Julian Farrand

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Craig Pritchett
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Re: Julian Farrand

Post by Craig Pritchett » Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:18 pm

Very sad news. I first played against Julian in the 1971 British Ch, a round 1 draw. He was a tricky tactician who played awfully fast and always for fun. He was also great fun and, of course, awfully good at the law. True top GM class there, as I recall, having once had to read one of his extremely well argued and to my mind persuasive reports in favour of complaints raised by a retired bus driver with the then recently privatised Scottish Bus Group. This was with his Pensions Ombudsman's hat on, decades ago, and concerned a rather large sum of contested Pensions surplus on the winding up of the old SBG scheme. He played that one extraordinarily well. Will be missed.

Mike Wiltshire
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Julian Farrand

Post by Mike Wiltshire » Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:33 am

What an interesting life Julian enjoyed. He was still playing for the Insurance team before our season was interrupted by covid-19 and will be greatly missed.

I remember speaking to him before the start of an insurance league match when he played for the Ombudsman's team. He said that pension advisers would be able to get away with bad advice provided they got their paperwork right. It always reminded me of the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction saga and the subsequent Hutton enquiry into Dr Kelly's death.

RIP Julian.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: Julian Farrand

Post by Roger Lancaster » Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:39 pm

Sad news. Only played Julian once - many, many years ago and a draw if I recall correctly - but, apart from being a nice guy and a strong player, Julian will probably be best remembered for his distinguished legal career including the spell as Pensions Ombudsman.

Paul Habershon
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Re: Julian Farrand

Post by Paul Habershon » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:33 am

Extensive 'Times' obituary today.

David Robertson
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Re: Julian Farrand

Post by David Robertson » Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:43 pm

The full and generous obit has a charming photo of Julian & Brenda. It can probably be seen from this LINK. The text is (£), so I've posted it below


Times, 17 Senptember 2020

In September 2019, the eyes of the nation were on the Supreme Court where its president, Baroness Hale of Richmond, was delivering the justices’ ruling on a challenge to the government’s plan to prorogue parliament. Watching from the gallery was Julian Farrand, Hale’s ever-supportive husband and a distinguished legal academic. “He never, ever tried to influence me,” Hale said not only of that case, but also of the many others she heard. “But he would offer a commentary afterwards.”

As a law commissioner in the 1980s Farrand had been involved in changes to the rules on making land contracts, to the ways in which land is co-owned and to the execution of deeds. He chaired the committee that examined the monopoly that solicitors held on conveyancing, leading to the establishment of the profession of licensed conveyancers.

Yet increasingly he was drawn to resolving financial complaints, especially for ordinary people. He spent five years as insurance ombudsman, at the time a voluntary industry body, before becoming the statutory pensions ombudsman, where he was known for his combative approach and acerbic commentaries, particularly when the courts took issue with his rulings.

Although he gave short shrift to consumers “trying it on”, Farrand found an insurance industry doing everything possible to avoid paying out on policyholders’ claims, including hiding behind 19th-century precedents. One case involved a holidaymaker whose leather jacket from Italy had been stolen in Spain. “The insurance company refused to pay out on the grounds that he had not paid duty on the jacket when he travelled from Italy to Spain,” said Farrand. “Someone in the company had an instinct about the case. I say never mind that, look at the facts.”

His work was as much about changing the attitudes of insurance and pension companies and being able to “resist their bluster” as it was about resolving individual complaints, important though they were. “I made the industries realise that their view was not the only one,” he said when publishing his final report in 2001. Another job involved adjudicating complaints about premium-rate telephone calls, often adult chat lines. Faced with ribald comment from some colleagues, he was quick to point out that he was looking at call rates rather than call content.

Although much of his career involved inspecting financial contracts, Farrand was pessimistic about his personal dealings. Speaking to The Observer in 2001, he gloomily admitted: “I go into most transactions expecting to be done.”

Julian Thomas Farrand was born in Doncaster in 1935, the elder of two sons of John Farrand, a tax inspector whose work involved moving around the country every five years or so, and Ena, a former teacher. His parents, staunch atheists, had met through the Young Communists; Julian inherited their atheism though not their political sympathies. During the Blitz the family lived in Southsea, near Portsmouth, and Julian was educated at Portsmouth Grammar School’s prep school, which was evacuated to Bournemouth. After the war they moved to London and he attended Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, which was then in Hampstead, where he devoted his energies to rugby, cricket and chess, which he continued to play throughout his life.

