Graham Heaney 1954-2016
By Mark Mosley
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our friend and colleague, Graham Heaney.
Graham was Head of our Penwortham office and passed away just over a week ago. He was a dedicated professional and great friend, and we were lucky to have him as part of our firm.
I worked along side Graham for more than 20 years. We joined the business together in 2010 when Vincents acquired TurnerPearson where we were both partners, Graham the Senior Partner. Over the years we had some good times. He was a straight talker, but it was well known that his bark was worse than his bite, and he would always make you laugh and look on the bright side. The Penwortham team were regularly in stiches, often being caught out by clients, laughing at Graham’s acerbic ‘Dear Deidre...’ spoofs where he would provide alternative answers to the day’s problem page letters.
He wasn’t always a lawyer, and worked a number of jobs before undertaking studying Law at the Lancashire Polytechnic and then at the College of Law in Chester. He was a plumber and pipefitter for a few years and worked in Germany, a genuine ‘Auf Wierdersehen, Pet’, and a salesman. He was even a tour guide on the holiday coaches for a time. That confidence and humour often came through and his early career stood Graham in good stead when it came to being a lawyer.
Upon graduating, Graham joined Laverys solicitors, then Turners where he became a Partner. It was there I got to know and respect Graham. Our paths had crossed a couple of times before, first when Graham had to venture into court covering for a colleague. As he said at the time, and on many occasions since, litigation wasn’t for him. Graham was very firmly a ‘property and private client’ man.
Graham’s great strength was his ability to communicate on all levels with both his clients and colleagues alike, and was an excellent role model for younger colleagues. You always knew where you stood with Graham, his straightforward approach resulted in a huge number of clients that repeatedly instructed Graham or recommended him to their friends. Many had been with him since day one and followed him wherever he went. Graham was very well regarded by peers and clients and built lasting professional and personal relationships with a great many people, who I know will all be greatly saddened by news of his death.
Above all, Graham was a devoted and loving family man. He leaves behind Boz, his wife of 35 years, to whom he got engaged on 07/07/77. I am told that, quite radically for the day, they held a ‘Punk’ engagement party. That he was once ‘an anarchist’ might surprise many younger colleagues.Graham also leaves a daughter Jess and son Sam. He was so proud of them and was devoted to them both. Graham, Jess and Sam enjoyed spending as much time as they could together, they undertook the Manchester to Blackpool cycle ride for charity in 2013 with Graham and Sam repeating that feat again in 2015.
Outside of work Graham was an active member of Ashton Bowling Club, a huge PNE fan – and until recently a season ticket holder – a keen cyclist, fell walker and gardener. Another little known fact is that Graham played for Fulwood Amateurs football club, and continued turning out for the team well into his 30s.
All at Vincent’s will miss Graham enormously. To Boz, Jess and Sam, our sincere and deepest condolences.
The family has asked for any donations to be made to the Rosemere Cancer Foundation http://www.rosemere.org.uk