Obituary: Max Gold

Brilliant advocate who represented families of victims of trawler tragedy


One of Hull’s best known solicitors, Max Gold, has died, aged 72.

Gold, an associate at Hull law firm Ingrams Solicitors, was described as a brilliant advocate, and a leading light within Hull’s Jewish community. He died during heart surgery. 

Tributes from the world of law and Jewish leaders praised his generosity, and personal kindness.

The Hull East MP Karl Turner, who had known Max for 20 years, described him as "a true socialist — who really put people first".

Jonathan Arkush, Board of Deputies president, said: "Max was one of our community’s key personalities — very able both professionally and communally, warm, kind and with a wonderful sense of humour.

"He was totally dedicated to Jewish community affairs and above all to the needs of the Hull Jewish community. In Jewish terms he was really ‘Mr Hull’.” 

“Gold by name, gold by nature”, is how a colleague, Bill Waddington, director of Williamsons Solicitors described him. “Everybody knew Max, he was just one of life’s characters.”

Maxwell Julian Gold was born in Grimsby, the first child of Gerry and Sylvia Gold (née Kalson). He was brought up in Hull and after gaining a scholarship to Hymers College, was educated at Hull Grammar School.

Opting to do articles rather than study law at university, he was admitted to the Law Society in 1970, and set up his own firm in 1979. 
Max soon became a local household name in the field of criminal law.

He frequently helped those who could not afford legal representation and was instrumental in setting up a pro bono service for the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

During a career spanning over 45 years, his highest-profile case was representing the families of the trawlermen whose vessel, Gaul, sank in the Barents Sea, north of Norway in 1974. The incident, described as one of the fishing industry’s greatest tragedies, claimed the lives of all 36 on board. Much of his work for the families was given freely when the government’s money ran out.

Max held positions within the Hull Jewish community from the age of 17, including the presidency of the local B’nei Brith Youth Organisation.

With his fine singing voice he frequently led the Shacharit service in shul. At the time of his death he was co-President with Howard Levy of the Hull Jewish Community, and had played a vital role in organising and addressing its recent 250th community celebratory luncheon. 

He was an extremely charitable man with an interest in religious education, and with his wife Laura had assisted and frequently visited a Jewish girls’ school in Moscow. He was a lifetime supporter of Israel, the home of his step-daughter and grandchildren. 

Max reached worshipful master status as a Freemason and had a lifetime interest in Rugby League. He chaired Hull Kingston Rovers and collected rugby memorabilia, Judaica and militaria.

He is survived by Laura, children Louise and Alexandra, step-children Ruth and Jerome, brother Les, sister Anna, grandchildren, nieces and a nephew.
Max Gold: born December 1, 1944. Died: May 10, 2017

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