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John Mortimer is dead

January 16, 2009 by Norman Lebrecht

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I last saw him at a vernissage of my friend Zsuzsi Roboz, where a portrait of the sleeping Lady Mortimer hung fetchingly in the nude. John, in his wheelchair, smiled possessively.

He was always out and about in London, never missed a good opening or a glass of bubbly. In court, as a combative barrister, he broke many a lance for freedom of expression. Later on, he was never short of a cause to champion on the op-ed pages, an injustice to decry. I clashed with him once or twice. He was never less than cordial in disagreement.

His criminal-lawyer hero Rumpole was married to She Who Must Be Obeyed.

A gentleman, and a lawyer. They don’t make them like that any more.

Here’s the BBC obit. More from Bloomberg.


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