Bank of Dave: Is Hugh Stockwell Based on a Real Lawyer? Where Is He Now?

‘Bank of Dave,’ the comedy-drama film, essays a fictional narrative around Dave Fishwick, a businessman from Burnley who aspires to open a community bank. As such, Dave, the titular character, remains the narrative focus, with his battle against London’s banking system occupying the central storyline. Yet, alongside the self-made millionaire, Hugh Stockwell plays an equally significant role. As a lawyer from London, Hugh enters the story to provide legal counsel to Dave in his quest to acquire banking approval from the Financial Regulation Board. Therefore, given his instrumental contribution to Dave’s on-screen story, viewers must be curious to know about Hugh Stockwell’s origins in reality.

Hugh Stockwell Has Partial Roots in Real-Life

Hugh Stockwell’s character from ‘Bank of Dave’ is partially based on a real-life lawyer, Chris Moss. Nevertheless, the film takes ample creative liberty and infuses Moss’ on-screen counterpart with enough fictionality to distinguish between the two. For the same reason, the character sports a different name to keep himself distanced from his real-life inspiration.

Yet, the points of similarity between Hugh Stockwell and Chris Moss, however scant they may be, remain instrumental to the former’s role within the film. Moss has been collaborating with Dave Fishwick in legal matters surrounding the latter’s banking aspiration for more than a decade. In fact, Moss was a part of Fishwick’s television series ‘Bank of Dave,’ where he advised the man on legal banking regulations as he tried to set up a micro bank in the span of 180 days.

Therefore, in telling the story of small-town Burnley’s monumental step in community banking, Moss’ remarkable contribution is noteworthy. However, most of the storylines surrounding Moss’ fictional counterpart within the film, much like Hugh, are fictitious in nature.

For the most part, Hugh’s presence in the story is most brazenly felt during Dave’s local court hearing, where he’s tried for the minor crime labeled loan sharking on a technicality. During the sequence, Hugh showcases his merits as a lawyer and essentially rescues Dave from a lifelong ban on banking.

Likewise, Hugh influences the film’s final act during the Def Leppard fundraising concert by saving Dave’s bank from sinking, yet again in one bold move. While both these instances have a large impact on the story and define Hugh’s position within the narrative, neither storyline is inspired by real life. Likewise, Hugh’s romantic subplot with Alexandra Ashforth, a local medical practitioner, is another work of fiction that doesn’t have any connections to Moss’ real life.

As a result, Hugh and Moss end up having more differences than their shared commonality as lawyers involved in Fishwick’s finance business’ inception. Thus, even though the film employed Moss as an inspiration for Hugh’s character, the latter’s in-universe narrative remains largely fictitious within the film. Ultimately, Hugh Stockwell is a fictional character with parts of his dynamic and working relationship with Dave Fishwick inspired by the real-life lawyer Chris Moss.

Where Is Chris Moss Now?

Chris Moss initially started his law career in the 1990s and worked at several financial services businesses and provided legal advice for a regulated UK asset management company. With 30 years of experience under his belt as a man of the law, Chris Moss currently works at Myerson Solicitors, a law firm named in the UK Top 200. As the Corporate Commercial Partner, the man specializes in those branches of law.

Professional life aside, Moss still maintains a close acquaintanceship with Dave Fishwick and enjoyed his friend’s portrayal in the film, ‘Bank of Dave.’ “He [Fishwick] is full of determination and passionate about supporting his local community, and he was portrayed very accurately by Rory Kinnear [in the film],” said the lawyer in a conversation with Myerson Solicitors’ website.

In the same interview, Moss also discussed his experience while watching the film for the first time at the premiere with his wife. Although he acknowledged the fictional nature of his character, Hugh’s storyline with Alexendra, he also commented on the film’s authentic portrayal of Dave’s journey in building his community lender business.

Read More: Netflix’s Bank of Dave: The Sequel to Shoot in Yorkshire Next Year