The Portfolio Lawyer – Steve Williams
Soon after qualifying at Slaughter and May, Steve moved into industry, quickly becoming general counsel at Unilever, a role he held for 25 years until 2010. While there, Steve was a non-executive director of Bunzl for 9 years, on their Audit and Remuneration Committees, and of Arriva for 5 years, where he was SID, and he joined the board of Whitbread. The Whitbread role continued until 2017, first as SID and then as chair of the Remuneration Committee.
Steve currently chairs the Remuneration Committee on the board of Croda International, is Deputy Chairman and SID of the Moorfields NHS Trust and Vice Chairman of the De La Warr Pavilion Charitable Trust, a contemporary arts centre in Sussex (having already served as Chairman for six years). He is also a Board Member of The Leverhulme Trust, the second largest research grant funder in the UK, and Senior Advisor to headhunter Spencer Stuart. He has served as non-executive to Eversheds and on the Companies Committee of the CBI and the Takeover Panel. He remains a member of the Law Society Company Law Committee.
Members will rarely come across a lawyer with such a diverse range of non-executive roles, and they will gain a lot by understanding how he approaches each role and plays up or down his legal credentials accordingly.