Former Buller Jeffries’ senior partner has died

Roger Coates, the senior partner of law firm Buller Jeffries for nearly 40 years, has died, aged 80.

Roger, who won the lifetime achievement award at the Birmingham Legal Awards in 2012, began his legal career in Sheffield with a clerkship with Neal Scorah, Siddons & Co, which later became part of DLA Piper.

He joined Buller Jeffries in 1965, becoming senior partner eight years later, and he was deputy coroner of Birmingham between 1970 and 1980. Roger led Buller Jeffries until it merged with DWF in 2012, where his daughter Caroline is a partner and head of insurance and automotive, before retiring in 2014.

A statement on behalf of the family said: “The watchwords for Buller Jeffries, of quality, efficiency and integrity, were Roger Coates’ watchwords as well. A committed family man, he will be much missed by his wife Anne, daughters Joanna and Caroline, son in law Peter and grandchildren Rory and Harriet.”

Roger was a solicitor of the Supreme Court for 50 years and acted in some of the leading cases in industrial disease (Stokes v GKN), construction and JCT (Ossory Road) and commercial litigation (Capital & Counties v Hants Fire Brigade, Sun Valley v Pastspeed).

A memorial service and a celebration of his life will be held on Wednesday 14 March 2018 at 2:30pm at St. Peter’s Church, Wootton Wawen, B95 6EB. Family flowers only but donations, if desired, to the Army Benevolent Fund or Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) Forces, c/o A. E. Bennett & Sons, Stratford-Upon-Avon, telephone 01789 267035.

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