n South African Law Journal - In memoriam : Douglas Shaw QC : tribute

Volume 131, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0258-2503
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2177



Although it is over twenty five years since I last saw Douglas Shaw, the news of his death came as a great shock. Somehow or another those of us who knew and were fortunate enough to have been one of his colleagues, regarded him as monolithic and indestructible. To say of him that he was a legend in his own time sounds like the expression of yet another well-worn cliché; yet it is true. He, however, would have hated such a description of himself. When I first came to the bar in Durban, most newcomers were regaled by the more senior members with stories and anecdotes about the great Graham Mackeurtan, whose apparent influence on the Natal legal profession had assumed legendary proportions. Douglas disapproved of this hero worship, not that he had any reason to doubt the once pre-eminent position of Mackeurtan, but because he was not prone to any form of adulation.

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