John was widely recognised as one of Asia’s, if not the world’s top legal brains. He had high standards and little patience for fools. Therefore he was as much feared as he was respected in the office by someone like myself who had only just embarked on my legal career. Socially, John was a permanent fixture of the prestigious Hong Kong Club, which was like his second home. He could always be spotted there having lunch or drinks with his best friends. In their presence, John would deliver his uncompromising views on people and the world with his trademark mixture of humour and sarcasm.
With the passing away of John last year, Hong Kong has sadly lost one of its top lawyers and a larger-than-life personality. Sotheby’s, and I in particular, are very pleased and honoured to be entrusted with the sale of his collection of book illustrations (to be offered over a number of sales). They show the collector’s eye and also the humour of my old friend and mentor, Mr. Payne.
Chief Executive Officer
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