Tributes have been paid following the death of Chris Skinner, practice director of shared legal service nplaw and one of the leading legal experts on compulsory purchase orders.
Skinner died on 14 February on his 59th birthday at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, close to his home in Hethersett. He had been in hospital since late December suffering from Guillain Barré syndrome and his sudden death was as a result of complications.
Click here to read an obituary written by a colleague at nplaw, Jane Linley.
Skinner was “a very practical lawyer, no job was too lowly for him and equally no one was too junior or inexperienced to carry out high level work with his support”, she says.
He also had a “fantastic ability to combine his expertise in planning, property and litigation and to use the law in innovative and unconventional ways to solve practical problems”.
He was a committed Christian and his family was hugely important to him, Linley adds. He is survived by his wife, Sue, and two children, Tom, also a solicitor, and Jess, a teacher. “He was never happier than when spending time with them."
Skinner read law at Nottingham University and qualified as a solicitor at Norwich City Council. He worked at Reigate & Banstead and Waveney councils before moving to Great Yarmouth Borough Council in 1986.
He worked at Great Yarmouth until the legal team joined nplaw in 2010 and he became the service’s Head of Planning, Environment and Regeneration. He was appointed deputy practice director in 2015 and practice director from the beginning of the year.
Chris was a regular contributor to Local Government Lawyer and recently wrote four widely-read articles on CPOs:
- CPOs and run-down listed buildings
- Housing estate regeneration and CPOs
- Using compulsory purchase powers to bring forward development on allocated sites
- The cost of compulsorily acquiring land
He also ran a successful company providing legal training to the public sector for 11 years.