04/09/2012 14:31 BST

Amanda Telfer Crushed By Window Frame In Hanover Square Was Volunteer For Death Penalty Charity

A woman killed by falling masonry in front of horrified onlookers in a central London square last week was a lawyer who volunteered to help prisoners facing the death penalty.

Friends and colleagues paid tribute today to Amanda Telfer, who died in the accident in Hanover Square, near Oxford Street, after being struck by what is believed to be a concrete window frame.

Ms Telfer, who worked for Keystone Law, acted as a volunteer investigator for the charity Reprieve, which helps Guantanamo Bay inmates and people facing the death penalty around the world, the charity's founder said.

She helped represent British-born Neil Revill, 40, who faced a possible death sentence for the double murder of a drug dealer and his girlfriend in California in 2001. He was eventually sentenced to life after a trial in 2011.

Speaking from Guantanamo Bay, Clive Stafford Smith, the charity's founder, told the Evening Standard Ms Telfer's death was "tragic".

"I heard about poor Amanda a couple of days ago - what a tragedy," he told the paper.

"She was a volunteer at Reprieve, and an excellent one, and then very kindly 'legaled' my new book, so it was a pleasure to have the chance to catch up with her then.

"How very sad it was to hear, and my heart goes out to her family."

amanda telfer death

Ms Telfer was killed in front of horrified onlookers on Thursday

Ms Telfer was pronounced dead at the scene after being struck by building debris last Thursday.

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said police were working alongside the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to try to establish what happened.

A post-mortem examination was carried out on Saturday and gave the cause of death as blunt force trauma.

Keystone Law, where Ms Telfer had worked since 2005 specialising in libel, defamation and privacy law, said she was "an extremely talented lawyer, much admired by her clients and colleagues".

"Amanda was always a pleasure to work with and we shall miss her greatly," it said in a statement on its website.

"Our thoughts are with Amanda's family at this difficult time."

Ms Telfer also worked for the publisher Random House for more than six years, with the company describing her as a "valued and popular consultant lawyer".

"Not only was Amanda a brilliant lawyer whose advice and help could always be relied upon, but she was terrific fun to be around," a spokeswoman said.

"She was held in the highest regard by colleagues for her professional expertise and her warm and approachable style.

"She will be greatly missed by her many friends at Random House and by all who had the privilege of working with her.

"Our thoughts are with her family at this difficult time."

Sinead Martin, Random House's group legal director, added: "Amanda was very special, a thoroughly good person."