His Honour Dr David Lynch
Born in Toxteth and brought up in a single-parent household by his lorry driver father, David was a grammar schoolboy who left school at 15 to work as a clerk in a solicitor's office before joining the RAF on extended National Service. He completed his service in 1961 and returned as a clerk while taking his Law degree at night school in the College of Commerce, one of LJMU’s founding colleges.
His student experience was a solitary endeavour; he was the only student to pass the first-year exams, so progressed on his own while working full time.
Completing his London external law degree in 1965, he focused on becoming a barrister and spent two years teaching in a comprehensive school by day and studied for the Bar in the evenings. He also lectured in law part time at the College of Commerce.
Called to the Bar in 1968, David practised for 22 years as a Barrister before being appointed a Circuit Judge in 1990, but his association with the university continued. He delivered the Liverpool Law Review lecture in 2004, and as the Liaison Judge for the School, invited students to sit on the Bench with him for every session, providing invaluable work experience for hundreds of law undergraduates.
“Dr Lynch’s contribution to the university has been very important over many years. Many successful law graduates from LJMU, including our current Chancellor Nisha Katona, had the great opportunity of shadowing him in the court when he was our liaison judge. We are also grateful to him for the donations of books and of the Sallon caricatures of judges which are displayed in our Moot Room, and his continuing contribution as a member of our School Advisory Board”.
– Professor Carlo Panara, Director of the School of Law (2019 – present)
In recognition of his tremendous service to LJMU and outstanding contributions to the Law, he was made an Honorary Fellow in 2003, two years before he retired. His retirement from the Bench coincided with the publication, after eight years research, of his unique History of the Northern Circuit 1876-2004, which went on to be updated to 2016.
In 2009, he returned to the university as a mature student to undertake an MRes in the Humanities Department and completed his thesis entitled 'The Removal of the Cherokee Indians from Northern Georgia in 1836'. He enjoyed it so much that he returned to complete a PhD in 2015. He was elected a Bencher of his Inn of Court, Middle Temple, in 2016. In 2017 he went on to become a Visiting Research Fellow of the university at the age of 77 and converted his PhD thesis on early United States legal history into a book published in 2018.
In November 2022, ‘The Lynch Moot Room’ in the Redmonds Building was named in his honour at a reception attended by the Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark Power, Chancellor Nisha Katona, Director of the School of Law Professor Carlo Panara and guests including LJMU Honorary Fellows Sir David Clarke, Sir Henry Globe and His Honour Clement Goldstone KC.
Dr Lynch spoke about his long-standing relationship with LJMU and of his delight at the success of continuing generations of LJMU Law graduates. He also thanked Dr Colin Harrison and Professor Joe Moran for their support during his own PhD experience here, labelling himself ‘the most challenging student’ Colin had ever had.