Prominent attorney Richard Fields passes on

Prominent attorney and partner in the law firm Hughes, Fields and Stoby, Richard ‘Dickie’ Berkeley Fields passed away last Saturday.

He was 79 years old.

His wife of some 56 years, Joan Fields, told Stabroek News that Fields died on his way to the hospital last Saturday. She explained that he had suffered a stroke a while ago but had recovered well and as such, his sudden demise came as a shock to her and the family.

She said that although he was at home following the stroke, he never stopped his legal practice. He also served on the Boards of Banks DIH, Citizens Bank and Demerara Mutual Life Assurance Society.

Describing the father of two, Susan and Dylan, as nothing short of loving and supportive, Joan said that her husband was a family oriented man who used after Saturday dinner times to entertain them “with his myriad selections of music.”

Richard Berkeley

“He loved music, all genres of music but mostly classical music and Saturday meals with the family he would play for us; which we all looked forward to, and enjoyed,” she reminisced.

Richard Fields also took pride in his stellar achievements at rifle shooting tournaments, a sport in which he was actively involved in throughout his life.

Tributes continue to pour in from the legal fraternity, while many others took to social media to remember a man best known as “the essence of the old fashioned gentleman.”

“It is a tragic loss to the legal profession,” Senior Counsel Robin Stoby, a former partner with Fields in the law firm, told this newspaper.

Attorney at law Andrew Pollard also lamented on the blow to the legal fraternity, and fondly remembered Fields for the nurturing role he played in his career.

“It is a very tragic event and made all the moreso by the fact that he is a founding member of our firm. He and Mister Clarence Hughes founded the firm in 1972, and they nurtured and brought along our generation of lawyers, and so we feel incredibly indebted to Mr Fields and moved by this loss. I worked with him from October of 1987 when I was admitted to the Bar. I am certain that it was the founding members that made us the juniors very comfortable. They were always supportive and accessible to us. So they nurtured us in the culture of the firm and we have always been comfortable in it,” he said.

“One of the commonly recurring comments you would hear, and I too say, is that he was quite a gentleman. He was the essence of the old fashioned gentleman.  He was genial, polite, gave respect to others… and never raised his voice,” he added, whilst offering his comfort and support to the family.

Partner and son of founding member Clarence Hughes, Attorney at law Nigel Hughes, also reflected on the fond memories of his co-worker and friend, known to him and most as “Dickie”.

“Dickie, as he was known to his friends, was an outstanding athlete at school. At HFS (Hughes, Fields and Stoby) he was known for his extraordinary attention to detail and grammatical accuracy. He was a good looking dashing young lawyer who had a penchant for sports cars; his last being a Porsche. Dick was a most urbane person, gifted with an abundance of grace and dignity. He was a man of considerable refinement … We shared a passion for jazz. He was one of [the] key permanent members of my father’s Old Year’s Night parties,” Hughes noted.

“Dick was awarded silk in 1994, I believe. He was a source of consistently good advice to me personally, and a true patriot who believed that Guyana was capable of much greater things than it had achieved. Dick was one of the founding members of COMPASS which challenged the direction of the government of the day… He was a man of Letters, well and widely read. Personally, this is a tremendous loss. We are indebted to him for his outstanding contribution to our firm’s foundation and success. There is a tribute Miles Davis played when Marley died entitled ‘My Man’s Gone Now’, Dick, I dedicate this to you,” he added.

A District Grand Master in the Masonic Lodge here, Fields will be buried next week Wednesday following a service at Christ Church in Waterloo Street, Georgetown.

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