The Alumni Network remembers A&O colleagues and friends who passed away in the last 12 months.
A&O alumnus Norman Job, former Head of Security, died in December 2018 after a short battle with cancer. He was 79.
Norman joined A&O in London in 1990 as the firm’s first professional security employee and earned a reputation as a consummate professional in a challenging role; discreet, reliable and unflappable. Those he worked with remember him as a commanding figure with a heart of gold and strong sense of humour – a great boss.
Before joining A&O, he’d had a distinguished career with the Royal Military Police, serving in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, as well as in Singapore and the Middle East. Among his many service decorations, he was especially proud of his British Empire Medal (BEM).
Norman dealt with minor and major security issues for the firm. He had good connections with the police and the security services, and was part of a close network of security professionals working for City firms. This enabled him to be aware of threats as they arose, and to take appropriate steps to protect the firm. Due to its nature his work was largely unseen, but his professional expertise ensured that A&O’s security systems were second to none.
At home on Romney Marsh, he and his partner, Gill, kept horses. He was also a keen fisherman.
Norman retired from A&O in 2001, but remained in touch and was a regular attendee at the annual Retirees Summer Party events in London.
Virginia Allan, counsel of our Arbitration practice in Madrid and a key player of the A&O arbitration team, died in January 2019 after a brave battle with cancer. She was 58.
American-born Virginia embraced Spanish culture and had a native speaker’s fluency in the language.
After graduating top of her class at the University of Arizona, she worked as a clerk at The Court of Appeals of the Second Circuit with Judge Miner. She practised law at Shearman & Sterling in Paris and Uría Menéndez in Madrid, and became one of the most highly regarded arbitration practitioners in Spain.
Virginia joined A&O in 2014, where her warmth, kindness, intelligence and professionalism quickly won the respect and admiration of the team. She was a respected authority in all international arbitration forums and in 2018 was recognised as one of the Iberian Lawyer InspiraLAw Top 50 Women.
After being diagnosed with cancer in December 2014, Virginia maintained regular contact with her colleagues at the Madrid office. She was always committed to her team and in particular to helping junior lawyers fulfil their potential. She remained dedicated to her colleagues and clients to the end of her life.
A&O alumnus Dan Cunningham, a former Corporate partner in A&O’s New York office and Senior Partner of the Global U.S. practice, died in March 2019. He was 69.
Dan joined as a lateral partner from Cravath, Swaine & Moore. During his time at A&O, he played a critical role in the firm’s expansion in the U.S. market. His particular contributions came in the M&A and structured finance spaces, as well as through his recruitment of several other practice groups in the office. He helped strengthen A&O in the U.S. and internationally at an important time in the history of the firm.
He was widely recognised as one of the leading lawyers in the market and, after A&O, went on to have a successful practice as a litigator at Quinn Emanuel.
Dan lived a full life. He was an avid hiker, poker player, baseball fan and general life of the party.
A&O alumnus and former Tax partner Mark Middleditch died in June 2019. He was 48.
Mark joined A&O as a Tax associate in 2002 and became a partner in London in May 2006. He retired in 2017.
Mark was known for his patience with people who had trouble understanding things that he grasped in an instant. He had little time for pomposity or arrogance. His acute sense of justice and his humanity were balanced by a wry sense of humour and eye for the absurd.
Following his retirement from A&O, Mark entered into a new life as a student of history with great enthusiasm and conscientiousness.
Former Corporate partner Alistair Asher, known as much for his prowess as an athlete as for his ability as a lawyer, died in August 2019 after a short illness. He was 63.
Alistair joined A&O as a trainee in 1979 and qualified into the Corporate department. He became a partner in 1987. He had a unique ability to cut through the most complex of issues and situations, while always remaining calm under pressure and treating those around him with decency and respect.
He must have been one of the fittest lawyers in London. Colleagues never ceased to be amazed that he managed to achieve so much in his cycling and sporting pursuits in addition to his stellar career. At Southampton University, he was a butterfly champion in the pool. And as a prop forward in rugby, his enormously strong shoulders were a solid foundation for every pack he played in. His intensity in play was legendary – a style ‘like a tormented Pamplona bull’.
He was equally fearless when taking on difficult and novel legal challenges, which he did with energy and integrity. He had a special gift of communicating complex legal advice to boards in a commercial and practical manner. He was also an outstanding mentor – kind, funny and clever.
In 2013, the incoming CEO of the Co-op persuaded Alistair to leave his international legal career to join the executive turnaround team to save Co-op from collapse. Alistair became one of the small team that rescued and restored this long-established business.
His personal energy, commitment and successes as a lawyer were mirrored in his sporting achievements; redefining the common understanding of the term ‘work/life balance’.
Read the personal tributes from A&O and alumni colleagues at allenovery.com/alumni