Robert Woodcock KC
January 31, 2024
Members of Chambers and staff were saddened to learn of the death of their former colleague Robert Woodcock KC.
Bertie served as our Deputy Head of Chambers for a number of years until he returned to New Court (now New Park Court Chambers) from where he continued to practise until his death on Tuesday 30th January 2024. Sadly, he suffered a heart attack on Sunday from which he did not recover.
He had practised in the North East since 1983 when he joined Guildhall Chambers on the Quayside. At the time this was somewhat off the beaten track – as Bertie said, “any further downstream and you walked into the valley of the shadow of villainy”. His contemporaries in those chambers were Philip Straw, John Winch, David Bryson, Jane O’Hare and Roger Elsey. Bertie subsequently joined 46 Grainger Street which became New Court Chambers and he returned to the Quayside.
This was the Chambers of his great friend David Robson QC, another superb advocate. Bertie’s practice flourished and in 2009 he took Silk. He joined what was then Broad Chare Chambers and was instrumental in the formation of Dere Street Barristers; his brother, Guy Woodcock, assisted us in marketing the launch of our new brand.
Bertie was a tough but honourable opponent. He excelled as an advocate: witty, occasionally acerbic; eloquent and persuasive; blessed with rare gifts to conjure a striking phrase and to construct a compelling submission to a jury without a single note. He was one of the best of his generation. We offer our condolences to the family and friends of Robert Woodcock KC.