I am Daniel’s father. That has been a phenomenal privilege.
Sharing his story has been important for me, mainly to tell the world about his magical personality but also to share some of the many lessons I learnt during his cancer journey. I believe passionately that we should all try, as best we can in our particular circumstances, to make the world a better place, while having fun along the way. When I finally get my act together, this website will build on the lessons learnt.
Like Daniel, I am a sports nut (playing and watching), especially tennis, cricket, football and (as befits a Welshman) rugby. Trying not to sound like the padded-out cv of a fresh graduate, I also love music, theatre, ethics and political philosophy and history (though claim no expertise in any). Reading a wide range of subjects – often at the same time, which can be confusing – now brings the solace which, strangely, it did not do when Daniel was ill.
Professionally, I am a lawyer in the voluntary sector. These days I do mainly animal protection law, with some human rights. I have represented most of the major UK animal protection organisations, most notably Cruelty Free International, the leading organisation campaigning against animal experiments.
I used to work for Child Poverty Action Group, a well-respected family poverty charity, and am involved in street children issues. Prior to CPAG, I was a litigation partner in a West End firm. My work can now be described as campaigning law. This involves using the law – UK, European and international – in a myriad of different ways to further the objectives of the voluntary sector organisations for whom I act. I have no doubt that the law can be used as a real force for good.
I sit as a judge on a part-time basis and am a consultant to Bindmans, a leading human rights law firm.
I used to teach judicial review and human rights law, primarily in the context of welfare benefits. I have been a member of the Law Society’s mental health and disability committee and the Legal Services Commission panel advising on the grant of legal aid in public interest cases. I have also written extensively about the law, campaigning and ethics and have contributed to a number of books.
I have been chair of the national RSPCA and a trustee of Compassion in World Farming, which campaigns for improved farm animal welfare. Until recently, I was a trustee of Casa Alianza UK, which supports the large number of children living on the streets of Central America, and have been a member of the advisory board for Burma Campaign UK. I am a Samaritan.
But being Daniel’s dad transcends everything else in my life.
I found Daniel, My Son deeply moving, honest and soul-searching. And you are, evidently, a gifted author
– David W, religious writer and broadcaster