It is with great sadness that Burgoynes has to announce the untimely passing of Graham Charlton, who died suddenly on 7 November 2022.
Graham joined the Home Office Forensic Science Laboratory in 1972 and during this post he was granted a leave of absence to read Chemistry at Sussex University followed by a Masters degree in Fire Safety Engineering at the University of Edinburgh. Graham joined Burgoynes’ Coventry (now Kenilworth) office in 1984. He was elevated to Partner in 1993 and in 2003 he opened our Hong Kong office. Graham returned to the UK in 2009 and worked from the Kenilworth office. In 2016 he stepped down as a Partner and continued, part time, as a consultant until his retirement in June 2020.
Graham investigated the causes of many fires, explosions and chemical incidents worldwide; a great many of these incidents involving shipping. One of his land-based investigations was featured in the British Airways “Flying High” magazine, which highlighted his meticulous approach as a forensic scientist. Graham spent days counting rigorously the metal wire hangers at a garment manufacturers after a deliberate fire. His tally was well short of the number of garments reportedly kept at the premises which added weight to the suspicion that there was a fraudulent insurance claim.
Graham was very well known, respected and liked by clients. Throughout his career he contributed to the wider insurance investigation community by delivering training lectures to clients and Fire Service investigation teams. Graham’s legacy is not only the work he did but in the training and mentoring he provided to many junior associates starting out in their careers.
Graham will be greatly missed by all who knew him, and our thoughts go out to his wife Victoria and his family.