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NEWS & VIEWS

The Board: A General Counsel’s Perspective with Dan Fitz

We were joined by Dan Fitz, GC of the Crick Institute. Dan has served as General Counsel and Company Secretary of BT Group, Cable & Wireless and Misys. He has chaired the Association of Corporate Counsel and been Vice Chair of the GC 100. He has been named in the FT’s list of the top 30 Global General Counsel and in 2014 the FT named him one of the top 100 LGBT executives.  Watch back to see how Dan planned, or didn't plan, his career path leading him to his current post. https://vimeo.com/566550394/e7aad769d8  ...

Former lawyer turned psychotherapist Gavin Sharpe – workaholism, life, law and stress

We were joined by former Allen & Overy lawyer, Gavin Sharpe who, in 2012, made the decision to retrain as a coach and psychotherapist. He encouraged us all to take a step back and take a look at work and life as a whole. Anyone who takes work calls whilst on 'holiday' or pulled all-nighters, will benefit from spending a few minutes listening and reflecting upon what Gavin had to say. Gavin himself now has a diversified portfolio career alongside his main career, and seems to have achieved a balance that many current lawyers are now looking for. https://vimeo.com/559954775/8737f750e7...

The Portfolio Lawyer with Andrew Peck: Plan ahead, get committee experience and fill your address book!

We were joined by former Linklaters lawyer, Andrew Peck, who shared with us his experience of planning for and achieving a fulfilling portfolio career. This should resonate with any lawyer currently thinking about how the next few years will look. Click the link below and watch the webinar back to hear Andrew's top tips for planning ahead, achieving his aims, and looking forward with no regrets. https://vimeo.com/551392388/93b451e22a...

Tim Wainwright CE WaterAid UK: What to look for in a good board member

Tim has worked with two Chairs who have also been lawyers so you'll be pleased to hear that he doesn't feel lawyers should be pigeon-holed into one single category. He wants to see what that individual can offer as a whole. Indeed, Tim has found a legal background to be a valued asset on a board, often bringing with it wisdom, a breadth of experience, "lawyers see an awful lot of things!" and, in his experience, a "precise and forensic'" approach. Watch Tim Clark (BCKR) and Tim Wainwright in discussion below. https://vimeo.com/545906264/25c59de38b...

Headhunter Susanne André: the benefits Lawyers can bring to development agencies and non-profits

Starting out as a lawyer, and now in search for the development and NGO sector, Susanne's session looked at a number of aspects of the NED roles in the development sector and the opportunities for lawyers who are considering these roles. These aspects included: the inter-linkages between the public and private sectors in the light of the UN SDGs the differences between the private and development sectors including cultural and senior relationship matters the attributes which are required for appointments in the development sector including a growth mindset, motivation for the cause, diplomacy and networking the expertise and experience of...

The Portfolio Lawyer – Jonathan Scott: how to have a successful plural life after law

On retiring from his roles as Senior Partner and Executive Chair of Herbert Smith Freehills, Jonathan Scott wanted to take on number of external appointments.  He has sought roles which would be an interesting challenge,  take him out of his comfort zone, enable him to 'put something back' and ultimately, have fun in the process. With some help along the way Jonathan now enjoys a successful plural life. Do watch our conversation with Jonathan who gave us a first hand insight into how he went about realising his plans and just what benefits he feels lawyers can bring to boards. https://vimeo.com/528478971/ccf2143e8b...

Andrea Coomber Director of Justice: how law, and lawyers, can be a vehicle for change

Andrea Coomber, the Director of Justice, gave an excellent overview of the role of Justice in addressing societal concerns and of the value of the justice system as a public good. She also looked at how lawyers might themselves practically contribute to the challenge of ensuring that the justice system is effective, particularly at a time when public confidence has been shaken in areas such as racial inequality and gender based violence. cc She concluded with some valuable insights into remote working based on her experience of working as Director of Justice from Australia in recent months. cc Watch Andrea in discussion with one...

Headhunter Jan Hall: Be your own best advocate

Jan was until recently one of the leading headhunters for Chair, Board and senior executive roles at major corporates and is now running a consultancy for senior NEDs and management. Jan's session gave many insights (based on her executive and NED career - which started at the age of 27) into: how headhunters work and how to make them your messenger, how to keep in touch with them, avoiding being desperate, grumpy or arrogant, and why we should not take rejection personally. She has also recently published Changing Gear, on how best to approach life after a full-on career. One point was of...

Rebecca Gudgeon on ESG and Corporate Reputation

Rebecca Gudgeon, a partner in the communications firm Hudson Sandler, has extensive experience as an adviser on organisation risk and reputation issues. She leads HS Sustain (the ESG practice of Hudson Sandler) and is one of the leading advisers in the ESG sector. Rebecca's talk (and the subsequent conversation) covered the impact of the rapidly developing ESG sector, the broad scope of ESG requirements and the knowledge which non-executive board members of an organisation (including not for profit boards) now need to have to operate effectively as NEDs.  The areas covered by the discussion included: ESG and the development of strategy (including...

Hilary Wild: How the Audit Committee can be a perfect fit for a lawyer

We were joined by highly experienced audit committee chair, Hilary Wild, who takes us through just how beneficial the presence of a lawyer on a board can be. The prerequisites of an audit committee member - the ability to think independently and objectively, integrity, the ability to manage confidential and sensitive information, are all characteristics often found not just in accountants but in lawyers too. Whilst not all lawyers are not finance professionals, many lawyers are hugely financially literate and their place on an Audit Committee will be an asset. Indeed, as Hilary suggested herself, an Audit Committee made up solely...

Miranda Wayland from the BBC: Boardroom issues of the day – BLM and the diversity agenda

We were delighted to be joined by Miranda Wayland, Head of Creative Diversity at the BBC who talked us through how they go about analysing the gap between diversity/equality and equity and the practical steps which can be taken to address that gap as well as looking at diversity in its widest context. Miranda articulates well one of the key issues of understanding other people's perceptions and perspectives. The BBC - although different from other organisations - is a great comparator and the (internal) work which they were doing is really impressive and an example if we are to address these...

David Paterson: top tips for current lawyers – plan early and take the initiative

We were joined by former lawyer, David Paterson, who spoke candidly about the need to preserve self esteem and be realistic when starting out on a portfolio life. His words will resonate with many of us. David guides our members through his own journey in transitioning from being an M&A and board advisory partner at HSF to holding a variety of non-executive and trustee roles in the charitable and sporting arena just two years later. David recommends doing research to find out what it is you want from a portfolio life, be realistic, network, and use the services that BCKR has...

