George Adam Clare Simpson
By Derek Schmuck, SimpsonWigle Law
George Adam Clare Simpson passed away on October 26,
2020. Hamilton has lost one of its best litigators and a true gentleman.
George was born on September 4, 1928 in Hamilton. He
practiced law for 53 years.
After graduating from McMaster University and Osgoode
Hall, George practiced in Toronto for approximately 2 years and then moved back
to Hamilton to join his father and brother, in 1956, at Simpson, Duncan. Simpson,
Duncan became Simpson, Duncan, Hamel and Jackson and then, with a merger with
the Christilaw, Wigle, Callaghan and Milne firm, became SimpsonWigle in 1986.
George practiced with integrity. He was single- minded
in pursuing his duty to achieve the best possible result for his client. He was
a tough litigator. Justice Arrell recently remarked that, for a young lawyer,
conducting examinations for discovery with George in opposition was difficult
and daunting, but a great learning experience. Justice Arrell spoke warmly of
George and the many social occasions that he enjoyed with him over the years.
George practiced through many changes in the business
and legal worlds. George started before law offices had photocopiers. Then came
the fax machine, personal computer, the internet and e-mail. I recall a seminar
George and I took in the mid 90’s about the “world wide web”. It was a day-long
seminar on how to search the internet!
George primarily did motor vehicle defence work during
his career. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel. George possessed superior
intellect, and an appetite for hard work. He was a man of principle who always
did things the right way, taking no shortcuts. His main clients were the
Superintendent of Insurance and the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund, with
additional work for the office of the Official Guardian. There was no back and
forth with George; one knew absolutely where they stood.
George had the good fortune to practice with his
brother Ben for over 50 years. They never once had an argument over the running
of their law firm.
George was very honourable. In the early 1980’s, a
filing cabinet tipped over and injured one of the assistants at Simpson,
Duncan, Hamel and Jackson. George promptly recommended that she sue the firm
for compensation, which she did!
Family was the most important thing in the world to
George. He and his lovely wife Mary Ann were together for over 65 years. They,
and their three children, and then their spouses and grandchildren, loved times
at the family cottage in Southampton.
George retired from SimpsonWigle in 2009. After his
retirement, he would regularly come into the office to visit the lawyers and
assistants. George was famous for his delicious shortbread cookies.
Before and after his retirement, George volunteered
his time for many good causes, including Kiwanis, the Royal Botanical Gardens,
Hamilton’s Out of the Cold program, St. Mathews House and St. Christopher’s
George enjoyed travelling and visited countless parts
of the world. He was an avid World War II historian and loved listening to
George recognized the importance of mentoring and
taught literally hundreds of lawyers advocacy skills and the principles of the profession.
I was honoured to be one of those young lawyers and later proud to become his
partner and friend. George was always interested in the lives of the people he
worked with. He recognized that every person made an important contribution to
George leaves behind his wife Mary Ann and their three
children, Nancy, Janet and Bruce as well as their spouses and George’s
Derek Schmuck is a Partner
at SIMPSONWIGLE LAW who specializes in construction law and
commercial litigation. He can be reached at:
1 Hunter Street East, Suite
L8N 3W1 Canada
Tel: 905-528-8411 Ext: