Obituary: Sidney Kingsley

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Sidney Kingsley, lawyer, born London 19 November 1913, admitted as a solicitor 1937, Partner Kingsley Napley 1937-76, Consultant 1976-92, married 1957 Rhoda Friedman (one stepson, one stepdaughter), died London 10 September 1992.

SIDNEY KINGSLEY was admitted as a solicitor in February 1937 and immediately set up in practice on his own in a small suite of rooms above Barclays Bank in Kingsway, central London. He shortly thereafter invited David Napley to join him on the basis of an equal share in all fees from work introduced but with Kingsley guaranteeing Napley a minimum wage of 30 shillings per week. The arrangement prospered and in the summer of 1937 the two men became equal partners, and so founded the firm of Kingsley Napley.

Sidney Kingsley never discussed his war years save, one assumes, with old comrades at yearly regimental reunions. His was a very active war, however, during which he served in many theatres and reached the rank of Major, and was appointed MBE. One understands that he caused much disruption and many problems behind German lines.

After the war, the partnership of Kingsley Napley resumed, effectively from scratch. By dint of much hard work and no little skill on the part of the partners, the firm prospered.

Although having a broad knowledge of all aspects of the law, in a way that is all too rare in this specialist age, Kingsley's particular love in his professional life was property work. His commercial skill and experience in the property world became both renowned and respected. In particular his abilities and stamina as a negotiator were legendary. Compromise was not an expedient to which he lightly turned. Rather, if no other way offered itself he would wear the opposition down by his unflagging energy and pursuit of his client's cause. Sidney Kingsley was not the man to relish first thing Monday morning across the negotiating table.

Although a tough, but fair, professional, he was a warm person who was generous in his private life to both public and private causes. He was an immensely hardworking and intrepid supporter of many charities. In particular, the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths, a charity which funds investigation into the causes of cot death, benefited greatly from his tireless energies.

Kingsley thrived on hard work. It was his lifeblood and, when he resigned from the partnership in 1976, he continued to work for Kingsley Napley on a daily basis as a consultant, until two weeks ago.

(Photograph omitted)