Guy Henderson: Six steps to take when looking at life after law

This week we were joined by Guy Henderson, former lawyer at Allen & Overy, who performed a complete career change and is now Chief Executive of Ascot Racecourse, amongst other things. Guy takes us through the six steps he would recommend taking when sitting down to consider a life after law, planning for a life that makes you 'leap out of bed in the morning!'   https://vimeo.com/474667945/b17bc9e7a2...

Christopher Rodrigues CBE: judgement, insight, worldly experience and a passion for the cause

Christopher Rodrigues, chair past and present of a diverse range of boards from the arts and sport to finance and education, provided our members with an invaluable insight into what he looks for in a useful board member, often counting lawyers among those who can best help the board make better decisions. He takes the refreshing approach of always trying to recruit members to his boards for whom the role will be their first. Additionally, Christopher details how the nature and form of board meetings are changing over the course of 2020 while we try and cope with the limitations imposed...

Lisa Mulley: taking control of your personal and professional life with consulting

We were recently joined by Lisa Mulley who leads Peerpoint, the consulting panel for Allen & Overy, who considers how lawyers, in her experience, can take their first brave steps into the world of legal consultancy, thereby allowing them greater control and the freedom to explore different avenues. 'Knowing your skillset', and 'good listening skills' are just a couple of areas crucial for lawyers to consider if they wish to successfully pursue a career in consultancy. These are equally crucial areas for lawyers to review in preparation for securing their board roles.  Being a good lawyer is almost a 'given'. Do...

Susie Cummings from Nurole: Simplifying the headhunting process

We were joined by Susie Cummings from Nurole who talked us through the process they adopt when charged with finding candidates to fill board roles, citing many lawyers along the way who have successfully attained their board roles this way. Nurole actively encourages boards to hire 'first timers', indeed around half their appointees are taking on their first role. Do watch the webinar to see Susie's enthusiasm for this successful, thriving business model. If you would like to get in touch with Nurole, Susie and her team will be pleased to hear from BCKR members. Please email them enquiries@nurole.com to find...

Malcolm Sparkes and Cyber-Security: “it is the business of the board to manage risk”

This week we were very fortunate to welcome Malcolm Sparkes and his colleague Dr Susanna Berry from security consultancy firm Blacksmiths, to discuss how the Non-Executive Director can be best placed to help minimise risk and ensure their firm is secure. Given the increasing number of cyber-attacks on firms large and small, the webinar is worth watching. We consider subjects ranging from security within large institutions to whether there is risk working from home on your own laptop! Malcolm also let us have a list of the top 10 security questions non-executive directors may like to raise, as during the webinar...

Webinar with Nigel Boardman: taking on external roles ‘makes you a better advisor’

BCKR welcomed portfolio lawyer Nigel Boardman to talk us through his journey from partner at Slaughter & May to where he is now, holding an interesting and diverse portfolio of non-executive roles. If you are starting to consider taking on roles, it's worth listening to what Nigel has to say about lawyers sitting on boards and just how much taking on roles can benefit your clients, benefit your employer, and ultimately, you. As Nigel himself says, taking on roles "adds humanity to your life and work...

Webinar with Pam Daley: Don’t be a lawyer, be a leader with a law degree!

This week we had the pleasure of welcoming US portfolio lawyer, Pam Daley, calling in from the States to discuss with BCKR's Tim Clark what she sees are the reasons why lawyers need to be on boards, why perhaps there aren't enough lawyers on boards, both in the UK and US, and how she made the transition from law firm partner to business executive. https://vimeo.com/429620223/af9cf014b7...

Webinar with John Schonert: Headhunting is not a dark art! A different approach to finding the right NED

We were delighted to welcome John Schonert from executive search firm Williams Schone this week. He put BCKR director, Elizabeth Holden, on one of her boards, so is ideally placed to guide our members when looking for their first portfolio role. We hope you will find John's approach to placing Non-Executive Directors both engaging and refreshing. If you wish to take up John's offer of an initial discussion please let us know here and we'll put you in touch. https://vimeo.com/426059346/66f6b096ba    ...

Webinar with Nick Alcock from G3: The World Post Covid

We recently welcomed Nick Alcock, former investment banker and intelligence officer, now CEO of the G3, one of the leading international business intelligence firms advising a range of companies, investors and law firms on issues across the business world. Click the video link below to hear Nick's take on how the world may look in the future.   https://vimeo.com/423777508/0e9eb0f414      ...

Webinar with Nick Aitchison: One-to-One guidance during the Pandemic

BCKR's Nick Aitchison talked us through the tailored service we are offering during the pandemic and beyond. Elizabeth Holden, Guy Beringer and Tim Clark gave us their useful insight too in how they were able to go about securing their their first NED roles. Click the on the webinar below to find out more.   https://vimeo.com/417234615  ...

Martin Jones: The Parole Board and Lawyers make a perfect fit

BCKR recently welcomed Martin Jones to host a Breakfast Event. Martin has been Chief Executive of The Parole Board for nearly five years and has worked in the justice system for 27 years. His current role has been  the most challenging and also the most rewarding. Members can access the presentation Martin gave here.   What does the Parole Board do? It is similar to a court - a body that, independent of the Government, makes decisions regarding  whether to order the release of prisoners; it also conditions under which such a release should be made. There are around 270 members of the Parole...

Sir Mike Rake: having a legal mind on the board can mean the right questions are asked

We recently welcomed Sir Mike Rake to come and share with us his experience of heading boards and the positive role lawyers can play on them. Mike Rake has very wide Board and leadership experience, as the former head of KPMG and since as a Chairman and NED of many organisations, including public companies (including BT plc) in the UK and US, the NHS (Gt Ormond Street Hospital), the CBI etc. Mike sees the key challenges for boards as follows: constructively addressing the key issues facing the organisation;  defining and adhering to the organisation’s culture and values; understanding and mentoring  the key...

Miranda Leung: Former lawyer with a portfolio of satisfying roles

We recently welcomed Portfolio Lawyer, Miranda Leung, to BCKR. Miranda left Slaughter and May three years ago after 26 years with the firm.  She had spent four years in Hong Kong in that time but the rest in London as a finance lawyer. Miranda decided to leave Slaughters when her mother became unwell and she returned to Hong Kong to be closer to her family.  She had no other plans.  She just knew she didn’t want to do part time law and ultimately wanted to remain in London.  She did have an interest in interior design and signed up for a course...

