peter North and later Mr Brian Davenport QC on a joint project with the the Scottish Law Commission, and occasionally we had joint meetings with the Scots, who came to London for a day's discussion. Even at these rather technical meetings Lord Maxwell's humanity and acuity were both abundantly demonstrated (even where one did not completely agree with his views). He had a particularly theatrical - and disconcerting - habit, when invited to agree with a proposition whose accuracy he doubted, of gazing speculatively at the proposer through the (blank) top half of a pair of spectacles which contained glass only in the bottom half (and which were thus really a pair of half-moons in full-size frames) and saying 'Well, I don't know; I'd have to ask a lawyer.'

He had an irresistible brand of deadpan humour and was at the same time a wise and learned lawyer who showed great consideration for his juniors; and I shall remember him with affection and respect.