His Honour Derek Halbert sadly passed away earlier this month.
Derek studied law at Cambridge and then took his Bar Final examinations (passing out fourth overall). He joined 39 White Friars in 1971 as a pupil. He remained in Chambers (which moved to Sedan House) until his appointment to the Circuit bench in 1995. He initially sat in the Crown Court but in 2003 was appointed as the Designated Civil Judge for Chester and North Wales and, after the Circuit boundaries changed, Designated Civil Judge for Cheshire in 2007. As a civil judge Derek brought a keen and enquiring mind and was particularly pleased if there were challenging scientific issues which he needed to grapple with.
As a barrister and Judge, Derek was well-regarded for his analytical skills, his unfailing good-humour and his unfailing kindness. A typical example of his care and compassion may be found in a case where, following the acquittal of a driver in a trial of causing death by dangerous driving, Derek moved from the bench to the well of the court to speak to the family members of those killed to express his sympathy to them.
Derek will be missed by all who knew him, most particularly his wife and two daughters to whom Chambers extends its deepest sympathy.