Tim Ingram: Lawyers can be the very best Non-Executives

Contrary to what Chairs may think, people who have been lawyers are very well suited to being non-executives. Tim was a banker for many years, then ran an investment company, but he’s also been on the board of 15 listed companies over the last 30 years, as an exec, non-exec, chairman and SID.  The very best non-exec he’s ever observed was a lawyer, from Linklaters, Charles Allen-Jones. It is important for potential non-executives to understand what a board does.  To be clear they don’t originate strategy or run the company.  This is management’s role.  Big decisions always come from management.  Boards have...

Moni Mannings: Portfolio Life During and After Law – a BCKR Success Story

Moni sees her career has having two halves.  The first half being a traditional legal career, starting in the banking department at Clifford Chance, followed by 6 years as a partner at Simmonds and Simmonds and then to Dewy Ballantine where she was their first UK partner hire.  In 2000 she left to set up the banking department of Olswang and within a year was asked to head up their main corporate department, which delivered half the firm’s revenue and came with a seat on the board.  The financial crisis followed swiftly thereafter, and she had to restructure her department...

Richard Meddings: Network, broaden your business knowledge and get up to speed on issues facing businesses today

We recently welcomed hugely experienced Chairman Richard Meddings to BCKR.   Board dynamics Richard began by stressing that anyone hoping to join a board (particularly in the commercial sector) should realise the amount of the work that’s done outside the boardroom. One of Richard’s early boardroom mistakes was to underestimate the importance of the informal interaction, both between the board members themselves and also between the executive team and members of the board. It is easy to assume that you just turn up for the meetings, when actually it is an area of significant communication and ‘social dynamic’.   How are boards built? As a Chair,...

Simon Page: NEDs – Can you become a sparring partner, trusted advisor and a good listener?

After 10 years in the Foreign Office, Simon moved to Egon Zehnder to become one of the five lead consultants – private partnership, lockstep, to allow them to cover a very broad range of work at the firm, and in the board practice.  Works across PLC type non-execs, government related roles and charities. What types of roles are out there? The broad landscape falls into 3 sectors: Private sector: FTSE, 250, 350, AIM etc, private companies and start-ups, and private equity boards (a consumer of decent talent in the private sector board space) Public sector: central government departments (not the same as...

Sandeep Katwala: Top tips from a lawyer with a varied, fulfilling portfolio

Sandeep lives the BCKR mission.  He even introduced Tim to the Water Aid board (in fact interviewed him!) when WA was so enlightened that there were 3 lawyers on their board. Sandeep headed the EMEA practice at Linklaters but retired 4 years ago after 25 years at the firm.  He took on WaterAid while still at Linklaters, and on leaving, built his portfolio.  He now Chairs Octavia (a West London housing association) and BID (Bail for Immigration Detainees),  and the Mowgli Foundation mentoring people from the middle east and he is also a Trustee of the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s’...

Anita Hoffmann: Creating your Second Career

Anita is Swedish, and a chemical engineer by training – she had to be an engineer to get into industry at all in Sweden.  But how is she now a headhunter and coach in London? She took opportunities that were offered - and planned where she wanted to go. After 18 years in the chemical industry, she was stuck. If she was going to get on in that industry, she would be doing more of the same – but she asked herself “How good am I really? Let me change into something else and I’ll find out”.  Without the support of...

Steve Williams: lists the reasons why having a lawyer on the board is an “irresistible argument to pursue”

We recently welcomed Steve Williams (ex-Slaughter and May and former GC at Unilever) to talk to BCKR members. Steve was sitting at his desk at ICI when the call came through from Spencer Stuart about a possible move to Unilever.  He got the job, and then began a long run in making Spencer Stuart money. Search firms make money out of us; by moving us they generate a fee; the more they move and place you, the better for them; the more they can bug you for knowledge, the better for them; he became their creature.  He was used by them, regularly...

Sandrine Roseberg: Find out how you, as a lawyer, can “add value” to a board

Starting out as a lawyer, Sandrine Roseberg moved to Asia for her husband’s work but didn’t want to be a lawyer there.  So, just after the Asian financial crisis she became a headhunter, replacing expats with locals. The statistics on lawyers on boards are not great.  There are just 26 lawyers on the FTSE 350 boards.  Most of these trained as lawyers and then shifted into different roles.  Only 8 practiced law to a significant extent before getting a board seat.  In investigating these lawyers further, there seems to be a clear link between the geographic presence or sector of the...

Marie Gabriel: Lawyers as NEDs in the NHS

BCKR was fortunate to be joined recently by Marie Gabriel who chairs the East London NHS Foundation Trust. Below is a paper which Marie prepared for our breakfast session with useful information and links on what you need to think about if applying for an NHS role.  Marie has also generously offered to have a chat with any members who are exploring NHS roles, along with looking at your CV and even putting you through a mock interview. She has a list of typical questions asked at interview which, if you are planning to proceed with an application, we can...

Caroline Carter: a BCKR ‘graduate’ – a portfolio lawyer with a goldmine of tips, advice and experience

Caroline considers herself as a graduate of the school of BCKR.  She has not followed a traditional path.  After 30 years in the City, 18 years of which were as head of Ashurst’s Employment and Remuneration practice, she chose to launch herself into her second career by taking a ‘gap year’. Much against her colleagues’ advice – she started with a completely clear diary. “There is nothing like the gift of time!” Caroline felt her skill set lent itself to board roles as she had: witnessed plenty of board room bust ups sat on the opposite side to the table as an advisor – not...

Peter Bennett-Jones: every board should have legal expertise

BCKR recently welcomed Peter Bennett-Jones to share with us his board-life experience and, in his view, what attributes are needed make up an effective board. Peter’s day job is, as he describes it, as a showbiz hack – an agent and programme maker. However, his engagement with the not-for-profit world has been the most enjoyable and life affirming aspect of his career.  He has used and adapted the contacts he has made, and their influence, to broader purposes.  His experience has covered three main areas; the arts, education and international development.   The Arts The National Theatre – where he chaired its production board....

Georgina Harvey & Matt Higgins: Exploring Remuneration Committees

BCKR was pleased to welcome Georgina Harvey and Matt Higgins recently, who shared with us their experience of Remuneration Committees. Matt and Georgina are seeing a lot of each other at the moment as they are in the midst of a couple of weeks when all their RemCo work comes together. The flow of the Committee work is definitely not as it used to be.  It is much more time consuming and involved.  Long consultations with shareholders, explanatory letters, ten-page summaries at the end, 20+ meetings with shareholders in between, 20-30 pages on remuneration for the annual report, plus the need...

