Thursday, September 18, 2008

Herry's Brief Bio for a Southampton Reunion

Herry was born at Litchfield and brought up in the Meon Valley, about fifteen miles from Southampton. Although he has lived in London for many years, he keeps many links to Hampshire - and to the law faculty which now, in the Institute of Maritime Law, has the premier maritime law school in the country and many think, the world . After graduation in 1967 he started work for a City firm, Thomas Miller which happens to be one of the five founding firms of the Institute. He has a number of friends among the faculty as a result.

Millers manage a number of mutual insurance 'clubs', including the Bar Mutual, which insures all the barristers in England and Wales, and the Solicitors' Club, SIMIA, which takes a line on many solicitors' PI insurances. Herry worked mainly for the largest club, the UK P&I Club until 1984, dealing with marine liability claims and handling some fascinating casualties. He travelled constantly to talk to shipowners, lawyers and the like - initially to Yugoslavia and India and then to the Middle East (eg Saudi and Iraq) and then to Japan and Asia generally. He also joined the TA - and spend many tough but happy weekends on the moors and mountains. During the early years also he married Prue Watson in Sydney and built a house on his parents' farm at Meonstoke, where they lived until they were divorced in 1982 and Prue returned to Sydney with their three children. Fortunately they have remained on good terms, with Richard Smith, one of his friends from Southampton, handling Prue's side of the divorce proceedings.

Herry became a partner of Millers in 1982 and in 1984 the founding chairman of a new 'club' for shipbrokers, agents and managers now called ITIC and had great fun helping to build that up to be the largest such insurer (of marine intermediary professional indemnity risks) in the world.

In 1993 he moved back to the UK P&I Club and a sister organisation, known as the TT Club taking various management positions including chairman of Thomas Miller (Asia Pacific). In that capacity he spent eight years commuting from London to Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and China - and of course spending no little time in Australia. He retired in May 2006 after 39 years with Millers - but then took on a consultancy with a firm of City solicitors - Clyde & Co - and continued to travel in Asia. He still undertakes work for Thomas Miller in places like India and China, where long relationships are all-important. He will have just returned from a trip to both places when we meet, but he tries to keep his work to a minimum.

Herry now has four children - three of them still in Australia - two of whom are married and one has his quarter-Chinese granddaughter! His youngest daughter is 18 and has just started at King's College reading law. In keeping with his love of Asia, his second wife of many years is Japanese. The two families continue to be close, and last year spent Christmas together in Sydney

Herry loves reading, photography, travel, food and wine, walking and keeping up with family and friends. He is a Liveryman of the Drapers’ Company. He is also a director of companies including a Chinese/British joint venture and is a visiting professor at Shanghai Maritime University

He's fairly high-tech...and is all over the internet. He will be very happy to see his law school friends again, but can't guarantee to recognise all of them - any more than they will recognise him!