Tributes have been paid to a well known defence solicitor described as “genuine”, “funny” and “universally loved and respected” by those who knew him.
David Potter, a partner at Potter, Shelly & Co, in Huntingdon High Street, died on February 10 after being diagnosed with bowel cancer five years ago. His funeral is being held on Friday (February 22) at Cambridge Crematorium.
Mr Potter, aged 50, who grew up in St Ives, attended Westfield Primary School and St Ivo Secondary School and it was here he was inspired to study the law. He went on to study at Nottingham Trent University and later started his law training at Copleys in the 1980s and then Kirpatricks where he forged a reputation for his work dealing with criminal matters, usually via contact from the police station.
He set up Potter, Shelly & Co with Mark Shelly in 2007 and, despite his ill health, continued working until July, 2018. His chemotherapy treatment at this time meant he was no longer able to attend court or the police station, but he continued as a consultant for the firm.
Work colleagues have described Mr Potter as a “genuinely funny man” who loved music and could often be heard singing in the office. He was a huge Luton Town fan and also love attending music gigs with his brother Richard.
Such was his own self deprecating humour, he described himself as a “chubby, limpy defence solicitor” on Facebook.
More than 300 people have taken the time to pay their respects on social media and comments include: “your compassion has changed lives”; “a man so universally loved and respected” and “a rare breed indeed”.
Professionally he was “always approachable” and made time for people whatever their circumstance. Colleagues have described him as “non-judgemental” in his approach to work, which made him popular with clients, colleagues and fellow professionals.
“He was the sort of person who would help anyone and someone you could go to at any time and talk about anything,” said a colleague.
Mark Shelley, a partner at Potter, Shelley & Co said: “Before his illness, David’s enthusiasm in the face of long hours, difficult cases and low pay was an inspiration to us all. He was always cheerful and fun.”
David was also passionate about trying to understand the root causes of crime and was a volunteer adviser to the national drug charity RELEASE; held a position on the Legal Services Commission panel of independent adjudicators and assessors and was the Criminal Law Solicitors Association area representative.
Mr Potter was a son to the late Derek and leaves his mother Jacqueline, daughter Madeleine, brother Richard and sister-in-law Annalisa and nephews Charlie and George.
The funeral service is at 11.15am at Cambridge Crematorium and all are welcome to attend. This will be followed by an interment at Hill Rise Cemetery, St Ives. Family flowers only. Donations to the Arthur Rank Hospice and Addenbrooke’s Hospital.