Patrick Reihill: Insights from the Whitehall & Industry Group – lawyers and public sector roles

BCKR recently welcomed Patrick Reihill from the Whitehall & Industry Group to share his experiences of public sector role recruitment. A copy of Patrick's presentation can be found here.   What do law firms get out of their WIG membership? Most use it for the events WIG put on, to get a better understanding of policies coming through and the inner workings of government and also for their leadership programmes.   What is the normal recruitment process for a public sector role? WIG will go through a very thorough briefing process with the client and challenge them about the type of individual they are looking for...

Larissa Joy: Lawyers test, challenge and bring skills that are incredibly valuable to the boardroom

We recently welcomed Portfolio Lawyer, Larissa Joy, to share the interesting turns her professional life has taken with our BCKR members. Larissa is somewhat of an evangelist for a plural career. She has taken a number of varied paths during her entire career and continues to do so in the further development of her portfolio. Larissa’s first holiday job was as a tour leader with Saga, which when she looks back on it, taught her a great deal.  She ran into trouble when, leading sixty American passengers, the Danube had completely dried up and the tour was conducted by land in coaches. She went on to lead Saga’s first 50...

Maria da Cunha: Prioritise your area of expertise and do what interests you

On graduating from the LSE Maria started her career as a competition lawyer at Hogan Lovells. She moved in-house to Lloyds Bank when her two children were toddlers.  Her next move was to British Airways as a competition lawyer where she soon went on to become Head of Legal.  She took on a variety of different roles whilst still being GC, in Government and International Affairs, Economic regulation and then for the last 8 years she became Head of Human Resources and Industrial Relations. She combined this with 8 years on the BA management board. Then, having spent 15 years in...

Steven Sussman & James Godrich: company accounts – how to look at the numbers

Before hearing James Godrich on the key things to look for in a company’s accounts, BCKR members heard from Steven Sussman.  The second part of the talk is not summarised here, although the slides accompanying these notes provide a good reminder for members of what they heard and will hopefully provide a useful teach-in for those unable to join us. Steven is CEO of our regular host, JM Finn and members heard his thoughts on what to consider when looking at NED positions and what the regulated firms he’s been involved with have sought from their own NEDs.  Steven provided a...

Rachel Hubbard: “Start early, start small”

We recently welcomed Rachel Hubbard, currently leading the Social Impact sector at Saxton Bampfylde, to BCKR. Saxton Bampfylde is now 32 years old, with the founder, Stephen Bampfylde, still involved.  They have always been focused on the non-profit world, charities and NGOs. Rachel leads the social impact sector. Different headhunting firms operate different processes and for the candidate and headhunter this process can feel different depending on the type of organisation involved. Saxton Bampfylde does not operate through the ‘little black book’, or by relying on their database.  Their research-heavy model is very different.  They start with a clean bit of paper...

Charles Randell: “The best way to get NED roles is through relentless networking”

We recently welcomed Charles Randell, currently Chair of the FCA, to BCKR.  Charles joined Slaughter and May in 1980 and stayed for 33 years, despite various efforts to ‘escape’.  He interviewed widely for other jobs before becoming a partner, but concluded they were equally as ‘bad’.  So, he took partnership but set himself a target to leave by the age of 50.  On approaching 50, he accepted a job chairing a government owned business which was in the process of being privatised but he had a change of heart over the weekend and pulled out.  This decision set him back...

Suzanna Taverne: play to your sectoral strengths and develop your network

Suzanna started her career as an investment banker at SG Warburg after which she moved into Finance and Strategy Director roles at Saatchi and Saatchi and then at Pearson.  Her next move was in to the public sector when she took on the role of Managing Director of the British Museum, overseeing the Millennium Great Court project.  This in turn led to a role at Imperial College, in what was effectively a COO role. At the end of that phase she decided she didn’t want to work only in the public sector, so she decided to embark on a portfolio career which she hoped would offer an opportunity...

Sir Nicholas Young: Lawyers know how to ask the right challenging questions – a much-needed skill in a Trustee

We recently welcomed Sir Nicholas Young to BCKR where he shared his thoughts with us. He began with some facts about the voluntary sector. It is a huge sector with 170,000 charities in the UK with a combined total income of £45 billion per year.  Add in housing associations, private schools the total yearly income reaches £73 billion compared to, for instance, the car industry (£71 billion) or the farming industry (£5 billion).   Of the proper established charities about: 45% of their income comes from the public/individual donations 30% comes from central and local government in the form of contracts/fees for services provided. ...

Will Dawkins: Tactics for getting that board role – Get skilled-up, widen your horizons and prepare

This week we welcomed Will Dawkins, Head of Board Practice at Spencer Stuart to BCKR to share his thoughts with us.   The current situation The current situation for lawyers on FTSE 100 boards has neither significantly changed nor improved over the last 5 years.  There are currently 12 NEDs who come from a true professional lawyer background on FTSE 100 boards.  In the US it is more like 50% of companies who have a lawyer on their board. The reality of the FTSE 100 market is that there are probably only 780 positions available at any one time and 1% of those will...

Kirsty Watt and Gavin Robert: Lawyers are highly sought-after at multi-academy trusts

We recently welcomed Kirsty Watt from Academy Ambassadors and Gavin Robert, former Linklaters partner, to BCKR to discuss academy trusts and how lawyers make a good fit for their boards. NED roles for BCKR members are being offered through Academy Ambassadors who came to speak to the group today, together with Gavin Robert - a BCKR member who found a NED role with England’s largest primary academy trust through the AA – BCKR relationship. Lawyers are particularly sought after for the boards of multi-academy trusts for their ability to provide scrutiny and challenge. Academy Ambassadors provides a free, bespoke service matching business...

Lord Falconer: The nerdiest of lawyers can make a decision without reading all the papers or having all the boxes ticked

This week we were delighted to welcome Lord Charles Falconer to BCKR. Looking back Charlie’s experience as a lawyer could seem quite depressing.  Between the ages of 22-45 he was the nerdiest commercial barrister. He had concluded that success was brought about by serious hard work and always being on top of things – mostly on top of reading the papers.  But now – after broadening his career with a stint in politics – he can look back and see how completely absorbed in the day job he was and that there actually other approaches to success beyond being the best-read...

Josyane Gold: Networking, focus and persistence – the key to attaining your first role

We recently welcomed Josyane Gold, retired lawyer, to BCKR to share her thoughts with us. Zygos appointed Josyane to the board of Electra Private Equity, a FTSE 250 investment trust, 5 years ago, after retiring from her 25-year career as a corporate partner at S J Berwin.  At that time there was no structure or support for senior partners thinking about life after the law, so she felt she had to be very strategic about her transition, particularly once she’d decided to go down the route of looking for non-executive roles. She spoke to her managing partner about this transition, explaining that...

Karen Brown: “Why would you want a lawyer on your charity board? Why wouldn’t you?”

