Jacob Waley (1818-1873)

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IN the eleventh Lucien Wolf Memorial Lecture delivered on the 17th April, 1947, Dr. Arthur L. Goodhart, k.b.e., q.c., now Master of University College, Oxford, then Corpus Professor of Jurisprudence in the University, took for his subject "Jewish Contributions to Anglo-American Law", which was subsequently expanded to a mono? graph under the title "Five Jewish Lawyers of the Common Law."

The term Common Law in this behalf was used by the Lecturer in its widest sense so as to include the basic principles of the legal systems of England, the British Dominions and Colonies, and the United States of America, so far as they have adopted the principles of the Common Law of England as the foundation of their law. It does not comprise Scotland, a very few of the British territories overseas, and a small portion of the United States. That it was used in this sense is proved by the fact that, of the five Jewish lawyers described, Dr. Goodhart included Sir George Jessel, Master of the Rolls, who was the very embodiment of the system of Equity, whose principles formed the foundation of the law as administered in the Chancery Courts, as contrasted with Common Law in the narrower sense as administered in the Courts other than those, in general, of the old Courts of Chancery. He included some distinguished American exponents but all, whether English or American, were advocates who had outstanding careers either in the sphere of advocacy or the judiciary, or of both. Restricting the number to five, it was inevitable that some who could have claimed to be entitled to inclusion in a collec? tion of eminent lawyers in the Anglo-American range would of necessity be excluded by this limitation, and attention to this was called by Lord Cohen who, in his Presidential Address, delivered before the Jewish Historical Society of England on the 3rd November, 1947, entitled "Levi Barent Cohen and some of his Descendants" observed that "there was one great English lawyer of the Jewish faith to whom Professor Goodhart had not referred?the late Rt. Hon. Arthur Cohen, q.c." and part of his Lordship's Address was devoted to the salient features of the life of that eminent Queen's Counsel.2 Had the range been larger, a strong claim for inclusion could have been made for Jacob Waley, Conveyancing Counsel to the Court of Chancery, one of the most eminent conveyancers of all time, a contributor of authority to the literature of conveyancing, and, for a period, holder of the Chair of Political Economy at University College, London.

Of all branches of the legal profession the least known to the general public is that of Conveyancing Counsel, usually termed for short, Conveyancers. Although in a more extended sense the latter term could be applied to members of the solicitor branch of the profession who devote themselves more particularly to this sphere, yet, in the strictest sense of the term, Conveyancer is more generally appropriated to those members of the Bar who, either exclusively or mainly,

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