Colleagues have paid tribute to “an outstanding lawyer” killed in a cycling accident as a “kind and compassionate person”.
Shatha Ali, from Rotherhithe, died after a collision involving a lorry near Holborn station on Tuesday morning as she battled her way through vehicles amid the tube strike.
Ali, 39, died on one of the capital’s busiest cycling commuting corridors. Plans by Transport for London (TfL) to introduce safety improvements at the gyratory were postponed after the transport body ran out of funds.
Ali worked for Norton and Rose, now the international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright, before moving to Latham & Watkins in about 2012-13, where she was part of their corporate department as an expert on derivatives and Islamic finance. She rose to become a partner but left last July to take a career break.
Stephen Kensell, office managing partner of Latham & Watkins’ London office said: “We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of our dear friend Shatha. She was a kind and compassionate person, a selfless team player, an outstanding lawyer, and a terrific mentor. Our hearts are with Shatha’s family and friends at this unimaginably difficult time. Her generous spirit, warm personality, and, most of all, friendship, will be greatly missed.”
Farmida Bi, Global Chair of Norton Rose Fulbright, said: “Shatha was an exceptionally talented lawyer and a wonderfully kind and generous person, who was extremely popular with both her colleagues at the firm and her clients. She will be mourned and missed by all of us. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this very sad time.”
Ali’s father, Hasan Ali, told the Standard: “She was extremely generous and contributed to many, many charities. She had very good, close friends.
“She was everybody’s ‘go to’ person. We always depended on her. She travelled to so many places. Last weekend she was hiking with her sister.”
The former corporate city lawyer was a “social cyclist”, her family said, who knew London’s roads well, but the type of cyclist who would have ridden in jeans and a jumper rather than Lycra.
Ali graduated in law from King’s College London in 2003 and got her postgraduate law degree from BPP Law School a year later.
She had a younger brother and sister and many interests outside work.
Dr Ala’a al Shehabi, a childhood friend and a lecturer at University College London, tweeted: “Shatha should not have died in this horrific way.
“Absolutely devastated to hear the tragic news that my childhood friend Shatha Ali was killed in a horrific accident by a lorry last night in the notorious Holborn junction. @SadiqKhan why haven’t you done anything to protect cyclists there?”
Keera Mesh, another friend, tweeted: “She was honestly the kindest person.”
Last September, a left-turning lorry at the same gyratory claimed the life of the consultant paediatrician Dr Marta Krawiec, who was 41. Krawiec had been cycling to work at St Thomas’ hospital at the time. She had started cycling to work at the start of lockdown to ensure she could continue to see her patients.