We recently welcomed Karen Brown to BCKR to share her thoughts with us. When asked the question why would you want a lawyer on your charity board, Karen’s response would be – why wouldn’t you? Maybe the better question might be “why would a lawyer want to be on a charity board”? Things have changed dramatically in the last 5 years. There has been a huge shift in governance with the external environment requiring much more formal governance procedure to be in place. Some charities are still adjusting to this. How lawyers would be viewed on boards depends very much on the lawyer....

Denise Jagger: “Being on a board gives you skills – which can help your law firm”

We recently welcomed Denise Jagger to BCKR, who shared with us her wealth of expertise acquired on her non-executive journey which, rather unusually, began when she was in her 30s. Top tips: Getting a portfolio takes a long time, so you do have to start early and put in the effort. Do not underestimate the power of your network. Denise found her most interesting roles on her own. Your contacts are important; you can use them for several things, not just getting you introductions to roles but also later on to introduce donors to charities, for example. Do not assume that...

The Lawyer: What law firms are doing about retirement assistance – and where they’re failing

By Matt Byrne 6 March 2018, The Lawyer magazine The idea of offering partner retirement assistance is heartily supported by top law firms. However, the results of our survey reveal that what they actually provide lacks the structure and innovative thinking found at the big accountacy firms.   “To what extent do you think that both firms and partners nearing retirement benefit if the former provides specific retirement-related assistance to the latter?” While UK law firms continue to face criticism in many quarters for their approach to retirement-related issues, the results of our survey suggest that an overwhelming majority have at least recognised the...

A Presentation from The Fore Trust: Focusing on smaller charitable organisations

The Bulldog Trust owns and operates The Fore Trust, founded in 2012. They operate out of the stunning Two Temple Place, built by William Waldorf Astor in 1895. The Fore Trust make grants to small charitable organisations. They are a seed investor in the charity sector, looking for small organisations at the early stages looking for an injection of cash to take them to the next stage. Funding for first timers is hard. You often don’t get any feedback on failed applications. It is easier for corporate funding to go to larger charities. Not only do they get a pronounced reputational bump...

“Enthusiasm over aptitude!  If they like you, you are 80% there” Anna Ponton and Stuart Morton – Odgers Berndston

This week we were delighted to welcome Anna Ponton and Stuart Morton from headhunters Odgers Berndston to BCKR to share their thoughts with us.   Law firms are generally not very good at helping their partners and alumni to make the transition to life outside law. Unhappy alumni are not useful alumni; some law firms are beginning to react and ask for advice on how to improve.   How they work Both Anna and Stuart are lawyers.  They run the Professional Services team at Odgers Berndtson and both sit on the board practice, chaired by Virginia Bottomley. They understand the challenges that face lawyers who want to...

Nick Vetch: Pick your NED role with care

We recently welcomed Nick Vetch to BCKR.  Nick is on the board of several companies and is a trustee at Bedales School and also of The Fund for Global Human Rights.  He has NEDs and is a NED.  His experience of being a NED for a commercial organisation versus a non-commercial is that there is some commonality – dependent on the size and sophistication of the organisation.  Large organisations differ from smaller ones.  In general, the NGO sector is some way behind on a corporate governance and organisational front.   A major trap around becoming a NED is that you either end...

The Lawyer: How to deal with retiring partners

In their March 2018 issue, The Lawyer is to undertake an analysis of retirement-related issues facing law firms. "UK law firms should be doing significantly more to assist partners in the run-up to retirement and could benefit materially by doing so, experts have claimed." Click here to read Matt Byrne's introductory article where BCKR Director, Elizabeth Holden, suggests that law firms could be "missing a trick" by not sufficiently investing in their retirees....

Naziar Hashemi: ‘Know Your Numbers’

BCKR recently welcomed Naziar Hashemi, Non Profits Audit and Risk Partner from Crowe Clark Whitehill to speak to our members. Please find a copy of her presentation here. To add depth to her presentation, Naziar added an example set of charity accounts for our members to examine.  ...

Chris Saul: When retirement is not an option

BCKR recently welcomed Slaughter and May's former Senior Partner, Chris Saul, to share how he has successfully cultivated a new working life away from law. In the months leading up to his retirement Chris spoke to a lot of people. He adopted four guiding principles to his life after Slaughter and May. 1. Retirement was not an option 2. He wanted to stay in the business world 3. He wanted a balanced involvement with the not for profit world 4. He wanted to maintain an element of teaching and contact with the next generation So, what job in the business world? • He did not want to go in-house....

Looking for your first role? Try govt or 3rd sector, get the right CV and do your research

  We recently welcomed Wendy Barnes, portfolio non-executive and an independent consultant in cyber security to a BCKR breakfast event. Wendy’s first non-executive role was at GCHQ in 2002.  It was one of the first government departments to go through a proper recruitment process.  The private sector was moving towards greater transparency.  It turned out to be a great role that led to many others.   How to go about finding that first role. Getting a government or 3rd Sector role is easier than gaining one in the private sector which relies more on your CV, your reputation and who you know.  The 3rd sector roles...

The importance of the transition period – from Lawyer to Boardroom

This week we were delighted to welcome Stuart Popham to our BCKR breakfast event. Stuart started thinking about what he was going to do next, about two years before stepping away from his role as Senior Partner at Clifford Chance. He realised he needed board experience so joined the board of Chatham House – though the firm had some concerns about conflict of interest. Stuart would recommend that you take time to make the transition before jumping into a board role.  It can be a challenging role but can also be very interesting.  It takes a bit of time getting used to leaving...

Professionalising the Family Business

Do family firms have an "image problem" when it comes to recruiting talented staff? Do people question their rigour when it comes to governance? These are some of the interesting questions posed by BCKR associate Rosalyn Breedy in the following article first published in Wealth Briefing. ________________________________________ UK family businesses have been shown to be less productive than their peer group of  Non-family businesses in UK in a recent survey by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). According to Rosalyn Breedy of Wedlake Bell, ‘Key points made by the ONS survey are that lack of professional management and an inability to recruit top...

Sean O’Hare: Inside RemComs

This week we welcomed Sean O'Hare to our breakfast event to discuss The Remuneration Committee. The UK Corporate Governance Code has 2 pages in Section D on what RemCos do, and most other governance codes cover something similar.  Sean would really recommend ANY NED of FTSE listed companies to read it. The FRC has also published a Guide on Board Effectiveness which defines the roles of Chair, CEO, NED and Senior Independent Director and what is expected of each role.  This code is very straightforward.  The Remco must: Set the remuneration for the Executive Director and Chairman and Promote the long term...

