I met Nick when I was a young man playing cricket for the Circuit. From that first meeting we were mates. Well, I say we were mates, I certainly felt like he was my mate. I have no idea whether he thought of me as his mate. But that was one of Nick’s great talents. He made you feel like you were mates. Not in a false, bonhomie kind of way. In a “he is my mate” kind of way.
And it is always very sad to lose a mate.
When you walked into a robjng room that contained Nick Kennedy, the robing room was Nick Kennedy. Or Nick Kennedy was the robing room. Either way, you could sense his natural, Northern charm from the moment you walked in and he was at one of the tables, chatting away and greeting all comers with a smile.
There are not many of us that manage to be ourselves in the courtroom. Nick managed it. He prosecuted me in a firearms case a few years ago in Liverpool. Now imagine being cross examined by someone who had you believing that they were your mate? Believing that he was your mate right up to the point when the trap was sprung with you at your most disarmed. His style of cross-examination was as if he was about to let you in on a secret, the downside being that the secret was that you were lying. My defendant did not enjoy the experience, although I am fairly certain the jury did.
It was with great sadness that I learnt that Nick had passed away. He loved sport and our conversations would often revolve around cricket and the England team. Often there would be tales told of away trips to see them in foreign climes. If ever someone deserved a retirement of more trips like that it was Nick. 10 years as head of his chambers should have been followed by a time to enjoy his retirement. The only comfort is that he enjoyed life so much, and everyone was allowed to enjoy it with him.