UKLFI: Supporting Israel with legal skills

Lord Young Obituary

We are sad to report the passing on 8 December 2022 of Lord Young z’’l, an Honorary Patron of UK Lawyers for Israel and UKLFI Charitable Trust.

David Ivor Young was born on 27 February 1932, the son of a Jewish Lithuanian flour merchant. He read Law at University College, London, qualifying as a solicitor in 1955. After practising for a year he went into business, initially as assistant to Sir Isaac Wolfson, Chairman of Great Universal Stores.

One of his first business deals was to acquire Shell’s business in Israel for £1 when Shell disposed of it to avoid the Arab boycott. That business is now Paz Oil and has a market capitalisation of around £1.2 billion.

In 1961, he founded his own property and construction company, Eldonwall. When he sold out and founded a new company, Town and City Properties, in 1972, he had become a millionaire.

He was also the first president of Jewish Care, served as president of Chai Cancer Care, the Jewish Museum in Camden, and Jewish educational charity World ORT.   Following his involvement with ORT he was appointed Chairman of the Manpower Services Commission and dealt with unemployment and training matters when unemployment was reaching three million.

Under his chairmanship the MSC developed initiatives such as the Youth Training Scheme and the Technical and Vocational Education Initiative, which were the basis of the Conservative Government’s assault on the unemployment problem during the mid-1980s.

Lord Young became a life peer in 1984, in 1985 he was made Secretary of State for Employment, and after the 1987 general election he became Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, which he transformed into “the Department for Enterprise”.

In 1989 he resigned from the Government  and returned to a business career, which included investment in Israeli hi-tech companies.  However in 2010 David Cameron appointed him enterprise adviser to the new Conservative-led Government, with a remit to encourage start-ups and cut back red tape that was holding back small and medium-sized businesses. He published a series of reports on business and enterprise and in 2015 was made a Companion of Honour.