Changing direction? Let people know you’re there – Sally Springbett

At this week's breakfast event, we were delighted to welcome Sally Springbett from Sapphire Partners, who gave us the benefit of her many years of executive search experience.   According to Sally, the biggest step you can take in becoming a NED or when considering a change in direction, is to let people know you’re there.  Lawyers can be gods in the legal world but not known outside.  Changing can be scary and Sally often sees fear in people’s eyes when they are contemplating it, often at a later stage in life.  ‘Retirement’ has such negative connotations that Sally has stripped it out...

“A good lawyer tells you how to do it” – Life After Law with Tim Freshwater

This week we were joined at BCKR by Tim Freshwater. Since leaving the law, Tim has held a variety of non-executive roles, here in the UK and in Asia. He currently chairs Goldman Sachs Asia Bank, is the SID at Savills PLC and is a NED on the boards of Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing, Swire Pacific and Chelsfield Asia Limited. Tim is also a Senior Advisor to the Brunswick Group, the corporate communications firm. Tim’s mix of advisory and board work across two continents and cultures will allow members to see how lawyers can reinvent themselves to take advantage of the...

Ian Meakins – The Chief Executive’s Perspective

This week we were delighted to welcome Ian Meakins to talk to our BCKR members. Having started his career as an advisory consultant Ian then switched into business working in both PE and listed companies including Travelex and Alliance Unichem. He finished his executive career as Chief Executive of the Wolseley Group at which point he made the transition into a NED career. He currently Chairs Rexel, a global electrical distribution company listed in Paris and TLN, a Dutch publishing distribution company. Here is a summary of Ian's very practical advice on how to go about getting your first NED role. What...

Lawyers – A Great Fit For NHS Boards

We were delighted to welcome Laura Carstensen and Janice Scanlan to our BCKR Breakfast Event this week to discuss the value of joining an NHS Trust and how you might go about it. Laura's wide ranging portfolio includes being a non-executive director of NHS Improvement where she sits on the committee with responsibility for trust leadership, directly appointing to NHS Trusts and influencing the role in Foundation Trusts. She works closely with Janice who heads NHS Non-Executive Development. Laura was a partner at Slaughter and May until 2004, when she began her portfolio career, successfully combining business and public service roles....

Why Networking is the Key to Your Next Board Role – with Gavin Orr.

At this week's Breakfast Event we looked at life from the Headhunter's Perspective with Lomond founder Gavin Orr. Lomond is an entrepreneurial search firm focusing in large part on board appointments in the financial, consumer, business services and natural resources sectors. Gavin founded the firm and heads their Private Equity arm, counting many leading and emerging brands amongst his clients. Gavin combines a genuine interest in his clients, their businesses and their sectors – believing in teamwork, transparency and a straightforward approach to doing business. In case you didn't make it, here is a summary of what Gavin had...

Stuart Chambers – The Chairman’s Perspective.

We were delighted to welcome Stuart Chambers to BCKR for our latest Breakfast Event. Stuart spent much of his executive career with Mars, Pilkington and Nippon Glass, before turning to portfolio life. He has since chaired technology company ARM Holdings and packaging giant Rexam, with NED roles on Associated British Ports, Smiths Group, Manchester Airport Group and Tesco. He currently sits as a NED on the Takeover Panel, on the advisory board of Spencer Stuart, is a fellow of SAID Business School and mentors senior board members. Here is a summary of what we learned; Stuart's vast boardroom experience, his knowledge of NED...

Meet the portfolio lawyer with a love of sport – Ian Metcalfe

Joining us recently was Ian Metcalfe, former Managing Partner of Wragge & Co, who is now embracing a broad and varied portfolio career; in private companies, the listed world education and sport. He is a NED on the boards of Mercia Technologies PLC and Terberg RosRoca Group Limited, and is a governor of the Foundation Board of the Schools of King Edward VI. He chairs Rugby’s Professional Game Board, is SID on the board of the RFU and chairs the board of Commonwealth Games England. Ian was also a director of England Rugby 2015. In case you missed it,...

The Portfolio Lawyer – Thomas Keevil chats to BCKR

We were delighted to welcome Tom Keevil to our latest BCKR Breakfast. An experienced lawyer, trustee and non executive director, he was full of useful insights and advice. Here is a summary of what he had to say. Tom was a partner at Simmons & Simmons, before going in-house as GC for three FTSE 100 companies -Gallagher, United Utilities and Barratt. He is now Chairman of City West Properties (Westminster City Council's public/private housing management operation, with 21,000 properties and he sits on the board of the Land Trust). Tom stressed there is a whole panoply of options for NED...

Towards Your 1st NED Role – The Headhunter’s Perspective

At our last BCKR breakfast meeting we were delighted to get the headhunter's perspective from Deborah Cooper - a partner at leading search firm, The Miles Partnership. Deborah specialises in top level recruitment, including non-executive directors. She has extensive experience in this field, having worked previously at Warren Partners, Heidrick & Struggles and Norman Broadbent. Deborah wanted to let us know more about what she looks for in candidates, and what lawyers can do to increase their chances in this highly competitive area. She started by saying that since we can only remember 3 things at a time it is...

Why Not Lawyers? Board Advice From Sir Damon Buffini

Our most recent guest to BCKR was Sir Damon Buffini - businessman and governor of the Wellcome Trust. He was formerly head of the private equity company Permira. Here is a summary of what he had to share with us. Why should a lawyer get onto a board? When anyone looks for a new board member, the first port of call is often an accountant, which is surprising given their specific focus and lack of breadth. Lawyers could also be labelled as being too specialised, not financial, and people say 'We've already got too many lawyers in the room'. However,...

The Portfolio Lawyer:Amanda Burton former COO Clifford Chance

Last week we were delighted to welcome Amanda Burton, former global COO of Clifford Chance to BCKR to discuss the role of The Portfolio Lawyer. Amanda’s legal career has very successfully combined law, management and board roles. After qualifying as a solicitor in 1982 at Slaughter and May, Amanda moved into industry. She became an executive director of Meyer International at the age of 38, leading their Timber division while continuing her role as their Legal and Corporate Services Director. She took on her first non-executive role in 1998. In 2000, following Meyer's takeover by Saint-Gobain, she joined...

Investment Banker Simon Warshaw with – The Outsider’s View

This week we were delighted to welcome Simon Warshaw from Robey Warshaw to our regular BCKR Breakfast meeting. As a leading investment banker Simon regularly comes across lawyers and chairmen, and is well placed to tell members how lawyers are perceived by the boards he advises. Simon is also a NED himself and sits on the Corporate Advisory Board of the National Theatre - which advises and supports the Theatre's relationships with the corporate sector. Simon set up Robey Warshaw with Simon Robey after 27 years as a global investment banker at UBS. While the firm’s work is focused...

