Tributes have been paid to leading Birmingham lawyer Gemma Curtis who died suddenly at the age of just 37.
Mother-of-one Ms Curtis, who had a young daughter, was a partner in the finance group at the Birmingham office of law firm Eversheds.
No details have been released about the tragic death of the award-winning lawyer, but she was described as an “adoring mummy” by her devastated family.
In a statement, Eversheds said: “With deep sadness we confirm that Gemma Curtis, a partner at Eversheds, tragically passed away suddenly on May 13.
“Gemma was a much loved and respected partner of the firm and our thoughts are with her family at this time.
“Books of condolence have been opened at our Birmingham and London offices. Out of respect and at the request of Gemma’s family at this difficult time, we make no further comment.”
A family notice said Ms Curtis was “taken so very suddenly on Wednesday, May 13, aged 37 years” and went on to describe her as “a deeply loved and loving wife”, “an adoring mummy” and “a precious daughter, sister niece and auntie”.
Mushtaq Khan, president of Birmingham Law Society, said: “It was with great sorrow that I learned of the death of Gemma Curtis, a young and talented lawyer. On behalf of Birmingham Law Society I would like to express my condolences to the family and colleagues of Gemma at this sad time.”
Ms Curtis was married to Dickon Best, who is also a well-known figure in Birmingham’s business community.
Mr Best was pensions director Midlands at PwC’s Birmingham office but more recently took up a London role as director in its pensions credit advisory team.
In her role at Eversheds, Ms Curtis led the real estate restructuring group. She specialised in acting for banks, accountants, corporates, venture capitalists and other stakeholders.
Dealing with all aspects of distressed lending, restructuring and corporate insolvency, her particular expertise was transactional, specialising in disposals by administrators and real estate restructuring.
She was cited in the legal directory Chambers and Partners as a “leading individual” in restructuring, the directory describing her as “gifted and innovative” and having an “excellent reputation” in the real estate sector.
Ms Curtis was also listed as an “elite” lawyer in Legal 500 and was a member of a number of professional organisations including insolvency trade body R3 and the Insolvency Lawyers Association.
Turnaround investor Endless named Ms Curtis as Lawyer of the Year at its’ Midlands “Saint Nick” Turnaround Awards in 2012.
A service of thanksgiving will take place at 11am on Friday, May 22, at St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Fakenham, Norfolk.
The memorial notice asked for family flowers only, with donations made to the NSPCC either at the service or through Canler and Son Funeral Directors, 12 Highfield Road, Fakenham, NR21 9DH.