THE ADVOCATE 621
VOL. 79 PART 4 JULY 2021
By D. Michael Bain,Q.C.
A PERSONAL REFLECTION ON THE
LEGENDARY LORD DENNING M.R.*
* Reprinted from (2002) 58 Advocate 225.
By Geoff Thomas
Wildy and Sons is the oldest law book shop in the U.K. It is
a fascinating place, located in Lincoln’s Inn Archway. It is
full of book shelves to its ceiling, leaning ladders that traverse
the floors, mahogany chairs and tables and all the
usual bric-a-brac that adorns the interiors of old London institutions. Not
only that, the place is crowded with all kinds of people.
I was there one July day in 1979 buying some “student aid” books for my
second year in the LL.B. programme at University College, Cardiff, Wales.
You probably know the kind—books that are short and succinct, and that
summarize the cases and distill the principles they decide. Such books are
extremely valuable when you are cramming for final exams. I glanced at
The Discipline of Law by the Rt. Honourable Lord Denning, Master of the
Rolls, and within two minutes of scanning knew the book was a masterpiece,
especially for a student. The sections on High Trees and negligence
alone were enough to clarify the law for exam purposes. I bought the book,
heart pounding in excitement at my find, and left the shop, the warning bell
ringing at the top of the entrance door as I shut the same.
I crossed the cement pathway that skirted the Supreme Court of Judicature
and Lincoln’s Inn. There, before my eyes, was the man himself, in full