By Alison Lobb
A tribute to a former senior partner of Morecrofts Solicitors, who sadly died recently.
George Crawford Davidson (always known as Crawford) was born on 13th April 1941 in Chorley, Lancs. Sadly, both his parents died when he was young and was then brought up by his mother’s sister and her husband in Formby. Crawford was educated at St Peter’s Primary School Formby and Merchant Taylors’ School, then attended Durham University, from where he graduated with a law degree.
Crawford served his articles with Gerry Thompson at the firm of Garnett Tarbert Lindsay and Elsworth, later Garnetts. He qualified in 1962, and subsequently became a partner in that firm. In 1985 Garnetts merged with Morecrofts and Owen Dawson to become Morecroft Dawson and Garnetts, later Morecroft Urquhart, and ultimately Morecrofts.
Crawford specialised in commercial property and corporate work, and ultimately became senior partner of Morecrofts. He retired from the partnership in 2006, but remained with the firm as a part-time consultant until March 2011.
Sport played a major part in Crawford’s life. On the school athletics field he excelled as a sprinter. He was always a keen rugby player, playing in the 1st XV for Merchant Taylors and Durham University, and then for Hightown Rugby Club as a fly-half He helped with coaching mini-rugby teams at Waterloo, including his son Iain’s team where one of the other members of the team was Ben Kay, later to play for England. He was a keen golfer and sailor, and loved Abersoch, where he kept a boat. He was also active for some years in the Territorial Army
For many years Crawford was co-owner of the Exchange bar in Old Hall Street, which proved an ideal location both for his own form of networking with work contacts and friends, and also for many Morecrofts’ celebrations, including his send-off from the firm in 2011, which saw a great turn out of current and past colleagues, reflecting his great popularity.
Crawford qualified and spent most of his career in an era when practice was very different to today, seeming to have revolved around long coffee breaks and lunches, however what we would today call “networking” certainly served to bring him plenty of work and loyal clients. His former partners remember him as supportive and innovative for his time, and his attitude of inclusivity to all his work colleagues, whatever their role, was certainly ahead of many of his generation.
Sadly, his health declined fairly rapidly following his retirement. He suffered in recent years with progressive vascular dementia, and he died in hospital on 27th December from Covid related pneumonia.
I asked many of my partners and former partners for their memories of Crawford, and as soon I mentioned his name, their first instinct was to smile, despite the sadness of the moment. All the anecdotes related to me have included the word “fun”. Whilst he had a highly incisive and creative legal brain, the things I have been reminded about are his infectious giggle and ability to entertain; that he was always to be found at the heart of any party, and particularly was at the centre of the good times we as partners used to have at our annual weekends away in Abersoch.
To me, Crawford was extremely welcoming, when he was the first person I was introduced to on joining Morecrofts. He could emanate the air of a mischievous schoolboy, always with a twinkle in his eye, and this endeared him to everyone he came across He had the ability to engage with everyone he met, and was the person all the staff wanted to sit with at the Christmas party, which just about sums up what he meant to us all.
Crawford is survived by his wife Angela and three children Fiona, Belinda and Iain