I was greatly honoured to receive an invitation to contribute a Foreword to this Book of Essays written in honour of Roy Goode, an invitation which I was very glad to accept.
The Book consists of no fewer than 23 Essays, running to over 570 pages in length. The number and distinction of the authors demonstrate the esteem and (as individual Essays frequently reveal) the affection in which Roy is widely held; and their many nationalities show that these feelings are not confined to lawyers from this country but are entertained by lawyers all over the common law and civil law world.
The subjects of these Essays of course reflect to a considerable degree his own range of interests, more closely identified in the impressively long list of his publications over the past 34 years, which covers over four pages of this Book. His career and achievements are justly celebrated in an Appreciation by Lord Bingham, and in Biographical Sketches by Professor Cranston and Professor Zellick, the latter dwelling upon his career at Queen Mary College, to which he contributed so much. His astonishing career reveals that, just as there is a Field Marshal's baton in the knapsack of every private soldier, so there is a doctor's gown in the briefcase of every articled clerk, provided of course that the articled clerk in question possesses the range of talents enjoyed by Roy Goode and the energy and enterprise to take full advantage of them.
Commercial lawyers in practice owe a great deal to Roy. He has shown us all that commercial law is not restricted to the City-generated law of shipping and insurance, banking and the commodity trades, but extends to include a mass of other subjects of great practical importance in the world of commerce. Lawyers in the universities also owe a great deal to him, because he has taught them that practical experience may be useful to the academic study of the law, just as academic skill and knowledge may be valuable to the work of practising lawyers. English lawyers owe a great deal to him, because he has taught us to understand that it is no longer sufficient to be expert in the laws of our own country. We must also learn to appreciate the benefits of comparison of our laws with those of other countries, and to regard with more sympathy and understanding the aims and benefits of unification of commercial law, in its widest sense, through the medium of international Conventions.