A tribute to Robin Stewart QC

March 26, 2012

We dedicated the latest issue of our newsletter to the memory of a dear friend, supporter and patron of the Fund, Robin Stewart QC, who sadly died in August last year after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Russell Hancock writes:

“Robin was such a talented and gifted person who made us all feel very confident and at ease through what was an extremely difficult time. A true gentleman who never wasted words but who made such an impact with the ones he did use, on any subject, but none more so than when in court or talking with mum.

I will remember him with affection as a person of impeccable values, a real sense of honour in righting what he believed to be wrong, always in a distinguished and honourable manner.

Above all, I will remember him as a genuinely nice person who made a difference to mum and our family. I feel proud and privileged to not only have known him but also to be able to call him a friend.”

Adrian Budgen writes:

“Robin Stewart was one of the finest barristers of his generation and was commended by the trial judge, Mr Justice Holland, for his gifted advocacy. He provided excellent leadership and direction and was tactically brilliant.

Robin possessed a strong sense of justice and fairness, which you might expect, but he was also very compassionate. He was very fond of June, I know, and I still remember seeing the tears in his eyes when he told her that she had won her landmark case in October 1995 – it wasn’t just another case for him.

Robin was already being treated for Parkinson’s but none of us knew it at the time. He took early retirement due to his failing health and endured much pain and suffering, over many years, but did not complain or feel sorry for himself. He and June fought their illnesses with tremendous bravery and dignity and did not lose their sense of humour; they both found strength in adversity and had a real and selfless desire to help others similarly afflicted.

Although from different walks of life, they had a great deal in common and they are both sorely missed. Long will they be remembered.”

Kimberley Stubbs writes:

Robin was instrumental in establishing our charity; he made the very first donation in July 1997 after my mother lost her life to mesothelioma. Robin was very special; a dedicated and proud family man, a highly successful and reputable QC, and someone who commanded everybody’s attention and respect.

Alongside Andrew Spink (himself now a QC), solicitor Adrian Budgen, and his legal team, Robin represented June in her landmark legal case against the multi-national company T&N, who were responsible for spewing out the lethal asbestos dust into the community where she grew up as a little girl in Armley, Leeds. This case was widely reported both in the UK and throughout the world; such was the importance and significance of the outcome. The company appealed; at the High Court, and against the odds June, Robin led June’s legal to victory.

June, and many hundreds of other victims of negligent environmental exposure to asbestos, owe their successful quest for justice to this extraordinarily talented man; we miss you Robin.

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