Gordon Corner - 33 years covering the courts for London's Evening Standard

Gordon Corner, one of Fleet Street’s finest ever court reporters, has died at the age of 89.

Gordon worked the High Court, Appeal Court and House of Lords “beat” for London’s Evening Standard for an incredible 33 years.

Gordon
was a personal friend of countless lawyers and judges and saw many
junior barristers progress through the ranks to become top judges –
some even law lords.

He was also one of the most highly respected of all Fleet Street’s court reporters.

Having
started his career in journalism on the Essex County Standard in
Colchester, which at the time was owned by his great uncle, Sir Gurney
Benham, he moved to Fleet Street and the Standard in the aftermath of
war in 1948.

In his time at the courts he rubbed shoulders with
the rich, famous and infamous, covering all the major cases to take
place at London’s Royal Courts of Justice.

Divorce was his
speciality, and he was based at the courts in the heyday of the big
celebrity divorce and breach of promise cases.

Within five years of retiring he suffered a massive stroke which paralysed his right side.

Despite this, he continued with freelance work from his wheelchair.

Each day he studied the High Court Family Division “quickie” divorce lists.

Due
to a remarkable memory for names, he spotted many over the years which
resulted in national newspaper and gossip column page leads.

During
his time at the courts he was a stalwart of the High Court Journalists
Association and, as its chairman, played an active role in guiding it.

He had also played an active role with the NUJ and was a member since 1937.

Early in his career with the Evening Standard, he was father of the NUJ chapel there.

Mike
Taylor, editor of the Press Association Law Service, said: “Gordon was
a brilliant journalist of the old school. He loved the job.

“Journalism
was truly in his blood. I shouldn’t think anyone could count the number
of scoops he notched up in his career. He was a professional through
and through.

“At the same time he was also a true gentleman. He
was a wonderful person to work with and an inspiration to newcomers –
he was always ready to lend them a helping hand. Nothing was ever too
much trouble for Gordon. He was sadly missed when he finally retired.”

Gordon’s funeral was in Sussex, where he had spent his retirement.

Roger Pearson

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