More than 700 people filled the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields in London’s Trafalgar Square today to remember the life of Stephen Lloyd, the distinguished charity lawyer who died in a sailing accident in August, aged 63.
Tributes from friends, family and colleagues emphasised his enthusiasm, his innovative thinking and his belief in creating a fairer and better society. His folding bicycle was placed at the front the church as a reminder of his concern for the environment.
Lloyd worked at Bates Wells Braithwaite for 34 years and was senior partner until 2013, when he became senior counsel. His achievements included campaigning successfully for the creation of the community interest company legal form and persuading the Charity Commission to accept sustainable development as a charitable purpose.
Because he was a member of Blackheath Quaker Meeting, the memorial service included a period of silence in the Quaker tradition.
Music by Samuel Barber, Charles Parry, William Harris and JS Bach was sung by the choir St Martin’s Voices, and Lloyd’s youngest son Humphrey and his wife, Julie Decarroux, played on flute and guitar.
Sir Nicholas Young, until recently chief executive of the British Red Cross and a former colleague of Lloyd, said the phrase "boyish enthusiasm" was invented for him: "He simply exuded zest – for everyone and everything around him. He was a boy at heart, but a man for all seasons."
Toby Lloyd, the eldest of Lloyd’s four sons, said hundreds of tributes had been received. "I didn’t realise how many people he had met and whose lives he had touched," he said. "He was a wonderful father – whose wise advice was almost always ignored."
Philip Kirkpatrick, a partner at Bates Wells Braithwaite, said "lawyer" was too small a word for Lloyd: "He was an entrepreneur, a social entrepreneur and a reformer. I think of him as a pioneer and explorer constantly finding himself in new territory and finding new ways of getting across old territory. There was barely a development in the sector in the last 30 years that he was not involved with."
Sir Roger Gifford, a former Lord Mayor of London, said Lloyd came up with ideas before they were fashionable and saw London as an international centre for philanthropy and social investment. "Unlike the stereotype of his profession, he found a way to say yes," he said.
Other tributes were paid by the environmentalist Jonathon Porritt and Sir Tim Smit, founder of the Eden Project. Smit said Lloyd saw the law as liberating rather than constraining: "When he walked into a room, the room was always better for his being there. And he was not for sale – integrity ran through him like Brighton through rock."
The Stephen Lloyd Awards have been established to fund the development of projects that can lead to sustainable social change.
Read more about Stephen Lloyd’s life here.