Moving tributes paid to Norfolk local authorities lawyer Chris Skinner

Chris Skinner at his time as head of legal services in Yarmouth

Chris Skinner at his time as head of legal services in Yarmouth - Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers

Tributes have been paid to a lawyer who provided key legal services to local authorities in Norfolk.

Chris Skinner, who died last week, was practice director of Norfolk County Council hosted nplaw.

He helped up the public sector legal service when he was head of Great Yarmouth Borough Council's legal team in 2009.

In 2010, he became deputy to Victoria McNeil at the service and succeeded her as practice director at the end of 2016.

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: 'Chris was a very practical lawyer. No job was too lowly or too complex for him and he strongly supported junior and less experienced staff in their development.


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'A charming and modest man, Chris also had a formidable reputation as a leading expert on regeneration work, particularly compulsory purchase, acting for clients across the UK.'

Mr Skinner specialised in planning, property and litigation, and was skilled at using law in innovative and unconventional ways to solve practical problems.

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In the 1990s, he started a campaign to get empty houses in Great Yarmouth occupied by people in need of homes, using his legal knowledge to help authorities support the community.

The council spokesman added: 'Those who knew him well will not be surprised that at every stage of his illness, he always felt positive about his recovery.

'Never liking to be away from work for too long, Chris wrote three legal articles for national publications in the week before his untimely death.

'We extend our deepest sympathies to Chris's family and friends as this very sad time.'

In a joint tribute, Graham Plant, Kay Grey, Trevor Wainwright and Adrian Myers group leaders at Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: 'Chris was well known and hugely respected by scores of colleagues and councillors for his calm, professional advice.

'In addition to fulfilling the role of Great Yarmouth's Monitoring Officer, Chris also held a national reputation as a leading expert on regeneration work, particularly compulsory purchase.

'Chris had many friends and colleagues in Great Yarmouth and Norfolk and we were all shocked and upset by his sudden death. Our deepest sympathies are with Chris's family and friends at this time.'

Would you like to pay tribute to Mr Skinner? Email david.hannant@archant.co.uk

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