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British Transport Police today confirmed that the person struck and killed by a tube train following an incident at King’s Cross Station last Monday was David Burgess, a lawyer at north London firm Luqmani Thompson & Partners.
Burgess, who was cross gender and also went by the name Sonia, was wearing women’s clothes and make-up when he was allegedly pushed beneath the train on Monday evening.
A 34-year-old woman, Nina Kanagasingham, appeared todayin Westminster magistrates court charged with murder.
In a statement Burgess’s family said: “Sonia (David) was a loving and wonderful person and will be missed deeply.”
Burgess’s firm, Luqmani Thompson, said it was “immensely saddened” by his death. Burgess was “an enormously talented practitioner, an inspiration to a generation of lawyers practising in this field [immigration], and a great friend”, the firm added.
Burgess, 63, is best known for immigration law. He had previously been senior partner of Winstanley Burgess Solicitors, described by Raza Husain QC of Matrix Chambers as, “the gold standard immigration law firm in the 1990s”.
His cases involved matters as diverse as fair trials in foreign countries, persons facing exclusion from the Refugee Convention, civil claims against the Ministry of Defence for unlawful detention and country guidance casework on North Korea.
Burgess was responsible for what was described by Professor Sir William Wade as “the most important constitutional case for centuries” (M v Home Office), which began with his attendance out of hours before a duty judge challenging the unlawful removal of his client to Zaire. “M orders” subsequently entered the lexicon of public law.
As Hussain said, “David had personal conduct of the evidential aspect of the argument in Chahal v UK, perhaps the most important European immigration law case of the last few decades”.
Luqmani Thompson added in its statement: “David’s contribution to legal development is unquestionable but what’s sometimes forgotten is that he was a pioneer in setting legal tests and trends in genuinely trailblazing cases.
“This firm has tried hard to live up to the high standards set by David, we’d not have been the same firm without his contribution and encouragement; we shall not be the same firm without him.”