The Chairman’s Perspective – Paul Myners

This week we welcomed Paul Myners to BCKR. Paul’s career to date has covered almost every aspect of commercial and public life. His first career was principally in the City with Gartmore. He has subsequently chaired Marks & Spencer, Guardian Media Group and Land Securities. He has chaired the Trustees of the Tate and the Low Pay Commission and he was City Minister in the last Labour administration, a role which led to his appointment to the House of Lords. He has recently been appointed Chancellor of Exeter University. Here is our summary of what he had to say; Paul is a...

The World of Sport With David Gregson

This week we were pleased to welcome David Gregson to BCKR to tell us about the World of Sport. David Gregson is chairman of one of Britain’s most significant sporting bodies The Lawn Tennis Association as well as the Karma Group, the UK’s largest independent marketing services agency. He is also a Director of the London Legacy Development Corporation, which is transforming the Olympic Park following the 2012 Games, and a member of the Advisory Boards for the Sutton Trust, promoting social mobility through education, and of the Education Endowment Foundation. Previously, David was a co-founder and Chairman of Phoenix Equity...

Non Executive Directorships – The Lawyers Point of View – With Tim Eyles

This week we were pleased to welcome distinguished lawyer Tim Eyles who gave us the benefit of his wisdom as an experienced Non Executive Director and Trustee. Here is a summary of what he had to say. Tim chairs the Jerwood Foundation, which over the years has given over £100m to the arts. His passion for the arts alongside his role as managing partner of Taylor Wessing makes him a fantastic example of a lawyer managing serious NED roles alongside a substantial legal career. Tim started at Goodman Derrick, chaired by Lord Goodman who was very well connected,...

Robert Swannell (M&S) – The Chairman’s Perspective

Last week we were pleased to welcome Robert Swannell, Chairman of Marks and Spencer and UK Government Investments, to BCKR. Since retiring from 30 years in investment banking, Robert has developed a broad and varied non-executive portfolio. He has been SID of both British Land and 3i Group, and, for two years, chaired HMV Group Here is a digest of what he had to share with us. Robert started out as an investment banker at Schroders in 1977 and stayed for 33 years. He came to the conclusion that managing large numbers of investment bankers was not what interested...

Anthony May On Why Regulatory Boards Are Ideal For Lawyers

This week we were happy to welcome Anthony May from leading legal headhunters, Hedley May. He joined BCKR members for a mid week breakfast to speak about regulatory boards. Hedley May has always known a lot about lawyers. It also knows a lot about the boards of regulators, frequently being called upon to find NEDs and chairmen for the numerous City regulatory bodies, such as the PRA, FCA and their various committees. Anthony has advised major law firms, Big Four accountancy firms, FTSE 100 corporates, financial institutions and Government entities on legal search, strategic consultancy and leadership projects since 1993. ...

Winning Over The Headhunters – Keys to Success with Rosemary Martin

BCKR recently welcomed lawyer and experienced Non Executive Rosemary Martin. Alongside her role as General Counsel and Company Secretary at Vodafone, Rosemary sits on the board of HSBC Bank PLC (the European arm of the HSBC Group), is a member of the FSA’s Listing Authority Advisory Committee, is an advisory board member for the Oxford Internet Institute and has taken numerous charitable and fundraising roles alongside. Here is a summary of what she had to share with us. Rosemary began her career with a vague goal of being a partner by 30 and a GC by 40 but the way the jigsaw fitted...

Make Yourself Relevant – Advice From International Search Experts

This week we were pleased to welcome to BCKR, Dom Loehnis from Egon Zehnder, one of the leading international search firms. Dom was joined by his colleague Fiona Packman and together they spent time talking to us about the Headhunter's Perspective on seeking a board role. Here is a summary of what they had to say. Egon Zehnder have the biggest board practice in the UK, but even they only do about 60-70 board appointments a year, all with very specific, and in fact increasingly specific criteria to fill a particular role in the team. Think more broadly than using just headhunters...

How do lawyers get on the board? A summary of what we’ve learned so far.

This week we have been pulling together all the advice we have received during these sessions and taking stock. Our guide was BCKR's resident executive careers coach Nick Aitchison. Here is a summary of what he had to say. Having attended most of the BCKR sessions over the last 18 months, I thought it was time to reflect on what we have learnt, and ask ourselves: • should we be encouraged or discouraged? • and what should we do next? We have not been short of good advice, for example from Roger Carr, Mervyn Davies, Marcus Agius; from Lloyd Dorfman (Travelex) and John Heaps (formerly Eversheds,...

Start Early: Advice On Your NED Career From Mark Chambers.

This week we welcomed Mark Chambers to BCKR - Mark has combined numerous non-executive roles with his challenging legal career. Here is a summary of what he had to say. First, Mark would really encourage you to take on a role in a not-for-profit early – while you are still in your full time career. If you are doing something like this on the side it makes you a more rounded individual, it positions you better for the transition you might want to make later in life from executive to non-executive and above all – it's fun! Mark has been an...

You’re Successful – Now Define Why – Advice for Prospectve NEDs

This week we welcomed David Grigson to BCKR - Chairman of Trinity Mirror plc, formerly the CFO of Emap and Reuters. Here's a useful summary of what he had to say; David’s first executive board position was at EMAP in 1989 going on to become FD at Reuters. His first NED position was at Carphone Warehouse while still at Reuters, but when Reuters merged with Thomson in 2008, he decided to take a year off to ponder his next move. In choosing what to do next David thought what about what he would miss from his executive life. • Building a working...

Margaret Mountford gives BCKR the lowdown on Academy Schools

We were luckier than usual this week to have not one but two fantastic speakers on a subject that his been in the headlines a lot recently, Academy Schools. Margaret Mountford, an experienced Chair, and one time expert on the BBC's Apprentice was joined by Academy Trust Chair Simon Staite. First, here is a quick look at the main points on Academy Schools. The headlines on Academy Schools: • They are independent schools – maintained by the state • They are funded directly from government • Having evolved from city education colleges under Blair they are now generally highly respected academically • Numbers have grown...

Guy Beringer’s Blog: Governance in the third sector

I closed my first blog with a reference to the governance challenges which face the third sector. It is worth considering how these challenges have arisen. Successive governments in this century have committed themselves to devolution of central power in a range of different ways. The political dimension of this has belatedly begun to receive the scrutiny it requires. The notions of big society or one nation have produced an equally important shift in the structure and delivery of many public services on which society at large is now reliant. There has been little consideration, however, of the consequences of...

