“It is with great sadness that I write to announce the death of James Selby Bennett. James was a huge presence, a man of great intellect and varied abilities; an outstanding orator, a talented artist , devoted farmer and razor sharp lawyer. James was always loud, always feisty, sometimes difficult but absolutely always a champion of Humphries Kirk and each and every one of us. Words can’t express how much he will be missed.
Our thoughts are with his beloved wife and family.”
James died peacefully at home on Friday 30 October 2020 aged 66 years, leaving his wife Priscilla and his two sons, Andrew and Nicholas. There was nowhere better for James than Dorset and so, after leaving Eton, he came back to the family farm and began his articles with Humphries Kirk. At that time Humphries Kirk had four partners and two offices in Wareham and Swanage. During his articles, James was head-hunted by a large London firm, Theodore Goddard, and he worked for them in London, Paris and Madrid.
James was lured back to Wareham by Humphries Kirk and in the late 70’s became a partner of Humphries Kirk and remained with them for the rest of his legal career. He followed in the footsteps of his Principal, Harry Kirk, in being an outstanding advocate. He would appear often in the local Magistrates Court.
It is quite amazing how much he packed into his life. He lived at Slepe and ran the family farm, as well as being a Humphries Kirk Partner and was Commanding Officer of the Wessex Yeomanry. He was a trustee of the Military Museum, The Keep in Dorchester. He lived life to the full and was a larger than life character, both in the firm and in the county.
He was a very capable lawyer and had many successes in Court. He was very committed to the ethos of Humphries Kirk and he regarded of the highest importance, that the service provided to the clients of Humphries Kirk was one of excellence. He was loyal to his staff and would always be there to support them. All members of Humphries Kirk will miss his larger than life personality and regret that his life was cut short at what, in these days, is a young age.
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