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EVERSHEDS is mourning the loss of leading construction partner John Bolton, who was found dead at his desk last week.
Bolton, who was seriously injured in the 1997 Southall train crash, died last Wednesday, just two days after the inquiry into the rail disaster opened.
Bolton joined Eversheds' Bristol office as a construction law partner in February from Davies Arnold Cooper (DAC) where he had worked since joining as a trainee in 1985, becoming a partner in 1991. He commuted daily from his Bristol home to DAC's offices in the City.
Bolton is believed to have moved firms because he was finding the journey difficult owing to pain while walking and standing - he broke bones in both his feet leaping to safety from a window, in the crash.
Bolton was one of five assessors on Lord Woolf's Access to Justice committee. It is understood that Eversheds relied heavily on Bolton and his death comes as a great loss professionally as well as personally.
The firm is expected to hold a memorial service. Eversheds construction solicitor Nick Goddard, who knew Bolton, describes him as "a great man".
Bolton developed DAC's construction department along with DAC partner Daniel Gowan.
Gowan says: "He was an extraordinary fellow and a character in every sense, extremely good company, affable, sociable, well-liked and knew a lot of people.
Bolton, aged 55 years, was born in the US. His wife Jill is a solicitor at Bath firm Withy King. He has four children.