Celia Miller - Richard O'Sullivan

From Richard O'Sullivan of East Anglian Chambers - 17th December, 2007

I've just discovered your blog through googling Celia's name. We met at HHJ Brandt's retirement dinner and more recently we sat at the same table at Graeme Parnell's leaving do.

I joined East Anglian Chambers back in 2000 as a pupil. I recall the first time I saw Celia she was pulling up in Norwich in her green audi wearing a matching green outfit - an image I doubt I will ever forget and the thought of it now makes me smile.

Initially, I found her terrifying (in this I was not alone), but in a good way. I loved her direct approach and her barely disguised contempt for some of us lesser mortals. She was part of the elite band of tenants the majority of whom have been elevated to the bench.

When she left Ipswich Peter Wain moved into her room, but within a year he'd accepted a judicial appointment and so the room passed to me complete with Celia's wallpaper, curtains and light fittings which I dared not changed as I was told by Carole Bull that Celia had spent a lot of money on that room. I was very pleased with my new room, but would have given it up without a moment's hesitation to have Celia back in Chambers, as it was much the poorer without her.

I always enjoyed being against her, the last time being about 6 months ago, when I was privately paid and she was on legal aid rates and none too happy about it. On that particular day she was her usual charming self. Indeed, she was then and will remain in my mind a class act.

Judging by your blog and the brief conversation I had with Graeme Parnell since Sunday went very well.

I consider that I was lucky to have known your extraordinary wife and wish you and your family well as you adjust to life without Celia.