Lawyer found dead at South Wales beach

27 December 2018, 18:03 | Updated: 27 December 2018, 18:18

Southerndown Beach

A partner at a global law firm has been found dead at a beach in South Wales.

Geraint Thomas, 47, worked for multinational law practice Eversheds Sutherland as a Brexit lawyer, giving advice to business owners ahead of the UK's exit from the EU.

An inquest into his death was opened and adjourned during a brief hearing at Pontypridd's coroner's court on Christmas Eve, six days after Mr Thomas's body was found at Southerndown in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Police are not treating his death as suspicious.

A spokesman for South Wales Police said: "South Wales Police is investigating the sudden death of a 47-year-old man from Cardiff who was discovered at Southerndown in the early hours of December 18.

"The death is not being treated as suspicious. Next of kin have been informed and a file of evidence is being prepared for HM Coroner."

Lee Ranson, chief executive of Eversheds Sutherland International, described Mr Thomas as a "truly exceptional lawyer" and said staff at the law firm would be offered support.

Mr Ranson said: "On behalf of the firm, I can confirm with great sadness that Geraint Thomas, a partner in our commercial team, was found dead on 18 December 2018. Details surrounding his death are unclear, and we are currently liaising with his family and the police.

"Geraint was a highly respected and esteemed lawyer who, having joined the firm in 1994, spent his entire career at the firm. A truly exceptional lawyer, he will be remembered for his dedication to his clients and to the firm in equal measure. He will be greatly missed.

"Our sincere sympathies and thoughts are with Geraint's wife, family and friends at this exceptionally difficult time. Many of Geraint's colleagues have also been deeply affected by this tragic news. We are working with everyone to ensure they have appropriate, professional support in the coming weeks and months.

"As this is an ongoing investigation I am unable to provide further comment at this time."

Mr Thomas's LinkedIn page states he studied at Jesus College at Oxford University between 1989 and 1992, before gaining a BA and a Masters degree in History.

A professional biography on his law firm's website said he had worked there since 2003 and specialised in retail finance.

The website listed his expertise in consumer credit, mortgage regulation and savings and deposit products.

He was also one of the firm's "Brexit lawyers", who worked with clients to plan ahead of Brexit.