His first marriage was to Winifred Charles, a secretary, in 1957. He is survived by their children: Tom, who is a trademark agent with Marks and Clerk; Sarah, who was a legal executive with the Solicitors Regulation Authority and now runs a horsebox hire company; and Rachel, who leads a private life.

Farrand read law at University College London and qualified as a solicitor but almost from the outset pursued an academic career: at King’s College London, the University of Sheffield and Queen Mary University of London, where he helped to set up the law school. Recalling his early days as an academic he described how making money had not been a priority. “We expected nuclear war and saw no future, so there was no reason to save,” he said.

He was the author of Contract and Conveyance (1963; fourth edition 1983), the dry title of which belies the wit of his writing that had students and chancery judges alike laughing out loud. “The style is generally bright and breezy, and rather far removed from the sonorities of the more practical works,” noted a review in Cambridge Law Review of the 1968 edition, adding that it included a reference to Alice in Wonderland. His other works included Emmet and Farrand on Title, a loose-leaf publication for which he often prepared new pages.

In 1968 Farrand was appointed professor of law at the University of Manchester, where one of his colleagues was Brenda Hoggett (née Hale). She recalled him encouraging younger academics, often sending opportunities their way. Although he was patient with students struggling to understand the mysteries of land law and tax, he was less so when queueing for a coffee. He was fond of France and French culture, but struggled with the language. On one occasion he signed up to take an O level in the subject, but news of his studies leaked out and he learnt to his horror that the students were watching intently to see how their professor fared: fortunately he got an A.

Farrand and Hale both became law commissioners in 1984 and in 1989 he was appointed insurance ombudsman before becoming pensions ombudsman five years later, and made an honorary QC. He sat on various tribunals hearing national insurance, benefits and rent assessment cases. As a chairman he was informal yet orderly, acquiring a reputation for fairness and being even-handed.

His marriage to Winifred was dissolved in 1992 and ten days later he married Hale, who in 2004 became a law lord. She survives him with a stepdaughter, Julia, who works in financial regulation. When not in London, home was a late-Georgian house near Richmond, North Yorkshire, with an annexe and a garden cottage that are occupied by his daughters and their families.

Farrand, who had white wavy hair and twinkling eyes, took great pride in Hale’s achievements, even though these took him to places such as Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and Gray’s Inn chapel, which, as an atheist and a republican, were not his natural stomping grounds. Encouraged by his wife, he wrote a novel, Love at All Risks (2001), set in an ombudsman’s office.

He was a theatregoer, with an eclectic range of tastes. Hale introduced him to opera, his first being Britten’s Turn of the Screw, which became a favourite. They would spend a week each summer with friends at the Edinburgh festivals, renting student flats. Hale booked their shows at the international festival while Farrand selected their fringe choices. He also took his turn at treading the boards. When his wife was treasurer of Gray’s Inn he took part in their Christmas shows, once as Oberon in a legal mash-up of Shakespeare, and on another occasion as Dionysius in a lawyers’ take on Greek myths.

Hale once told Farrand that his driving style was “like Toad of Toad Hall”. Soon afterwards he presented her with flowers in a pot that he thought resembled a toad, but it was closer to a frog. Thereafter frogs remained a theme in their lives, with various figurines lined up on her desk, all tributes to her husband. She began wearing brooches to liven up the sober suits that were a necessity in the family division. Her first was an antique spider and others soon followed — including the silver spider that achieved fame in the Supreme Court, a £12 purchase from Cards Galore.

Farrand’s greatest interest outside work and his family was chess. Holidays were spent at whichever seaside resort was hosting that year’s British championships. Occasionally in retirement he would disappear with a small group of friends for chess-playing breaks that Hale described as his “Last of the Summer Wine holidays”.

Julian Farrand, legal academic and former ombudsman, was born on August 13, 1935. He died of a pulmonary embolism on July 17, 2020, aged 84

John Moore
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Re: Julian Farrand

Post by John Moore » Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:23 pm

David, thank you for taking the time to post this.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Julian Farrand

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:48 pm

"David, thank you for taking the time to post this."


Nick Ivell
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Re: Julian Farrand

Post by Nick Ivell » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:29 pm

Chess hardly gets a look-in there!

And that's just how it should be. Of few people can it be said, as of Korchnoi, that chess was their life.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Julian Farrand

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:36 pm

Isn't that a bit harsh on two levels?

Firstly, chess was clearly a significant part of his life - he would hardly have been such a strong player otherwise. Secondly, there are quite a few people - of varying strengths - for whom chess *is* their main raison d'etre.

And personally I don't think that is anything to be ashamed of.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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