A trustee’s guide to the board with Louis Taylor – Chief Executive UK Export Finance (UKEF)

This week BCKR was pleased to welcome Louis Taylor to our monthly Breakfast Event - here is a summary of his talk, including valuable information about serving on public sector boards and how lawyers can help. Louis Taylor is the Chief Executive of UK Export Finance (UKEF). He started his career with 8 years at JP Morgan, before moving in-house, working in corporate finance and strategic planning at several major corporates. He worked for many years for Standard Chartered, eventually running Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia for them, before moving into the public sector. Although he does not have a...

Cyber Security – What Future NEDs Must Know

Arno Robbertse is one of the managing partners of G3 and is in charge of cyber security - he came into talk to us last week and here is a summary of what he had to say; G3 which was founded by a senior former director of Kroll gives advice on how to access information on the internet and how your own information can be accessed. Cyber security will be a permanent feature of corporate life from now on and so all NEDs must have a reasonable understanding of issues of cyber security. The internet provides so much - connectivity, entertainment, business...

Tips For Working With Headhunters to Get the Role You Want

Last week we were pleased to welcome Sophia Copeman from Perrett Laver - the global executive search firm. Sophia talked us through how she conducts searches, how clients and headhunters come up with their shortlists, what she looks for in candidates and their CVs and the views that the headhunting profession and their clients have of lawyers on boards. Here is a summary of what she had to say...

Charity Commission Warning – Why Lawyers Could Be The Answer

Today we are prompted to think of the governance challenges which face the third sector, as William Shawcross, chairman of the Charity Commission for England and Wales officially reminds the people who run charities of their legal duties and responsibilities. Here, one of the BCKR founders, Guy Beringer considers how these challenges have arisen and argues that professional service firm partners are ideally placed to help charities meet these challenges...

BCKR Profile – Elizabeth Holden

What boards do you sit on? My first non-executive directorship was with Great Portland Estates, the FTSE 250 commercial property developer. Alongside BCKR, I also sit on the board of YourLifeSpace, the development arm of Circle Housing and HML Holdings, the AIM listed residential block management company. Why did you decide to become a director? After 20 years of front line M&A, I decided to rebalance life. Rather than simply take a less high-pressured legal job, I wanted instead to get closer to a variety of businesses, learning more about each of them than I could ever do as an adviser...

Guy Beringer’s Blog – How can lawyers contribute to better boards?

This is the first in a series of short blogs which consider the contribution which lawyers might make to the governance and boardroom world and the challenges which might arise in doing so. A good starting point is the extent of that contribution as it currently stands. There is no wholly reliable source of information but Boardex shows that there are currently 1159 partners at the UK's 150 top law firms. From this group, 104 partners from 42 law firms currently hold 173 non-executive roles in aggregate which are known to Boardex. It is certainly the case that many of those...

Bringing Your Skills to the Arts – Neil Adleman tells us why Lawyers Think Differently

This week we were pleased to welcome Neil Adleman to BCKR to hear his thoughts on board membership in the field of theatre. Here is a summary of what we had to say; Summary of meeting with Neil Adleman – 9 February, 2016 Neil has been a partner in Harbottle & Lewis for 12 years, having escaped from the City. His practice focuses on theatre, live entertainment and the arts and for some years he has sat on the boards of arts organisations. He currently serves on: • The Peggy Ramsay Foundation. A £6million grant giving foundation, where the key challenge is...

“The corporate world needs high calibre people providing good advice” – Paul Skinner

We were pleased to welcome Paul Skinner to BCKR in January - a highly experienced chairman and non-executive director who, following his executive career at Shell, quickly established himself in the portfolio world. He chaired diverse private and public sector organisations such as Rio Tinto, Infrastructure UK, the Commonwealth Business Council and the UK Chamber of Shipping. Paul is currently Chair of Defence Equipment and Support, a trading entity within the Ministry of Defence, responsible for the UK’s defence procurement. He is also a NED of Standard Chartered plc, Air Liquide, S.A. and of Tetra Lavel Group and sits on the...

Defining the Trustee Role with Barbara Frost of Water Aid

We welcomed in the New Year with guest speaker Barbara Frost, Chief Executive of WaterAid who had some very clear messages about the role of the trustees on charity boards. She went on to tell us what she looks for when selecting trustees and of course the strengths that lawyers bring to the table. Here is a summary of her talk; Most NGO boards are entirely non-executive and generally unpaid. There can be a confusion about who is working for free in the voluntary sector. Most staff are not volunteers but they do work with volunteers, including...

Headhunter & Career Strategist John Stork on the secrets of a successful CV

At the end of 2015 we were delighted to welcome old friend and Stork & May founder, John Stork to BCKR where he shared career advice and tips on perfecting your CV. Here is a summary of what he had to say. John’s career has changed direction approximately every 12 years. He suspects that lawyers with one career only, could learn a little from that. He has also reviewed or written more than 10,000 CVs over his career, as both headhunter and career strategy adviser, so believes he is well qualified to understand what makes a good CV. Often you need more...

Getting Hired – Crucial Advice From Search Firm; Odgers Berndston

Sam Colt from the search firm Odgers joined us for breakfast last week and had some important information and advice for any lawyer seeking a position on the board. This is a summary of our chat with Sam. Odgers Berndston is the largest UK-headquartered search firms and is the sixth largest globally. Odgers cover all the main areas of the Private sector and, in the Not for profit space, they are leading providers of recruitment services in Government, Health and Education, and also in Sam's specialism - Arts and Heritage. 70% of Sam's work in this field is at Board...

BCKR Breakfast with Sir Roger Carr

This week we were pleased to welcome Sir Roger Carr, Chairman of BAE Systems and Vice Chairman of the BBC Trust to our members Breakfast. Sir Roger has had a distinguished career in the UK Boardroom. His executive career was spent primarily at Williams Holdings – a conglomerate which he built into a major industrial group with Brian McGowan and Nigel Rudd – where he was ultimately Group CEO. He has subsequently been Chairman of Chubb (when Williams Holdings was emerged into Kidde and Chubb), Mitchells & Butler, Cadbury (which included the contested take-over by Kraft) and Thames Water. He...

Essential Resources

If you would like to begin your journey to the corporate boardroom, charities offer younger people a very good starting point. You can gain high level experience which will serve you well as you move towards commerical board positions. Here is some essential reading on becoming a Charity Trustee to help you on your way. CHARITY TRUSTEE: WHAT'S INVOLVED? Please click here to view CHARITY COMMISSION GUIDELINES - The essential trustee: what you need to know, what you need to do - click here...