Partners and staff at Forsters are mourning the loss of former senior partner Sophie Hamilton, who played a key role in setting up the firm in 1998.
Property lawyer Hamilton, who was senior partner between 2001 and 2008, died on 19 October.
In a statement the firm said: “Sophie was widely recognised as one of the most talented property lawyers of her generation, acting for UK institutional and international investors, as well as for tenants in major office relocations and clients in the leisure industry.
“Always demanding the highest standards of herself, Sophie inspired younger lawyers by her example, combining dedication to her professional work with unstinting support to others, both within the firm and in the world outside.
“Our grief at losing Sophie aged only 57 will be shared by all who knew and admired her – above all by her family, who are in our thoughts.”
Having studied classics and law at Cambridge, Hamilton began her legal career at City firm Frere Cholmeley, making partner there in 1985. Frere Cholmeley later merged with Bischoff & Co to create Frere Cholmeley Bischoff, most of which became part of Eversheds in 1998 (3 February 1998). At that point Hamilton was among a group of private client and property lawyers who split off to form Forsters (8 September 2008).
The firm added: “Sophie had a stellar career as a property lawyer and inspired successive generations of younger colleagues by her example. She played a pivotal role in the creation of Forsters in 1998, and despite a busy and varied practice found time during her working life for public responsibilities in the City of London, legal education, theatre and the church.”
The firm plans to hold a memorial service for Hamilton, details of which will be released in due course.