When he was appointed to the second Chair of Law at Queen Mary College in 1971, Roy Goode was a partner in a London firm of solicitors: by the time he left the College almost 20 years later for Oxford, he was heaped with honours and recognition and had become the doyen of academic commercial lawyers and one of this country's and the Commonwealth's leading jurists. His time at Queen Mary College was as important for him as it was for the QMC Faculty of Laws. No one has done more for the Faculty.
I can recall clearly when I first became aware of Roy's existence and indeed when we first met. I had returned from America and was appointed to my first academic post, a temporary lectureship at Queen Mary, just before the announcement of Roy's appointment to the chair to be vacated by Aubrey Diamond who was going to the Law Commission. There were just two professors in a Faculty founded only 6 years before.
Both Roy and I were to take up our respective appointments, at opposite ends of the academic hierarchy, in the autumn of 1971. Shortly after I was appointed, I received, along with everyone else in the Faculty, a short duplicated memorandum from the Dean announcing the appointment of 'Mr R. M. Goode LLB' to the chair. I recall our first meeting -- at a gathering at the home in Whetstone, north London, of Roger and Jean Crane (Roger was the founding Dean of the Faculty) to bid farewell to Aubrey Diamond.
The proposal to appoint him was variously described as 'imaginative' or 'inspired', but whatever confidence in him those who appointed him had and whatever they thought he might accomplish at QMC, I cannot believe that they could have foreseen the way he would develop and flourish as an academic lawyer.
Roy was, as we would now say, headhunted for the soon-to-be vacated chair which was not even advertised. He was known to both Aubrey Diamond and Roger Crane. Although a practising solicitor who had not even attended university -- he had acquired a London external pass degree while working full-time -- Roy had already established a quite considerable scholarly reputation.
His massive and much-admired book on Hire-Purchase Law and Practice was already in its second edition and he was co-author of Hire-Purchase and Conditional Sale: A Comparative Survey of Commonwealth and American Law. He had also made substantial contributions to The Encyclopaedia ofForms and Precedents