It is with extreme sadness that I have to announce that David Blythin died on Christmas Day 2020.
David was a deeply generous man. Some people are described as generous to a fault but not David. In addition to his generosity with gifts and restaurant bills, he was generous with his time, his thoughts, his friendship and his love, most of all for his daughter Megan.
He was a deep thinker with a wide hinterland. Educated as an economist at Manchester he lived in London for many years and had sojourns to Spain then Bristol before finally settling in his native North Wales.
He wore his knowledge lightly. The Bar which he was to join is full of people who believe that they are right despite evidence to the contrary. David showed his customary patience in tolerating such ignorance.
David’s generosity extended to overestimating his friends’ cultural horizons and abilities. He refused to believe that a friend’s musical tastes were confined to KLF and Simple Minds, or that another’s love for fishing trumped any interest in philosophy. Spending time with David was a pleasure. He was charming, interesting and patient. Wales has lost its Cultural Attaché from Conwy.
We all feel a huge loss at David being taken away from us at such a young age. His, on any view was a life well lived. He lived life to the full and grasped the chance to do something different. Whether to retrain for the Bar, sample an obscure and expensive cognac, discover the cultural opportunities of Riga or San Sebastian or simply try something new.
Many join the Bar to practice in criminal law and to inflict their failed attempts at amateur dramatics upon juries. David’s patience, tolerance, generosity and humanity led to him developing a specialisation in family law dealing with parents facing the loss of their children to care.
Despite his customary modesty about his work, David was a brilliant family barrister. Most of his clients were destined to lose their cases. There is a real skill in making a parent understand that they have been well served despite having their child removed. While David would always understate his role in a case, he quietly carried a heavy burden related to this work.
His real specialty in the family Bar was to represent clients sometimes described by judges as the ‘hopeless father’. The irony was not lost on anyone. David measured his life not by his bank balance or his accolades but by his greatest achievement- his daughter Meg.
He was that rare creature a great father.
His intelligence, patience and generosity combined in ensuring that the person he loved most was bought up beautifully. I know that Meg will feel his loss deepest and may for some time feel lost. David was so proud of Meg and in some ways that may seem a burden. Meg is David’s legacy, literally his pride and joy. While she has lost his precious company, Meg has the opportunity he helped to provide, to live life to the full in her own way.
If life is measured by the love of your family and the love of your friends, then on any view David lived a great life.
Goodbye David we will miss you.
Owen Edwards, Linenhall Chambers